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Nutrient-rich pinto beans are cooked to perfection. These make a great meal or a tasty side dish to any of your Mexican dishes.

We love these simple crock pot pinto beans, especially in our Chili Recipe, alongside Red Cheese Enchiladas, or on our Fry Bread!

Crock Pot Pinto Beans being scooped from slow cooker.


The Magical Fruit?

Pinto beans are a powerhouse of nutrients and may improve blood sugar control and heart health. Pinto beans are also rich in various antioxidants and may help lower your risk of chronic disease. They are a staple in many countries and making them from dried beans, while it takes time, is easy peasy!

GOT GAS? Remember that childhood song “Beans beans the magical fruit the more you eat the more you toot”? Why is that? Well, the complex sugars in the beans are the culprit. So I googled “How to reduce gas from beans”.

My mom has always sworn bu the soak the beans method, so that’s what I’ve done. Here are some other time-tested toot-reducing methods. So go ahead and give ’em a try. 😉

  • Eat consistently. Unlike the previously mentioned song suggests, the more beans you eat the more your body will adjust to the diet change and begin to create less gas, not more. 
  • Soak them for 12 hours. (There was a study I came across that did show less gas with this method). Some people like to change the soaking water when it got cloudy, but the study didn’t mention if that had any effect. 
  • Apple cider vinegar. Add a splash of vinegar and 1-2 tsp of salt when the beans are tender but not quite done. The vinegar will not only brighten the flavor but will aid in breaking down those pesky complex sugars. 
  • Baking soda. Add 1/16 tsp per quart of water when soaking the dried beans. The theory is that it will decrease the effect of complex sugars. Rinse baking soda residue off before cooking. 
Ingredients for Crock Pot Pinto Beans laid out.

How to Cook Pinto Beans in a Crock Pot

Slow cooker pinto beans are simple but do take some time. Just follow these easy steps!

PREP. Use a colander to rinse the pinto beans with water.

Put the beans into a LARGE bowl. Fill the bowl with hot water until all the beans are covered. (Be sure there is still room in the bowl for the beans to swell in size.) Let the beans soak in the water overnight. This process will help remove some “gas” from the beans.

COOK. In the morning drain the beans, rinse them in cold water, then put the beans in the crock pot. Add the chicken broth, salt, pepper, garlic, chilies, and the optional cumin. Stir.

Add water to the crock pot until it covers the beans by 1-2 inches. Cook on LOW for 8-9 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.

ENJOY! Serve with a side of cornbread and enjoy!

Pinto beans soaking in water in bowl.

Instant Pot Directions

If you are wanting to speed things up, you can also make them in the Instant Pot. Here’s how:

  • Use a 6 to 8 quart pressure cooker to make a batch of beans. Add the recipe ingredients. Be sure there’s enough liquid to cover the beans by a few inches, but that the pot is not more than halfway full.
  • Set the pressure cooker for unsoaked pinto beans for 25-30 minutes or presoaked beans for 10-25 minutes
  • Once the timer is done, allow the pressure to naturally release for as long as possible.
  • Check beans: If your beans aren’t cooked all the way, simply replace the lid/valve and set the pressure cooker for 5-10 more minutes depending on how long you think they need.
Broth being poured into slow cooker with pinto beans.

Recipe Tips

This pinto beans crock pot recipe will turn out great with these simple tips.

  • Sort through the bag for any broken, shriveled, or discolored beans. Also, look for small pebbles.
  • Old beans need to be soaked overnight.
  • Hard water can inhibit the beans from soaking up all the moisture that they need. Use distilled or purified water.
  • 1 lb of dried beans will yield about 5 cups cooked.

Quick soak. If you forgot to soak them overnight you can rapidly boil them. It’s not quite the same effect but will work in a pinch. 

  • Rinse the beans.
  • Place them in a large cooking pot and cover them by 2 inches with HOT water.
  • Bring the water to a rapid boil and boil for 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and cover it with a lid.
  • Let the beans soak for 1 hour. Drain and follow the recipe.
Pinto Beans with other ingredients in slow cooker.

More Ingredient TiPs + StoriNg

Broth. Instead of using chicken broth, use an equal amount of vegetable broth.

Seasoning. I stuck with salt, pepper, garlic, and cumin to season the pinto beans but you can add chili powder, dried oregano, onion powder, or cayenne pepper.  

Vegetables. I used green chilis to add a bit of flavor to the pinto beans. If you want to use the beans in a specific recipe you can tailor the vegetables accordingly and use veggies such as celery, green bell peppers, and chopped onion.

Add meat. Depending on what you want to use the pinto beans for you can easily add some extra flavor and nutrients by including smoked bacon, diced ham hock, or smoked turkey.

Other beans. Soaking and then cooking in a crock pot works for all types of beans such as navy, white, kidney, or black. I haven’t used those other types with the ingredients in this recipe so I can’t comment on the taste, but the method will work. 

STORE. After the beans have cooled store them in an airtight container, and put them in the refrigerator. Use the beans within 4 days.

FREEZE. Store beans in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Recipe FAQ

Do I have to pre-soak pinto beans for the crock pot?

If you choose not to pre-soak the pinto beans you will need to cook them in the crock pot for much longer, also the beans will tend to split or burst. Using unsoaked beans can also make you gassier.

Why are my slow cooker pinto beans still hard?

If you have really old dry pinto beans they can be tougher to soften. Be sure to soak them overnight before you add them to the crockpot and cook them on LOW heat for several hours. Also, hard water can inhibit the beans from soaking water so use filtered or distilled water to soak them in.

To Use These Beans, Try Putting Them In:

5 from 41 votes

Crock Pot Pinto Beans Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
Nutrient-rich pinto beans are cooked to perfection. These make a great meal or a tasty side dish to any of your Mexican dishes.
Servings: 12
Prep: 8 hours
Cook: 4 hours
Total: 12 hours

Ingredients 

  • 16 oz dried pinto beans
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup green chilies diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder optional

Instructions 

  • Use a colander to rinse the pinto beans with water.
  • Put the beans into a LARGE bowl. Fill the bowl with hot water until all the beans are covered. (Be sure there is still room in the bowl for the beans to swell in size.) Let the beans soak in the water overnight. This process will help remove some "gas" from the beans.
  • In the morning drain the beans, rinse them in cold water, then put the beans in the crock pot. Add the chicken broth, salt, pepper, garlic, chilies, and the optional cumin. Stir.
  • Add water to the crock pot until it covers the beans by 1-2 inches. Cook on LOW for 8-9 hours or on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
  • Serve with a side of cornbread or with any of your favorite Mexican dishes.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 138kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 486mg, Potassium: 587mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 49mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
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Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #lilluna, so we can see what you’re creating in the kitchen!


About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating




13 Comments

  1. My husband is Mexican and he loves this recipe for the beans. It’s quite a compliment because he compares it to his grandmother’s beans. Thought I would share 😊.

  2. I just finished making this Crock Pot Pinto Beans recipe today & was disappointed @ how watery it ended up. To thicken it, I used a tip I found on the Pinto Bean Bag & added 1 8oz can of tomato sauce for flavor & that helped. but still too thin. I made a roughe (sp?) w/ 1/4 C flour & enuff pot liquor to make the roughe(sp?) & stirred that in quickly so as not to make dumplings, yet still not right, so I added a 6 oc can of tomato paste & now I was pretty close…but there sure issa lotta sauce!! I also added a juicy Ham Bone @ the start this AM for flavor. My yield was 92 oz after all my tasting after the fsact; so call the yield 3 Qt. Is that typical w/ everyone else??

    1. So the recipe does have quite a bit of liquid left over after the beans are fully cooked. You can always drain the beans or I typically use a slotted spoon to serve. I’m curious, if you watch the recipe video, did your recipe have about the same amount of liquid as shown in that or was it significantly more?

  3. 5 stars
    I love all the other information you include along with the recipe. Thanks for sharing it makes cooking much more successful.

  4. 5 stars
    I love a to make a big pot of Pinto beans! Add a slice of hot cornbread and it’s just perfect!