Slow-cooker pinto beans are affordable, flavorful and versatile! Learn how to soak and cook dry pinto beans the easy way.
Hundreds of thousands of pounds of dried beans are hiding in back corners of dark pantries around the world. For some reason, many people feel intimidated by them.
Despite everyone knowing how delicious they are and the benefits of eating them, they remain there. Hiding in those pantries until finally, they are thrown out.
Well, the time has come for your beans to shine! So open up that pantry, bring them into the light, and get ready to create the most amazing beans you’ve ever tasted!
This recipe is fuss-free and easy, thanks to your slow cooker.
About Pinto Beans
Pinto beans range in color from light tan to dark brown.
They’re called “pinto” because they look like they’ve been splattered with paint (pinto comes from the Spanish word paint).
They’re members of the legume family, meaning they grow in pods. They are related to other veggies like peas, peanuts, and even clovers.
Why are pinto beans so popular? Here are a few reasons:
- Inexpensive: Dry beans are one of the most inexpensive foods you can buy. They have protein and fiber, so they’re great for making meatless meals. They really give quite a bang for your buck! To save even more money, you can buy them in bulk.
- Long shelf life: Dry pinto beans (and any other dry beans for that matter), stay fresh for many months, and sometimes up to a year or more. You can continue to use them until they begin to sprout. To avoid this from happening, keep them in a dark, dry location.
Sorting dry beans
Before you can make slow-cooker pinto beans, you need to sort them. Sorting dry beans just means that you look through them for any debris or pebbles that may be in the package with them.
- Place the beans onto a plate to sort through them.
- Remove and discard any foreign objects.
- Place the beans into a strainer and rinse them under cold water to remove any dirt.
Soaking pinto beans
Next, place the beans into a large mixing bowl or pot. Cover with cold tap water and allow them to soak overnight.
Soaking pinto beans is important because it helps to break down some of the complex carbs that cause excess gas. It also removes some of the phytic acid, which can keep you from absorbing the iron.
Probably the most important reason for soaking pinto beans is to reduce the cooking time. Soaking them in water for several hours first softens them. If you cook them without soaking first, they will need to cook at least twice as long.
How to make slow-cooker pinto beans
After sorting and soaking the beans, drain them and rinse them thoroughly. Add them into the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients, which are:
- Chicken Stock or vegetable stock
- Onion – White, yellow, and red onion are all great choices.
- Jalapeno – For less heat, you can use banana peppers, or leave the peppers out entirely.
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Chili Powder
- Black Pepper
Stir everything to combine. Then, cook the beans with the lid on, at low power for 6-8 hours.
After cooking, remove the onion and jalapeno, season the slow-cooker pinto beans to taste, and enjoy!
Uses for pinto beans
While slow-cooker pinto beans are delicious on their own, they’re also super versatile! Give them a try in these different ways:
- For any easy meal, fry some bacon or chorizo in a pan, drain the grease, and mash some of the beans with them. Serve with Gluten-Free Corn Muffins.
- Serve along with gluten-free tortillas and slow-cooker island pork tenderloin
- Add sliced jalapeno, chopped bacon, diced tomatoes, and cilantro for some authentic tasting Mexican charro beans.
- Use them instead of kidney beans in my Skillet Southwest Chicken and Quinoa for even more Mexican flavor.
- Stuff them instead of arepas!
- Drain and mash them, then mix with some guacamole for an amazing dip.
Slow-Cooker Pinto Beans
- 1 pound pinto beans, rinsed and picked over
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ onion, left whole
- ½ jalapeno, left whole
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- The night before, place the pinto beans in a bowl and cover with water. The water should be a few inches above the beans as they will absorb water.
- The next day, drain and throughly rinse the pinto beans. Add the remaining ingredients to the slow-cooker and stir to combine.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove the onion and jalapeno halves and season to taste before serving. Enjoy!