This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
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.
Did you make this recipe?
Mention @addapinch or tag #addapinch!
Share it with the world!
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.
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.