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Pinto Beans with Chiles Recipe

Pinto Beans with Chiles Recipe

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  • 2 dried ancho chiles,* stemmed
  • 2 15-ounce cans pinto beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Recipe Preparation

  • Place chiles in bowl. Pour 2 cups boiling water over. Let soak until chiles are soft, about 20 minutes. Strain, reserving 1/2 cup soaking liquid. Seed chiles; place in processor. Add onion, garlic, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup soaking liquid; puree. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; chill.

  • Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add chile puree; stir until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Add beans, broth, bay leaves, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Reviews Section


  • 1 pound (450g) dried pinto beans
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 ounces (340g) diced bacon (see note)
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, diced (about 8 ounces 225g)
  • 2 serrano chilies or 1 jalapeño, minced (remove seeds and ribs if you prefer less heat)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon 12g)
  • 2 (14-ounce 400g) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes (see note)
  • 6 cups (1.4L) homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs epazote (optional see note)
  • Large handful chopped fresh cilantro leaves and fine stems

Salt Your Beans

This section goes against everything my grandmother taught me growing up. Yes, you should salt your beans during the soak, and no, it will not cause the beans to be tough. In fact, the sodium ions help to soften the skins of the beans. Who knew?

That is an old wives tale, thoroughly debunked by Cook’s Illustrated.

What you do need to be careful of when cooking pinto beans are acidic elements. They will make your beans toughen up. So, if you plan on adding diced tomatoes, wait until near the end when the beans are already soft.

Ms Sally’s Southern Pinto Beans Recipe

Delicious additions to any meal, pinto beans are another quick and easy side dish in the classic Southern tradition. We’re featuring the recipe of our dear friend, Ms. Sally, who says that this is her most requested dish from family and friends. Just a few simple ingredients are all you’ll need.

I’d like to introduce you to one of our real Southern Cooks, Ms. Sally. Go ahead, say it out loud, “Hello, Ms Sally.”

Ms. Sally is one more fantastic cook and she isn’t afraid to tell you that she’s 84 years old. She loves her family, her friends, and is one of those people that can just get along with everyone she meets. I’ve visited with Ms Sally numerous times and really enjoy sitting around talking about food and cooking with her. She may not get around as easily as she use to, but she still likes to cook. Ms. Sally is also the mother of my good friend, Bobby.

Bobby is a “Purveyor of Goods, New and Used,” and a regular caller to our Swap Shop radio program. Bobby buys, sells and trades all kinds of things, and as he likes to say, “If I ain’t got, I’ll get it, cause I want to see YOU with it.” He’s just an all around super nice guy and someone that I’m proud to call a friend. I pick at him a lot, but he just opens himself up to it so why resist?

I know this is supposed to be about Ms. Sally’s recipe, but let me tell you a little bit about how we all met. OK?

I first met Bobby back in 2004 when I worked at another radio station here in our town. Bobby called the station one day to participate in some weird thing we were doing on the air. I recognized his voice immediately. I’d heard him call in to the Swap Shop program on another station many times trying to sell this or that and always got a kick out of his converstations and his down home appeal.

Bobby sounded a little surprised when I asked about his name. I then told him I’d heard him calling in to the “other” station. We talked and carried on a bit and I guess pretty much hit it off from the start. From that day on, Bobby called me a couple of times a week to request songs or just chat a spell.

I attended a local National Day of Prayer event not long after that. As I was walking away, this fellow walked up and asked me if I was Steve Gordon. “Yes,” I replied. He then introduced himself as Bobby Wood, we talked a bit while there, and I guess we’ve been friends ever since. In the days ahead Bobby would stop by the station a time or two and even brought me a cake one day that he purchased from one of his co-workers.

By now, it was just a few days before Thanksgiving and Bobby found out that I’d be working on Thanksgiving Day with no plans to eat with family. Being Bobby, he offered to bring me something from his own families get together. He’d “bring it to the station,” he said. I argued with him a bit about not wanting to interrupt his day, but he wouldn’t hear of it. I finally accepted his offer.

Around lunch time on Thanksgiving Day, Bobby came in with 3 big plates of home cooked food. He had two plates of turkey, dressing, bread, and vegetables, along with another plate filled with homemade desserts. How could you not like someone like that? I don’t think Bobby and his family had even had their own meal at that time and little did I realize, but Bobby lived about 15 miles away. He’s just that kind of guy. I thanked him for thinking of me that day and it wasn’t long before I was enjoying a delicious home cooked meal.

Thanksgiving is a rough time of year for me. My wife of 17 years passed away the day after Thanksgiving in 1998 and I still had a rough time getting together with family on holidays. Perhaps you can understand.

I ate like a King that day. It was all absolutely delicious and home cooking like I hadn’t had in quite some time. Bobby told me that his wife Eva and his mom, Ms Sally, had made it all themselves. I wondered why he wasn’t as big as I was, but I guess he works his off moving all those used appliances and furniture items around.

As life would have it, about two years later I moved from the station I was at over to the station that was doing the Swap Shop program. By this time, I had met Bobbys wife when they were both at an auction I attended, but I hadn’t met his mom.

Ms. Sally started having this gigantic Yard Sale about every day at her house and called into the program to promote it. I’d talked with her a couple of times on the program, and on this particular day, she invited me to come up and visit her Yard Sale. I asked her if she had any kitchen items for sale, and she said she did, so I told her that once the program ended, I’d head up her way.

It was such a delight to finally meet Ms. Sally. She’s such a likeable person and has never met a stranger. She just made me feel right at home. I ended up purchasing a couple of kitchen gadgets, some cookbooks, and a bowl or two. Then, we started talking about cooking. I loved it.

When I asked her what she cooked that everyone liked the most, she didn’t hesitate. “Pinto Beans,” she declared. I told her about my plans for this website and asked if she’d share some recipes. She said she would, and I asked her about her Pinto Beans. She began telling me all about them. Now, I haven’t actually tried any of her own pinto beans myself. She’s promised me that the next time she cooks up a big old pot that she’ll give me a call. I can’t wait. In the meantime, here is the recipe that she gave me on how to cook her Pinto Beans. I tried to cook them just the way she described it all to me that day. I hope you might give them a try as well. Ready?

These are your ingredients. Pretty simple….with excellent results.

Spread your dry pinto beans out in a large plate, pan, or on your counter top to sort through them. The beans are harvested mechanically and haven’t been washed. You’ll want to look through them for small stones, sticks, hard beans, or other foreign matter prior to cooking. Remove any bad things you find and throw them away.

Place the dry beans in your colander and give them a good rinse under cool running water. This helps to remove any dust and dirt that might be on them. Swirl them around with your hand and rinse them good for a minute or two.

Place the washed beans in a good size pot and cover them with about 6 inches of cold water. All dry beans require soaking for 6-8 hours or overnight to rehydrate. I always just do this right before going to bed and let them soak overnight. That way, they’re ready the next day for when I’m all set to start cooking. If you need to cook them sooner, check the back of your bag for more options. Most bags will have instructions on how to do a quick soak. To do this, you’ll place the washed beans in water, heat them for a few minutes, and then turn off the heat. This will speed up the re-hydration process and it works just as well.

Here’s how they will look after soaking overnight. See how they plumped up?

Pour the beans back into the colander to drain them. We’ll also need to wash them again.

Place the colander back under cold running water and rinse well. Stir them around again with your hand and rinse for another minute or two.

I used the same pot I soaked them in to cook my pintos. Just rinse the pot, and fill it about half way with water. Place the pot on your stove over medium-high heat. You’ll only need about an inch or so of water over the top of your beans. I already know that filling this particular pot about half full with water will be perfect for cooking my beans.

When the water starts to heat up, go ahead and add in the rinsed and drained beans. You may want to raise the heat up a bit to bring the beans to a slight boil. Just don’t forget to turn it back down once you’ve added all the ingredients.

Once the beans reach a slight boil, drop in the whole, peeled, Onion.

Then, add about three slices of Fatback.

Add the 1/2 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper. It’s not enough to make it hot, just adds a little spice and flavor.

LOWER the heat down to about medium-low. Cover the pot and let the beans simmer. They will need to cook between 1 to 2 hours until tender. This will depend a lot on your stove and conditions in your kitchen so the time may vary either way. You’ll want to remove the lid and stir them about every 30 minutes or so. Watch the level of the liquid and make sure it doesn’t drop below the top of the beans. If it’s cooking too fast, you’ll lose liquid fast. Reduce the heat a little more if need be. If the liquid is evaporating too quickly, just add a little hot water to bring the level back up to just a little above the top of the beans. Cooking is all about making adjustments as you go along.

After the beans have simmered for awhile, test a spoonful to see if they’re getting tender. They will continue to cook after you turn the heat off, so don’t let them overcook or they will turn out mushy. You’ll also be tasting them to see if they need any additional seasoning.

Personally, I found that my beans needed a little extra salt. Yours may not. It’s all about personal tastes. The pork Fatback didn’t add a lot of salty taste like hog jowl or even bacon grease might would have. I went ahead and added 1 teaspoon salt to the pot. Remember to always test your recipe before adding additional seasonings, especially salt. And, always add the salt at the end of the cooking cycle. As a note, the added salt that I used is NOT included in the printable recipe below. If you do add salt or pepper, cover the beans and let them simmer for about 15 more minutes to absorb the seasonings. The beans are now ready to serve in a bowl all by themselves, or as a side dish to about any of your favorite meat dishes. Add a little fresh baked, skillet cornbread, and you’re ready to go.

Thank You Ms. Sally for sharing your recipe with everyone here at Taste of Southern.

PS: I’ll report back as soon as I get to try some pintos personally cooked by Ms Sally. In the meantime, print out the easy recipe below, and give Ms. Sally’s Southern Pinto Beans Recipe a try at your house. It’s bound to become another one of your families’ favorites, and it’s so easy.

100 Easy Food On A Stick Options

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Tarascan bean soup

La primavera (Spring) has arrived in the Sierra Madre mountains of Mexico. Mornings are still a little chilly, but the days warm up quickly. Soon it will be too warm to think about a hot bowl of soup, but that time has not yet arrived.

This soup is inspired by Tarascan Bean and Tomato Soup, a hearty soup recipe in Diana Kennedy’s book, The Cuisines of Mexico. Mrs. Kennedy writes that the the recipe is from Michoacán, and named after the Tarascan Indians of that state. It looks easy enough to try. I’m all for easy these days. And how can you go wrong combining beans, chiles and tomatoes?

If you already have some cooked pinto beans and fresh tomatoes, Tarascan bean soup comes together fairly quickly. You could use canned tomatoes, but it’s worth taking the time to blister fresh tomatoes over a flame for that incomparable roasted flavor. It only takes minutes. And I hope you have a Mexican stocked fridge and pantry. Some dry chiles, corn tortillas, a cheese that melts, maybe some Mexican crema (but that’s not essential for this soup).

Pinto beans are rarely seen in central and southern Mexico. They are a staple of northern Mexico and the American southwest. After telling friends that pinto beans aren’t found in central Mexico (much to their surprise), I was presented with a bag when they next returned from north of the border. Thoughtful friends. Great soup.

Tarascan Bean Soup Serves 4-6

  • 3 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans, with bean broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 2 large plum tomatoes, grilled until the skin starts to blacken, or 1 cup canned cubed tomatoes
  • 2 cups (1/2 l.) chicken or vegetable broth
  • 6 corn tortillas, cut into 1.5″ by 1/4″ strips, fried until crisp
  • 6 pasilla chiles, cut into small strips and fried until crisp (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) thick Mexican crema or thinned sour cream
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese or cubed manchego cheese
  1. Puree the tomatoes, onion and garlic in a blender.
  2. In a large skillet or heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the tomato mixture and simmer for 5 minutes over high heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Blend the beans with their broth until very smooth.
  4. Add the bean puree and oregano to the tomato mixture, and cook over medium heat for for 8 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Add chicken (or vegetable) broth, adjust for salt, and cook 10 minutes more, stirring every few minutes.
  6. Divide among bowls, and pass tortilla and chile strips, crema and cheese.

Diana Kennedy includes instructions for making Mexican style crema for those north of the border. Simply blend 1/2 pint heavy cream with two tablespoon of buttermilk in a glass jar, cover loosely, and allow to set out in a warm kitchen for six hours. Refrigerate overnight and it will thicken. For thin crema, use thin cream, not heavy. If you live in Mexico, crema will be as close as your nearest cremeria or tienda abbarotes. Buttermilk is not to be had for love or money in Mexico, to my knowledge. (If a recipe calls for buttermilk, thin plain yogurt. Or take the longer route: make butter from fresh cream. The liquid pressed out of the butter solids is real buttermilk.)

To fry chile strips, cut out the seeds and membrane of pasilla chiles, cut into small strips, and fry in a little vegetable oil for no longer than 15-20 seconds per side. Over-cooking will turn the chile bitter.

Pasilla chiles, the fried form of the chilaca chile, add a delightful, almost sweet flavor with very little heat.


All photos and text are copyright protected. Do not copy or reproduce without permission.

Notes about this recipe

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Where’s the full recipe - why can I only see the ingredients?

At Eat Your Books we love great recipes – and the best come from chefs, authors and bloggers who have spent time developing and testing them.

We’ve helped you locate this recipe but for the full instructions you need to go to its original source.

If the recipe is available online - click the link “View complete recipe”– if not, you do need to own the cookbook or magazine.

Mexican Pinto Beans Every time I think of making a big pot of beans my thoughts regress to age twelve, and on cue I begin singing in my head: “beans, beans the magical fruit, the more you eat the more you ____…!” You know the word for the blank! haha! TOOT or fart! “Magical?! What the heck! Did you sing the lyrics saying MAGICAL or MUSICAL? Or did you sign the song like this: “beans, beans, they’re good for your heart” Sorry if you learned the tune the PC way because you missed out on some good belly laughs and fart humor that lasts a lifetime! —> hahaha! <— SEE. It can’t be helped. For reals.

Mexican Pinto Beans Recipe

These pinto beans are a nutritional power house full of protein and fiber (15 grams each per cup).

Beans are filling and super economical to make AND there is a very basic way to prepare beans so that you are able to digest them easily.

How To Prepare Dried Beans

Simply soak the beans in cold water and let them sit in the refrigerator.

I soak mine over night and then rise them several times before putting them in the slow cooker for cooking.

Adding flavor to Mexican beans

For this recipe I used concentrated vegetable broth (Better Than Bouillon) as the base, but you can use any broth type or flavor you would like.

I also added a little liquid smoke that adds a nice layer of flavor in addition to the following:

A bowl of these Mexican pinto beans crock pot recipe are completely satisfying on their own, but we also eat them rolled in a tortilla or eat them as a side dish to these Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas and Spanish Rice dishes.

Not to take the fun out of joking with me, but for curious minds read this article that explains the science behind the magical/musical toots!

Thick and Hearty Pinto Bean Chili

This thick and hearty vegan pinto bean chili is flavored with dried New Mexico chiles for a deep, rich taste. But don’t worry–there’s an option that uses chili powder to make it quickly and easily.

Mississippi is finally getting a taste of the cold weather that’s sweeping across the country, and though some transplanted Northerners here may think that it’s long overdue, I just want to hibernate. Maybe I’m getting old, but I have no desire to go outside once the weather is below freezing.

Yes, I know that in other places people are dealing with snow and ice and we’re lucky here that we have neither. I can certainly sympathize with those of you who are dealing with severe weather, but that’s why I live in Mississippi. Mild winters are our reward for putting up with humid summers and mosquitoes the size of hummingbirds!

I’m not the only one around here who doesn’t want to go outside when the temperature drops. Though the furry members of the family cope by burrowing under pillows or settling into comforters, I prefer to keep warm by cooking—and eating—hearty stews and soups. Mostly I’ve been cooking up old favorites that have already been featured here: Easy Bean and Vegetable Soup is my go-to recipe when I’m cold and in a hurry, and Beefless Stew is my family’s definition of comfort food. But a couple of nights ago I was craving chili—not pinto bean soup, as some chili recipes turn out, but thick, rich chili.

The recipe I came up with doesn’t differ much from most vegetarian chili recipes, except for the use of dried New Mexico chiles instead of chili powder. I was able to find dried chiles in my local supermarket, next to the refried beans and tortillas. Dried New Mexico chiles can vary in degree of heat, but the Melissa’s brand that I used were fairly mild if you like your chili spicy, you’ll need to add red pepper to increase the heat in this mild, kid-friendly version.

Green Chile Pulled Pork and Pintos

Add the beans to a colander and rinse. Sort through and remove any debris. Add to the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker.

Place the onions and garlic on top of the beans.

Add the pork shoulder to the top.

Mix the beer with the seasoning packet from the bean package, chili powder, and cumin. Pour into the crockpot.

Add the water to the crockpot, cover, and cook on high for 8 hours.

Open the crockpot and shred the meat with two forks. It should be very tender and fall apart.

Stir in the salsa verde and green chiles and continue cooking for 30 minutes.

Serve over cornbread with grated cheese and cilantro.

Serve this pork and beans over cornbread, rice, or on tortilla chips. It would also make a great taco or burrito filling.