Simple Seasoning for Pinto Beans (Easy Recipe!!)

Pinto beans are a versatile and affordable legume that can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes. But if you’re looking to take your pinto beans to the next level, it’s important to season them properly. Learn all about how to season pinto beans for maximum flavor!

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Why you’ll love it

  • It’s made with simple ingredients!
  • Quick, easy & delicious!
  • The perfect blend of smoky, salty, spicy.
  • Tips to customize them to make your own perfect pinto beans!
  • Cook canned beans on the stove, or make them in your instant pot or slow cooker.
Ingredients for pinto bean seasoning on plate.

Ingredients needed

  • Pinto Beans – Dried, or canned. See cooking directions below.
  • Chili Powder – Or, try one of these chili powder substitutes.
  • Cumin
  • Smoked Paprika – Or, regular paprika for less heat.
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Oregano
  • Salt & Pepper

This seasoning recipe is a good starting point, but feel free to adjust it to your own taste. You can also add other herbs and spices, such as cayenne, thyme, or cumin. See more suggestions below.

How to make stove top pinto beans (canned beans)

  1. Open the can, drain and rinse the pinto beans.
  2. Add the drained beans to a saucepan along with the spices.
  3. Fill an empty can halfway with water and pour it into the saucepan. Stir to combine.
  4. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, then, reduce the heat and let cook for 10 – 15 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
  5. Taste and adjust with additional salt and pepper.
  6. Enjoy!
Hands holding bowl of dried pinto beans.

How to make instant pot pinto beans using dried beans

  • Add 1 pound dried beans (rinsed and sorted), seasonings (except salt) and 2 cups water to the Instant Pot. There’s no need to soak the beans first.
  • Place the lid on the pot and set the valve to seal.
  • Cook on manual HIGH pressure for 45 minutes (it will take about 10 minutes for the pot to come to pressure, then a countdown timer will begin).
  • Let the pressure naturally release for 20 minutes, then release any remaining pressure.
  • Remove the lid and strain off any remaining liquid. Season with salt, to taste.

How to make slow cooker pinto beans using dried beans

  • Rinse 1 pound dried beans and soak them in cold water overnight.
  • Drain the beans and add them to your slow cooker along with 4 cups water and the seasonings (except salt).
  • Cook on low for 6-7 hours, until the beans are tender, or on high for 4 hours.
  • Remove the lid and strain off any remaining liquid. Season with salt, to taste.

Recipe tips

  • Salt is super important to add to pinto beans for some flavor, otherwise, they can taste quite bland. They are amazing with this bacon salt!
  • Simply double the flavorings if you double the amount of beans.
  • Make sure to rinse the beans well before adding them to the pot.
  • Taste after cooking and feel free to add more spices and seasonings if needed.
  • Cooking your beans in bone broth is an easy way to add tons of flavor and nutrition to them.

Variations

  • Vary the liquid – use bone broth, chicken stock, or vegetable broth.
  • Add meat – bacon, pork belly, ham hock, ground beef.
  • Add smoky flavor – using smoked paprika, smoked bacon, or smoked chicken.
  • Add extra veggies – add tomatoes, celery, onions, peppers, etc.
  • Vary the seasoning and spices – thyme, cumin, rosemary, tomato paste, taco seasoning, cajun seasoning, chili seasoning, Italian seasoning.
  • Make it spicy – with a dash of hot sauce, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, adobo sauce, chipotles, cayenne, etc.
Side view of cooked pinto beans.

How to make ahead & store

  • Refrigerator: Store leftover pinto beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • Freezer: Freeze for up to three months. I like to portion the beans into ziploc bags and freeze them flat for easy storage and thawing.
  • Reheat: Reheat thawed beans in a small pan on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Recipe FAQs

What can I add to beans for flavor?

Chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and salt and pepper are great basics for seasoning your beans. You can also add taco seasoning, cajun seasoning, chili seasoning, or Italian seasoning.

When should you season beans?

You should season your beans right from the beginning to allow the flavors to absorb and develop. However, when cooking dried beans, you shouldn’t add salt until the end, because salt can cause beans to “seize up” during the cooking process and will prevent them from becoming soft.

How can I spice up my beans?

Add a dash of hot sauce, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, adobo sauce, chipotles, cayenne, etc.

How to serve pinto beans

  • Serve them as a side dish with rice or tortillas.
  • Add them to soups and stews.
  • Make a burrito bowl or taco salad.
  • Use them as a filling for quesadillas or burritos.
  • Puree them and make refried beans.
Overhead close up of pinto beans in white bowl with spoon.

More bean recipes

Did you try this seasoning for pinto beans?

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Overhead close up of pinto beans in white bowl with spoon.

Seasoning for Pinto Beans

If you're looking to take your pinto beans to the next level, it's important to season them properly. Learn all about how to season pinto beans for maximum flavor!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients

  • 2 15-ounce cans pinto beans
  • cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (plus more to taste)

Instructions

  • Open the can, drain and rinse the pinto beans.
  • Add the drained beans to a saucepan along with the spices and water.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, then, reduce the heat and let cook for 10 – 15 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
  • Taste and adjust with additional salt and pepper.
  • Enjoy!
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!

Equipment

Small saucepan

Nutrition

Calories: 75kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 0.4g | Fat: 0.4g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 218mg | Potassium: 51mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 569IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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