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Pinto Beans Recipe – Slow cooked southern pinto beans that are a traditional favorite! Includes stovetop, slow cooker and pressure cooker instructions! Freezer friendly!
Around my house growing up, pinto beans and cornbread were well-loved additions to any meal or sometimes were the entire meal themselves.
It was one of my Granddaddy Eual’s favorite meal, which may explain why it made such a regular appearance at our table. And my Granddaddy was one of the sweetest men in the world and someone that I, even as mischievous as I was as a youngster, looked up to and revered. So, if Granddaddy loved pinto beans, you better bet that I ate them with gusto, too!
And one thing that he was known for was telling silly jokes and his love of a good Southernism.
A mechanic by trade, Granddaddy would tickle you to death telling a story. He’d get right to the funniest part of the story and then start laughing so hard that it would take forever (it seemed) until he could compose himself enough to finish the story. Of course, we all would laugh along with him because he was laughing so hard would make you laugh just as hard. Goodness, I sure do miss him.
A few years back, when I first wrote this post, Sam looked at me one morning and said, “Mama, it looks like it’s gonna come up a cloud.”
All I could think of was, “Praise the Lord, I’m raising a Southerner!”
Grandaddy (and my daddy) would be so proud to know his only grandson knew what the term “come up a cloud” meant and used it correctly in a sentence.
It made me start thinking of other “Southernisms” and giggling over them as Little Buddy and I shared some of our favorites. So I thought it would fun for us to share our favorite “Southernisms” with each other, too. Who knows, we may each learn a few new ones or it may jog our memories of some old-time family favorites that we haven’t thought of in a long while.
And since we’re talking about Southernisms, I couldn’t think of anything that goes with them than Granddaddy’s favorite pinto bean supper!
A big bowl of pinto beans, a piece of cornbread, and a glass of “sweet milk” was one of my Granddaddy’s favorite suppers. He’d actually request it on a regular basis for him. She’d wash the beans two or three times and then let them soak all night long. The next morning, she’d rinse them one last time and start them cooking over low heat on her stove. She’d pull a ham bone from the freezer where she’d cooked a ham last and nestle it down into the pinto beans to make those beans even more delicious.
Her pinto beans would cook all day on the stove with her checking on them ever so often to make sure they didn’t run out of water as they cooked down in her big pot.
Even though I love to cook them all day on the stove, I also love tossing them into my slow cooker and forgetting about them until supper time. But, I have included Grandmother’s stovetop method as well as an electric pressure cooker method! It makes for a win-win that I bet both my Grandmother and Granddaddy would have loved!
How to Cook Pinto Beans
You can cook your beans using whichever cooking method you prefer: stovetop, slow cooker or Instant Pot.
Slow Cooker Pinto Beans
Add the dried beans to a stockpot, cover with water, and allow to soak overnight. Generally, you’ll need about 10 cups of water for 2 cups of dried beans. The next morning, drain away the liquid and pour the dried beans into the slow cooker. Stir in the seasonings, cover with water and cook on high setting for 5 hours.
Stovetop Pinto Beans
Add the dried beans to a stockpot, cover with water, and allow to soak overnight. Generally, you’ll need about 10 cups of water for 2 cups of dried beans. The next morning, drain away the liquid. Stir in the seasonings until well combined.
Bring the beans to a boil over high heat and boil for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to low and allow the pinto beans to simmer until they tender when pressed against the side of the stockpot with a wooden spoon, 2 to 3 hours. Add water to the beans as needed.
Instant Pot Pinto Beans
Add the dried beans as well as the remaining ingredients to a 6-quart Instant Pot. Add fresh water until the dried beans are fully covered taking care not to fill the pressure cooker more than half full.
Seal the pressure cooker and cook the beans under high pressure for 30 minutes. Use either the “quick release” method or the natural release method with your pressure cooker. The quick-release method will quickly release the pressure from your pressure cooker so that you may remove the lid. The natural release method releases the pressure more slowly but allows the beans to continue cooking a bit longer and are somewhat more tender.
How to Freeze Pinto Beans
Once cooked, allow them to cool completely. Portion the beans into freezer-safe containers. Remove as much air as possible, label and freeze up to 3 months.
To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight, reheat and serve.
Here’s my Pinto Bean Recipe. I hope you love them as much as we always do!
Pinto Bean Recipe
- 1 pound dried pinto beans picked over and rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 ham bone or ½ pound cooked bacon
Slow Cooker Pinto Beans Recipe:
- Add the dried beans to all large stockpot and allow to soak overnight. Drain the dried beans and pour into crock of slow cooker. Add in all other ingredients and combine well. Add water until the beans are fully covered.
- Cook the pinto beans on high until beans are tender, about 5 hours.
Stovetop Pinto Beans Recipe:
- Add the dried beans to all large stockpot and allow to soak overnight. Drain the dried beans and add in all other ingredients and combine well. Add water until the beans are fully covered.
- Bring the beans to a boil over high heat and boil for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to low and allow the pinto beans to simmer until they tender when pressed against the side of the stockpot with a wooden spoon, 2 to 3 hours. Add water to the beans as needed.
Instant Pot Pinto Beans Recipe:
- Add the dried beans, as well as all of the remaining ingredients, to a 6-quart pressure cooker. Add water until the beans are fully covered, taking care not to fill the pressure cooker more than half full of water.
- Seal the pressure cooker and cook the beans under high pressure for 30 minutes. Use either the “quick release” method or the natural release method with your pressure cooker. The quick release method will quickly release the pressure from your pressure cooker so that you may remove the lid. The natural release method releases the pressure more slowly, but allows the beans to continue cooking a bit longer and are somewhat more tender.
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Add a dash of pepper sauce to these and you’ve got yourself a delicious meal!
From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published 2011. Updated to include pressure cooker and stovetop instructions.
The beans look awesome! I’m in the southwest now after living in Arkansas 34 years of my life. Every once in a while if someone is being particularly needy I’ll say “I didn’t take you to raise”. It usually gets me a blank look.
Oh yes! That’s a great one!
Well you can’t forget “I ain’t seen you in a month of Sundays!”
or someone who “don’t shoot a bad stick”
and of course “fair to meddlin’ ” if you are just doing alright.
Love the pinto beans! I ate them all the time as a kid with a little slice of onion on the side!
Yes! Those three are perfect Southernisms!
“When he was only knee high to a grasshopper” is one of my favorites from my mom. haha, some people would stop and ask her to repeat herself! The beans sound yummy, and a good entry to my first dried bean recipe.
Good for you raising a true Southerner! Of course he knows what “come up a cloud” means and he used it precisely correctly in his sentence. Yay!
SO classic. Being from Kentucky, I do still love those Southern classes. Would you be interested in doing a guest post of Southern classics for my website?
How about “Don’t put your eggs all in one basket” or “Spill it” when you want the truth? UGH… there was another one but it slipped my mind. Will have to come back when it returns to my sleep-deprived brain!
I knew if I posted that comment I would think of it!
“Eating high on the hog” when you have a great meal. LOL
So what does come up a cloud mean? sorry, this Wisconsinite doesn’t know 😉
Hey Dena – It means that it is about to rain. 🙂
My Pawpaw’s best line ..”useless as teets on a boar hog”- I think you get the meaning!
Beans and corn bread! the best meal on a cold rainy day.
LOL! Yes, I totally get that meaning. That’s a good one.
I’ve been told “better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick” is a Southernism. My parents say that phrase ALL the time :). My mom says “the good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise” too! I find it amusing that my parents use Southerisms, but we haven’t had family raised in the South in generations.
Those Southern roots run deep, Rene. 🙂
O.k. not sure if they’re “Southernisms” but they are frequently used in my family…
•feel like a deer on roller skates (I came up with that one b/c it’s how I feel most of the time)
• It’s hotter than a hoot owl in heat (did I just say that *out loud*? My daddy is responsible for that one)
•not the sharpest tool in the shed
•not cooking on all four burners (another one that I frequently use)
Can’t think of anymore at the moment. Such a cute post Robyn!!
You did a pretty good job of covering Southern sayings. My husband is from Wisconsin and the things he gets on to me about the most are:
– Fixin’ to (He used to try to get my mom on his side because she taught school, but that stopped after she told him she is always fixin’ to do something :))
– Putting something up. Example, I hand him a dish in the kitchen and ask him to put it up (in the cabinet). He wants me to say to put it away.
– Pushing the door to (to where?)
I just finished “puttin up” I put up tomatoes. (I canned tomatoes)
Great list and a great recipe too. We love beans around here with all kinds of fixins too!
Love these! I’m born & bred Texan, so I totally get these & they made me smile this morning! My mom made beans & cornbread yesterday to top it off. My grandfather used to say “it’s so good it’ll make you slap your grandma”. My grandmother would always say “horsefeathers” when she was mad, lol. There’s the popular “whatever floats your boat”. Hmmm…I’m quite sure I’m forgetting some!
My brother-in-law says “it’s so good it’ll make you slap your grandma” all the time! My Mother isn’t so sure she likes that saying now that she’s a grandmother. 🙂
Great looking beans & cornbread…yuuuuummmmm! How about – “Same old, same old” – or “The road to hell is paved with good intentions & I’m slidin on in”.
I use a lot of these already on here all the time…of course, I do live in Texas! Lol
Here are a few more:
-knee-high to a short pup
-ugly as a mud fence
-dumb as a box of rocks
-snatch you bald-headed (often used by a grandmother warning a child)
-handy as a pocket on a shirt
-hotter than a pot of collards
-d’rectly (as in, I’ll be there directly, meaning soon)
Makes me laugh thinking of these!
Oh these are great ones, Angie!!! I’ve not heard “hotter than a pot of collards” before, but “d’rectly” is a family favorite! 🙂
Wow, you’ve covered so many sayings, I can’t think of any. But I am sure in an hour or two one will slip out. They come so natural don’t they? My most frequented saying though is “Lord help us.” or “Lord help us all” and I know they go on and on, the more comfortable I am around friends family, the more they flow. Unfortunately my son seems to be taking after Daddy. He won’t even call me Mama, I just get no your mommy! 🙁
I’m a Texan and one that I use quite often is the word “tump”. It means to turn over and dump out, as in “y’all be careful runnin around in here, you’re gonna tump that bucket!…or, be careful and don’t tump that. My husband, from California, is appalled quite regularly at some of the things that come out of my mouth.
My personal favorite is “bless your heart” aka ” you’re so stupid.” Only southerners can insult a person with charm at the same time! My grandmother’s favorite was always “praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition.” 🙂
“Bless your heart” or “bless her heart” can actually have a good meaning, too. But usually it follows something like, “I heard they ate supper before they said grace. Bless their hearts.” Therefore, it totally cancels out that you may have said something negative. Not that I know about that or anything. I just hear these things. LOL!!!!
All of these are so familiar being a Texan born and raised as well. I was going to add the “tumped over” one, but it’s been added. The only other one that hasn’t been said is, If I tell you a piss ant can pull a freight train, you better back it up!” Meaning you better believe what I say and do it. 🙂
I’ve not heard either of those until today and got a big chuckle out of both of them! Love them!
pitch a hissy fit !
he needs that like a dog needs a hip pocket
she/he looks like he fell out of an ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down
looks like he’s been beat with an ugly stick
I’m gonna jerk a knot in his tail
Haha – love all these Southernisms. Will have to sart using a few of them in NYC.
The beans and cornbread look delicious!
“Tump” is used in a very small portion of the south, I’ve found. Definitely in Arkansas where I grew up. Some of my friends in TX and LA have heard/used it. I went to college in Mississippi and most people there didn’t use it. It’s a combination of “tip” and “dump.” It’s fun to find little words like that that are so rare! Here in Louisiana, we say “slap your mama” instead of “slap your grandma.” My kids love to say that to see if it gets a reaction from me. We also love to say “bless your little cotton socks” or “bless your buttons.” Those are fun 🙂
My mother’s saying was ‘you would never notice it on a galloping horse’.
Oh my gosh, after I left my early comment I realized that I had forgotten the one I probably use most! When a cooked item is really good, it’s so good it’ll ” make your tongue slap your eyeballs out”! Lol. What I love about Southernisms is how descriptive they are.
I am loving these expressions! I better memorize some before I see you in December….
I really enjoyed the time I spent here. This is my first visit to your blog, but having browsed through your earlier entries can definitely tell you I’ll be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary
Robyn, one of my favorite things about living in the south is hearing some of these crazy phrases in daily conversation. Gives me a smile every day!
I’ve been looking for a good (and simple) pinto bean recipe and this one is perfect. Love the Southern sayings. I’m a TX girl, married to a military man, and living in Southern CA. I still use y’all, and head’s always turn when it comes out of my mouth. No shame here. I’m an TX girl at heart. 🙂
Another would be using the the word “mash” instead of “press”. Such as telling someone to mash the button on the microwave instead of press the button on the microwave.
There is also another one where people would use the term “cotton pickin”.
To say different things such as: “My brother gets on my cotton pickin nerves”, etc.
If we were fixin’ to get in trouble, Mama would threaten to “dust our cushions.” If she followed through, she would tell us to “straighten up your face.” I always wondered how crooked mine was! We were also told “it’ll never be seen on a galloping horse, and that’s the kind you ride.” Other sayings from my Grandma- “She who cooks and takes a sample, courts a figure that is ample.” And when I married and moved from the big city to a cattle farm, I think of this one of hers often – “A fly killed in May is worth a load of hay. A fly killed in June is worth a silver spoon. A fly killed in July, isn’t worth a fly.”
When someone did something pretty smart, “There ain’t no flies on him!”
My Mom’s family always said; “Good night nurse!” and if someone just couldn’t sit still; so and so was acting “like a maggot on a hot rock” and “come here so I can hug your neck”
Beans look like my mama’s…bless her heart.
Being raised in Arkansas, I use the phrases “tump” (to turn over & dump out) and “fixin to” all the time. Others that I’ve heard some of the “old-timers” around here use are “y’uns” (all of you), “poke” (paper sack), “ain’t they?” (for isn’t there?), “can you carry me to the store?” (can you drive me to the store), “a mess of greens”, “looky yonder” (look over there).
I used to hear my family say “don’t get above your raising” a lot during the 60’s.
People were “gob-smacked” a lot where I came from …and my Grandmother was convinced that when someone was smiling for no reason…”that one is up to no good”.
Purty as a speckled pup…happy as a pig in a corn patch…cross as a Billy Goat…she’s a long tall drink…in a blink…go pick a hickory switch….sit a spell..you reckon…near dark…about time…now then…give me some sugar…honey, you ain’t changed a bit.(I love that one)…on a lark…so many more!!! I still love going home and listening to my family bantering back and forth. When I have a phone conversation with someone back home my own family knows immediately because it all comes back and I am “in the thick of it” for the next day or so.
I have Pinto bean recipe that I make for my family and we all love it…with cornbread of course!
My mother used to say “why buy a cow if you can get the milk free,” “busier than a cat on a hot tin roof,” “their elevator don’t go to the top floor,” and I know more but this old mind is drawing a blank. I use my left over pinto beans in a pot of chili. Never waste anything. Oh yes, “waste not, want not.” And “shut the door, were you raised in a barn?”
“happier then a tick on a dogs back” 🙂
If you’ve “got your squirrels all up one tree”, it means you are doing well.
The housekeeper would warm me not to make a mess by saying, “It’ll be between you and me and mainly me.”
My grandmother would say “p’shaw!”
My father’s different type of comment was “you can fall in a bucket of s–t and come out smelling like a rose”, meaning you are chosen and are always going to do well.
Wow. I realize this is an old post, and I was going to add a few of my families most used terms, and thought “naw” (as in “no”), but then I read yours and saw that your grandmother said “p’shaw”. I swear I thought my grandmother was the only Southern woman that ever said that! She was a deeply Christian woman, and I never ever heard her say a curse word, but “p’shaw” dropped on the regular! what a sweet memory. And I love this recipe for beans. I’ve been making them for years ON THE STOVE, and started making them just last year in the slow cooker. Duh. love it.
Stumbled upon your blog via your Pinto Bean recipe, but I’m drawn right in by all this cozy chatter. I’m fixin’ to print off this list for my fridge! Haha, I’m from New England, but married a country boy, and we’re now living log cabin style in Maryland.
Beans are in the pot, off to print, and I’ll be back. Love your blog!
“Boy, I’m gonna slap a fart outa you that’ll whistle like a freight train” my son would “giggle like a girl” when his Papa would say this.
Oh my, I do love pinto beans! I believe I need to put some on the stove right now. My mouth is watering already!
As for southernisms – I am a southeastern Virginia girl, raised by Virginia and North Carolina mountain folk. Previous comments have covered a great many of the sayings of my youth, but there are a few that I particularly love. “Bless your heart” is the classic one – and just try to convince a yankee that it isn’t something sweet! I think those people just weren’t raised right, bless their hearts.
We always had sweet tea, (ever tried to order that in a west coast restaurant?) sweet milk, and light bread. “Can’t dance and it’s too wet to plow” meant “might as well…,”
“over yonder,” “up the road a piece,” “can you carry me to the store,” and “she ain’t no better than she ought to be,” meaning that you can’t expect anything more from somebody with her background. We also had lots of nicknames; Bitty Sue, Little Bo, Sissy (for sister), Bubba (for brother), etc.
This just took me on a trip down memory lane! Thanks – now I’m off to start my beans!
I saw this and “had to put my two cents worth in” lol. Momma used to tell us she’d “slap us where the sun don’t shine”. Dad used to say, “The more you stir in s—, the worse it stinks.” “Don’t count your chickens before your eggs hatch” or “putting the cart before the horse.” Mercy, I could go on and on, but I’d best to shut up. Love the recipe; we eat this often. Have a great evening, Becky
Has anyone heard the expression “lay rolls catch meddlers”? My grandmother from Mississippi would use it but its meaning has been a lifelong mystery for me…the context seemed to imply “you get what you deserve”
I’m having a good laugh, before I start to soak my beans!!
“Full” or “Tight as a Tick”. “Run like a scalded dog”. “Bear Caught”-sun stroke.
I read through & nobody mentioned my personal favorite that came to me from my wonderful Texan friend. He asked: ” You ready to get coffee’d up?” Yes, I’d love some please!
Love the beans, I always soak & rinse several times, never have the bad side effects that can come with bean suppers~
Wow, these brought a smile to my face! I was raised country and now I live up North… My husband who is from NY, loves to hear my Mama tell him that “she is gonna slap the dog outta him!” Or “slap the snot outta him” My daddy used to say s@&t fire and save matches! It took me awhile to figure that one out. There was another one, haven’t heard it in a long time, something about no sense in mowing the yard, if you can’t find the tractor? I really ain’t sure how that one goes, ya’ll.
Enjoyed the memories these sayins brought back, Thank you
This sounds delicious. I haven’t made it yet but I will after thanksgiving.l have several of your receipes written down Will make them later.Thanks for these.
Made these beans yesterday, delicious! Crock pot was so easy, didn’t have to worry about boiling over as I usually do on the stove.
“Fixin’ to” is one of my favorite southern isms…I’m fixin to eat me some beans! 🙂
“Bless your heart” is always followed by “Aren’t you just precious?” or “Isn’t she/he precious?” That could go in either direction. 😀
I grew up eating pintos every Tuesday, cooked with “fatback.” I make mine without fatback now. My favorite was when Mama fried taters with onions and made her homemade biscuits. Eatin pintos tonight. Yum!
My favorite thing my dad would say after eating a large meal is, “I’m full as a tick on a hound dog!”
My mom used to say, “I’m gonna whip you with a wet noodle.” LOL
Texas and Southwest saying “nothin but miles and miles of miles and miles”
How bout,”you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”! I grew up on good old beans & cornbread & a cold glass of buttermilk to wash it down!!! Have to have them ever so often!!!
Here’s some other southernisms
God don’t like ugly
Hold my mule
Heep sees but few knows
Haha! You never realize your normal sayings are weird until someone brings it up, like “tumped over”, “full as a tick”, “hold your horses”.
Growing up, we always had this meal, but my mom always made fried potatoes :). When my cousin served this meal to her new husband, he was so confused and he asked “why are we just eating sides?”
Fair to middlin’ when asked how you are – my TN grandmother said it all the time. Had to laugh the first time I heard my hubby say it and now a couple of my sons use it
She fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.
“I’m feelin sweet hungry!”
Every tub sits on its own bottom.
Pretty sees as pretty does.
You are some pum’kin on a gourd vine!
Cruisin’ for a bruisin’
She’ll get married. For every garbage can, there’s a lid.
that boys crazy as a bessy bug my granny
My Mom used to say “He or she ain’t got no do-right in them”. Meaning they stayed in trouble all the time!
I’m fixin to start a pot of pinto beans right now, with cornbread and coleslaw. That’s the western NC version of a pinto bean dinner!
Heavens to Georgia! Chile I plum forgot how good it is to be southern!
Sittin’ in butter.
Butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.
Sittin’ in the catbird seat.
Good ones, Jacelyn!!!
She’s lying like a rug.
That’s a phrase I’ve heard for years too, Sherry! Haha. 🙂
I keep reading that beans may clog the Instant Pot pressure release. Have you had any reported problems with this recipe? Where may I read the reviews? Thank you!!
I’ve never had that problem but you may want to check the manual that came with your cooker or their website for more information.
Any reviews on my pinto beans recipe are here in the comments section. Thanks!
Turned out very good! I added 1/8 tsp. of liquid smoke instead of the ham, so cut the fat and the salt which ham would have added. Might try with vegetable or beef broth instead of water next time, but this was very good as given.
As rare as hens teeth hahaha. Not from the south but I guess those say’’in’s creep around.
I was looking for a crockpot brown bean recipe and come across this on Pinterest. I am so glad I did because I got the recipe and a laugh because my grandma who is 89 says nearly all the same stuff.
Welcome to Add a Pinch, Patricia, and I hope you find many more recipes you like here. It’s funny to think of some of the old phrases people say.
It’s hard to beat a good ol pot of beans! Everyone laughs when I use the phrase, “Well good gravy!”.
Now, I have heard that comment before. I always wonder how some of these phrases originated.
My grandma used to say someone had a good understanding if they had big feet. (We’re from GA)
I have never heard that one, Debbie. Thanks.
This is one of my favorite recipe till now…and it looks an amazing more delicious as well….Thanks for sharing….!
Thanks, Olivia. This recipe has been a favorite in my family for years. So glad you enjoyed it.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! My mom used to tell us that all the time!
Yes, Rebecca, my grandmother would say that a lot, too. Thanks!
This recipe was delicious! The seasonings were just right. I added a tsp of sugar for sweetness and served with corn muffins. Will be making these again!
Thank you, Kim.
I was 70 years old before I knew the origin of “fair to middlin’ ” (a frequent Southern answer to the question “How are you?”) Fair to Middling is a grade of cotton quality as it is being sold.
I have heard that term my entire life but did not know the origin til just now. Thanks, Barbara.
I’m 70 and have just heard these through the years. Some relatives I don’t know moved into a new house and the wife didn’t like it. Her husband asked why and she said it was too small because, “It doesn’t have an in yonder.” Another saying in our family was, “That scared the waddin’ outa me!” You’re bean recipe is just how we’ve always made it. We make fried potatoes with it like another reviewer.
Rhonda, don’t you just love these expressions we grew up hearing in the South? My grandmother would make fried potatoes with her pintos sometimes, too.
I can not down load the bean recipe can you please send it to me thank you so much
Michael, click on Print the Recipe bar inside the recipe. It should change to a page with only the recipe that you can download or print.
I’m from West Virginia and we say all of these but I can remember my PaPaw always saying “ that’s hotter than socks on a rooster”
Now, that is one phrase I have not heard. I’ll have to remember that one. Thanks!
The best pinto beans ever❤️
Thanks, Debbie. So glad you enjoyed them.