These homemade crock pot pinto beans are full of flavor and super simple to make! No pre-soaking is required…just get out your slow cooker and combine 4 simple ingredients. Let that slow cooker do all the work and pretty soon you’ll have yourself a tasty side dish to pair with any meal!
I was raised on homemade pinto beans. My parents made them once a week on the stove and we paired them with smoked ham, oven baked chicken, turkey meatloaf, slow cooker brisket, pulled pork sandwiches. And these crock pot pinto beans also taste so good when paired with chicken tacos!
When my kiddos were old enough to get off baby food, like this squash puree, I decided to take a stab at my parent's recipe and method for making homemade pinto beans. Once they were done, I smashed them with a fork so the consistency would be more like refried beans. Instead of slaving over a pot on the stovetop all day, I decided to make them in the crock pot.
And that was a game changer! No hassle, no burning, and no mess, these crock pot pinto beans turned out velvety in texture and they are the perfect side dish for so many meals!
🍳 Stove Top Cooking Method: Common Problems
As an adult, I was really struggling when I made these on the stove top. My beans would always turn out mushy. After talking to my dad and explaining to him how I was cooking them, he told me they were getting mushy because I was probably doing at least one of the following:
- Over watering them as they cooked,
- My temperature was probably too high,
- I was probably over stirring them as they cooked.
He asked me why I was still making pinto beans the old fashioned way. I was stunned...I was like, "Daddy, what do you mean the old fashioned way? This is how you always did it." On the stove...in a huge pot! He told me "It's so much easier in the crock pot." And he was right!
🛒 Ingredients You'll Need
- Pinto Beans - this recipe calls for 1lb of dry pinto beans.
- Water - use 7.5 cups when making pinto beans in the crock pot.
- Salt - flavor enhancer
- Pepper - flavor enhancer
Be sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list & instructions!
- Spicy Flavor - to make the beans spicy, add in 1-2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes. Or try topping them off with some finely chopped jalapeño pepper and add in some seeds.
- Protein - ham hock, sliced ham, or even bacon are excellent adds to this recipe to add depth of flavor. Just add whatever uncooked protein you want and let all the ingredients slow cook.
- Onion & Garlic - adding in chopped onion and garlic while cooking adds additional flavor.
- Toppings: try topping these cooked pinto beans with crumbled feta cheese, mozzarella cheese, scallions, or cilantro.
👩🍳 How to Make Crock Pot Pinto Beans
Step 1: Get a 1lb bag of beans and pour them out on the counter. If using a 2lb bag, just use ½ the bag and save the rest for later.
Step 2: Then, skim through the beans quickly on the counter and throw away any broken pinto beans and any rocks. Discard any dark beans.
Step 3: From there, rinse the dry beans and put them in the crock pot.
Step 4: Next add the salt, pepper, and 7.5 cups of water and put the top on the crock pot.
Step 5: Let the crock pot work its magic and in 7-9 hours, they will ready to serve. You'll be amazed at the taste difference using this cooking method. After making this recipe, you'll never want to make another pot of beans on the stovetop again!
🙋 Recipe FAQs
No. When I make these in the slow cooker, I don't pre-soak them beforehand and they turn out amazing every time. Soaking beans does nothing to help or improve the texture or flavor of the beans. And, soaking them does not reduce any gas-producing properties.
Absolutely! This cooking method makes them more creamy in texture and reduces the hassle of making them in a pot on the stove top!
💭 Expert Tips
- A 1 pound bag of dry pinto beans equals 2.5 cups.
- If you want to double the recipe, you must also double the cooking time.
- To adjust the cooking time, you can make these in the crock pot for 5 hours on high and then turn the temperature to low for the last 4 hours.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container with a lid in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To freeze pinto beans, let them completely cool and then put the beans in a freezer safe container. There is no need to drain them. They will last in the freezer for 4-5 months. To serve, put the the beans in the refrigerator and allow them to naturally thaw. Once completely thawed, heat them up in the microwave or on the stove top.
More Side Dish Recipes To Try!
Crock Pot Pinto Beans
- crock pot
- 1 lb bag of dried pinto beans, rinsed and picked over for stones and broken pieces
- 7 ½ cups water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional
- Pour the 1 lb bag of dry beans onto a counter and sort through them and discard obvious broken pieces and any rocks, as well as any dark beans.
- Rinse the dry beans and place them in the crock pot. Add 7½ cups of water, 2 teaspoons of salt and ¼ teaspoons of pepper. Using a large spoon, stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on low for 7-9 hours. You want to ensure you don't overcook them. You don't want them falling apart.
- Once cooked, give them a good stir and then turn the crock pot off.
- They are now ready to serve. You can serve them plain or top them off with your favorite toppings such as feta or cotija cheese and parsley or cilantro.
- Conversion - 1 pound bag equals 2.5 cups.
- Additional Cooking Method - My dad likes to cook his in the slow cooker for 5 hours on high and then turn the temperature to low for the last 4 hours.
- To Pre-Soak Or Not Pre-Soak - There is no need to pre-soak them beforehand and they turn out amazing every time. Soaking them does not reduce any gas-producing properties.
- Storage - Store any leftovers in an airtight container with a lid in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Freezing - To freeze, let them completely cool and then put the beans in a freezer safe container. There is no need to drain them. They will last in the freezer for 4-5 months. When ready to serve, put the the beans in the refrigerator and allow them to naturally thaw, about 12 hours. Once completely thawed, heat them up in the microwave or on the stove top.