How to Cook Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are an inexpensive source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates without cholesterol. You can cook them into chili soups or bake them. You can substitute them in recipes that need kidney or red beans.


  1. Sort the pinto beans to remove small rocks. Pour a few scoops of beans into the table. Sit at the edge with a bowl on your lap. Slide the beans onto the bowl, removing small rocks and other impurities. Your children will enjoy helping you.
  2. Wash the beans. Put them in a colander and wash them under running water. Shake the colander gently or move the beans with one hand to make sure all the dirt is removed.
  3. Before cooking your beans, soak them in water overnight or for eight hours. Use four cups of water for every cup of beans. After soaking, discard the water and add fresh water. This should cover the beans by one inch. Bring the beans to a boil, then reduce the heat. Partially cover the pan and simmer until the beans are tender. This may take four hours. Check once in a while if there is still water so that your beans don’t get burned. The beans are cooked when you can easily mash them with a fork.
  4. If you have a slow cooker, or crock-pot, you can cook the beans on low the whole day. You need to check regularly so that the water doesn’t dry.
  5. If you have a pressure cooker, the cooking time will be greatly reduced. Soak the beans for eight hours before cooking. Follow the recommended depth of food and water in the pressure cooker manual. Cook the beans using medium high heat, and reduce the heat when they start to steam. Cook them for thirty minutes.
  6. When your beans are cooked, you can add seasoning or use them for your desired recipe.