Classic Pinto Beans

Janice Joy Miller


I learned how to cook beans as a kid from our Latin housekeeper. She was an amazing cook who taught me many things, including how to make fresh tortillas. I was the only kid in the house who wanted to learn from her - and she patiently taught me. I also learned conversational Spanish from her. This is her recipe exactly as I learned it. Very simple, and absolutely delicious.


☆☆☆☆☆ 0 votes

10 Min
1 Hr 30 Min
Stove Top


  • 1 -2 c
    dry pinto beans
  • 1 large
    clove fresh garlic, peeled, cut in half
  • 6 -8 c
    water, divided
  • 1/2 tsp
    baking soda
  • 1-2 tsp
    ground cumin (i grind whole seeds with a little mortar and pestle)
  • 1 - 2 tsp
  • 1/4 tsp
    freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pinch
    cayenne pepper

How to Make Classic Pinto Beans


  1. Rinse beans, and cover with water to about 2 inches above beans.
  2. Add garlic.
  3. Bring beans and garlic to a boil.
  4. Boil covered for 30 minutes. Watch them closely, adding water as needed to keep water level above beans.
  5. Reduce heat to low, and stir in baking soda. It will foam up, releasing the gas causing elements.
  6. Add all spices EXCEPT SALT.
  7. Simmer on low until tender.
  8. Stir in salt, then simmer on low until liquid is creamy.

Printable Recipe Card

About Classic Pinto Beans

Main Ingredient: Beans/Legumes
Regional Style: Mexican
Other Tags: Healthy, Heirloom
Hashtags: #beans, #CLASSIC

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