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Make the best Mexican charro beans at home with dried or canned pinto beans and this simple recipe! Featuring pinto beans simmered with savory bacon and smoky chorizo in a robust broth flavored with onion, garlic, chilis, tomatoes and spices. These zesty “cowboy ranchero beans” are beautifully tender, deliciously flavorful and perfect as a main meal or hearty side dish.

Featured comment: Exactly the style I was looking for… I removed the meat because some of my guests are vegetarian, and the result was still tremendous. This was a total snap to make. It is a keeper.” –Elizabeth

Overhead photo of cooked beans in Mexican style with chorizo and cilantro.

Update: This post was originally published in April 2021. I made updates to include more information about making this charo beans recipe at home. 

Hi, friends! If you are looking for a dish that is fast to prepare, yet so flavorful and delicious, I have got the perfect recipe for you!

About these Mexican charro pinto beans

These beans may look humble and unassuming, but trust me when I say, these Mexican pinto beans (also known as frijoles charros) are wildly delicious!!

These savory pinto beans are tender and cooked to perfection in a flavorful tomato broth generously studded with salty bacon and smoky chorizo sausage. Beautifully seasoned with pungent onions, fragrant garlic, mildly spicy jalapeños and aromatic seasonings, these Mexican cowboy beans pack tons of bold, robust flavors!

And, these charro beans are totally customizable! You can make this recipe completely from scratch with a pound of dried beans, or you can make this recipe the quick and easy way, using canned pinto beans! Plus, you can swap out the bacon and chorizo for your favorite of meat, such as ham or beef! And, you can even throw in some beer to transform this recipe into drunken Boraccho beans!

No matter how you decide to prepare them, a pot of these fresh Mexican beans make a delicious main dish or hearty side dish! After just one bite, these pinto beans will quickly become a flavorful family favorite!

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Economical: These frijoles charros are budget-friendly and make use of readily available or easy to find ingredients!
  • Bold, robust flavor: These beans have an incredible depth of flavor from the duo of porks and fresh vegetables to the flavorful seasoning! These beans will rival your favorite Mexican restaurant’s beans!
  • Totally flexible: You can make this charo beans recipe with dried or canned pinto beans! Plus, I’ve left tips for swapping out ingredients and ideas for variations!
  • Easy: If you use cans of beans, this recipe requires minimal prep and this dish can be on the table in under an hour!
  • Versatile: You can serve these beans as a hearty side dish or satisfying main!
  • Crowd pleaser: This charro beans recipe is undeniably delicious and always a hit with a crowd! They are the perfect side dish for any meal and a great addition to potlucks and parties!

Straight on, close-up photo of cooked pinto beans.

What are pinto beans?

While pinto beans are popular throughout the world, they are the most commonly used bean in North America, and they are used in a wide variety of meals in Central and South America too. Pinto beans, known as frijol pinto in Spanish, are small and round with a unique robust and earthy flavor. They have a speckled brown and beige appearance when dry; however, once cooked their color evens out to a solid beige.

What are Mexican charro beans?

Charros, also known as Mexican pinto beans, are a traditional Mexican staple consisting of rehydrated dried beans slowly stewed with onion, garlic and other flavorful seasonings, such as cumin and chili powder.

This bean dish is commonly called, Frijoles de la Olla, which literally translates to “pot of beans” in Mexican. These beans are a blank slate for flavor and can easily be transformed into a number of other frijoles (bean) dishes. For example, Frijoles charros, also known as “Mexican cowboy beans” or “Ranchero Beans”, include rich chorizo, bacon or salt pork along with spicy jalapenos. And Frijoles borrachos, often called “drunken beans”, swap broth or water for rich Mexican beer.

This charros bean recipe is an easy, modern take on traditional Charro beans. You can prepare this recipe using dried pinto beans or cans of pinto beans depending upon your personal preference and the amount of time you have for cooking!

Overhead photo of the ingredients in charros beans recipe.

What’s in Charros bean?

This pinto bean recipe relies on just 9 easy-to-find ingredients, along with a few panty staples, to create a dish that is bursting with bold flavor! Below are all your charro beans ingreients:

Ingredients you need to make Mexican beans from scratch

  • Pinto beans: You can use cans of pinto beans or dry pinto beans depending upon how much time you have! If using cans of beans, make sure you drain the beans prior to using; if using dried beans, make sure you soak the beans before proceeding with the recipe. (See below for other bean varieties you can use!)
  • Pork: A hearty combination of bacon and Mexican chorizo provide hearty, deeply smoky flavor along with a touch of spicy heat. (See below for substitution ideas!)
  • Produce: A trifecta of yellow onion, jalapenos and fresh garlic create a base of texture and flavor!
  • Spices and Seasonings: A mix of cumin, dark brown sugar, chili powder, oregano, smoked paprika and coriander all provide layers of robust flavor!
  • Tomatoes: 1 can of tomatoes adds a delicious earthy, rich flavor. I prefer to use fire-roasted tomatoes because I love their smoky flavor!
  • Broth: This recipe uses 1 ½ cups of broth to cook and flavor the beans. You can use chicken or vegetable broth, depending upon what you have on hand; however, I recommend you use a no-sodium broth so you can control the level of saltiness in the dish! If you don’t have broth on hand, feel free to swap in water or stock!
  • Cilantro: While entirely optional, I highly encourage you to finish your beans with a generous dusting of fresh cilantro! Fresh herbs brighten up the beans and add a beautiful earthy flavor! If you are averse to cilantro, try flat-leaf parsley!

Substitutions

Do you want to make a few substitutions or additions to this recipe? No problem! These beans are super flexible and so easy to customize! Get creative in the kitchen – try eliminating any ingredients you don’t have on hand or simply don’t like and try replacing them with ones you love! Below are a few easy ideas to help get you started!

  • Pork: Customarily, charro beans make use of whatever meat is readily available or on hand. You can use a ham bone, pork rind beef, chopped ham, little smokies or whatever pieces of meat you love! (See below for vegetarian substitutions!)
  • Beans: The best substitute for pinto beans in this recipe is black beans; however, you can also use red kidney beans, navy beans, borlotti beans, white beans or cannellini beans!
  • Jalapeños: If you like a lot of heat, swap out the jalapeños for a habanero or two!
  • Tomatoes: If fresh tomatoes are in season, swap out the can of tomatoes for fresh Roma tomatoes – just note you may need to add a bit more broth to the beans!

Variations

  • Thicker beans: If you prefer beans with a thick consistency, try stirring in a cornstarch slurry to thicken the sauce! Start with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons of water. You can always continue to thicken your beans by adding more slurry, but you can’t remove it once you add it!
  • Borracho Beans: To make drunken pinto beans with chorizo, substitute 8-12 ounces (1 to 1 ½ cups) of the broth for your favorite dark Mexican beer, such as Negra Modelo or Dos Equis.
  • Vegetarian option: To make this recipe vegetarian, omit the bacon and chorizo and use vegan chorizo, sautéed mushrooms, extra beans or additional vegetables instead! I also recommend adding a bit more smoked paprika than the recipe calls for!
  • Chipotle Peppers: If you like your beans to have a ton of smoky flavor, swap out the jalapeños and substitute 1 whole chipotle pepper along with a bit of adobo sauce to taste!
  • Green chiles: If you love the mild flavor of green chiles, try adding in a can or two.

Seasonings

These charro beans are bursting with bold, meaty flavor thanks to just a few pantry seasonings. While these beans are already robust in flavor, you can swap or add herbs and spices to enhance the flavor as you see fit!

Spices and seasonings for Cowboy pinto beans

  • Cumin: The warm, earthy flavor of aroma brings out the natural flavor of pinto beans!
  • Sugar: A touch of dark brown sugar adds just enough sweetness to contrast the salty pork flavors!
  • Chili Powder: There are a wide variety of chili powders you can use to season Mexican beans. I prefer to use Ancho chili powder because its dark, sweet, smoky flavor pairs well with these beans. However, tangy, medium-spicy Guajillo chili powder and smoky chipotle chili powder are also great options if you are looking to keep things authentic! If you have a limited pantry, don’t worry – dark or light chili powders work great too!
  • Oregano: Mexican oregano provides a rich woodsy flavor with hints of lemon and citrus that pair perfectly with pinto beans! You can use “regular” oregano; however, it has a minty undertone and is completely different than Mexican oregano.
  • Paprika: Smoked paprika, also known as pimento, lends a rich, smoky flavor to beans. You can use mild, medium-hot or hot depending upon your spice preference.
  • Coriander: Ground coriander has a bright, warm, slightly floral flavor that is far less polarizing than fresh cilantro!
  • Salt: The bacon and chorizo provide a fair amount of saltiness to these ranchero beans, so a little bit of kosher salt will go a long way!

Optional seasonings

  • Bay leaf: While entirely optional, I highly recommend adding a bay leaf (or two) to your beans for a touch of vibrant flavor.
  • Epazote: Epazote, also known as “Mexican tea”, is an herb with an aromatic, oregano-like flavor native to Mexico (and Guatemala). It is very pungent and if you want to add it to your beans, do so sparingly as it is poisonous in large quantities.
  • Cayenne: If you prefer your beans to have a spicy kick, add ¼ teaspoon or more or Cayenne pepper!
  • Cinnamon: While this may seem like a weird addition to some, ground cinnamon is commonly used in Mexican cuisine. It adds a unique dimension of flavor and pairs beautifully with cumin in savory charros bean!

Close-up photo of fully cooked mexican beans recipe in a white pot.

Nutritional information

Are Charro beans healthy?

Pinto beans are an extremely nutritious legume; however, this recipe as written isn’t “healthy” as it contains chorizo and bacon. But, if you are looking for healthy Mexican beans, I have got you covered! Below are a few recipe adaptations to transform this recipe for the best frijoles charros into a healthy pinto bean dish.

Mexico beans nutritional benefits

  • Pinto beans: Budget-friendly pinto beans rank number 7 among the top 9 healthiest beans and legumes you can eat! They’re an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals! Plus, they are rich in antioxidants which can help maintain your gut health and lower your risk of chronic disease!
  • Tomatoes: While you may think a can of tomatoes can’t provide any health benefits, that isn’t further from the truth! Tomatoes in a can are a better source of the antioxidant lycopene than fresh ones. Lycopene has been shown to help lower the risk of heart disease, prostate cancer and muscular degeneration.

Adaptations for healthy beans Mexican

  • Use black beans: Swap out the pinto beans for black beans. While both varieties of beans offer up plenty of nutritional benefits, chorizo pinto beans are slightly higher in fat and carbohydrates.
  • Omit the pork: Skip using bacon and chorizo, instead opt for more vegetables, throw in some bell peppers and use more beans! Or if you are looking for hearty, meaty flavor, try using nutrient and antioxidant-rich sautéed mushrooms in your ranchero beans!

Overhead photo of cooked charros beans recipe in a large white pot with a wooden spoon.

How to make Mexican ranchero beans

To make charro bean from scratch with dry beans

If you would like to use dry pinto beans to prepare this ranchero style beans recipe, follow the simple instructions below for soaking and cooking your beans!

To soak and cook dry pinto beans

  1. Soak beans: While soaking dry pinto beans isn’t absolutely necessary, I do recommend it. Soaking helps clean the beans and ensures they are soft and plump before cooking. To soak, place the beans in a large pot and add enough cool water to cover the beans by two inches. Let the beans soak on the counter overnight before cooking.
  2. Drain beans: Transfer the beans to a colander to drain. Rinse the beans lightly with water and drain again.
  3. Add water + optional flavoring: Place the beans in a large pot and season the beans with ½ teaspoon of salt. Add enough water to cover the beans by three inches. If you want to flavor the beans, feel free to toss in a yellow onion (quartered), fresh garlic (smashed and peeled), a bay leaf and even a hambone!
  4. Simmer: Bring the water to a rapid simmer and then immediately reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the beans are tender, but not bursting or mushy, about 1-2 hours. Make sure you check on the beans a few times during cooking to make sure they remain covered in water – add more water as necessary.
    • Expert Tip: The exact amount of time dry beans will take to cook can greatly vary depending upon how “old” they are. “Old” beans that have been sitting on the grocery store shelf or in your pantry for months (or years) will take much longer to cook than “new” beans.
  5. Drain, reserving liquid: Once the beans are soft, drain them in a colander, reserving about ½ cup of the liquid. Rinse the beans with cool water and drain again.
  6. Use or store: Allow the beans to cool down completely after cooking. Either use the pinto beans according to the instructions below or store them (with the liquid) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

To make Mexican beans from a can

This easy charro bean recipe is so simple to prepare and it yields the best canned pinto beans. If you are using pre-cooked pinto beans or beans from a can, you can have these Mexican ranchero beans ready and on your table in 55 minutes or less!

  1. Cook bacon: Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crispy. Use a slotted spoon and remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
  2. Cook the chorizo: Increase heat to medium-high and add the chorizo to the pot. Cook, using the back of a wooden spoon to break the chorizo up into small pieces, until well browned, about 3-4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon and remove the chorizo to a separate paper towel-lined plate.
  3. Sauté vegetables + seasonings: Decrease heat to medium and add the onions and jalapeños. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add the garlic and seasonings. Cook, stirring, until fragrant.
  4. Add remaining ingredients: Add in the beans, tomatoes, broth (or beef if using) and the reserved chorizo to the pot. Increase heat and bring to a rapid simmer. Immediately reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
  5. Simmer: Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25-30 minutes, or until slightly thickened. (NOTE: For soupier, more stew-like beans, cover the pot and simmer for the first 15 minutes, then remove the cover and simmer an additional 10 minutes.)
  6. Add bacon, cilantro & adjust for seasoning: Turn off the heat and add the bacon and half the cilantro. Stir to combine.
  7. Serve: Garnish mexican charro beans with remaining cilantro, along with fresh tomatoes or Pico de Gallo and jalapeños if using. Serve ranchero beans and enjoy!

Step-by-step photos: making charros beans recipe 

(Scroll down for the detailed measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.)

Step by step photo collage showing how to make Mexican pinto beans with written instructions on each step.

Tips for serving frijoles charros

Are you looking for exciting ways to serve your beans? Below are a few delicious ways to serve and enjoy this recipe for the best charro beans:

How to serve ranchero bean?

You can serve charro beans as a main dish with plenty of warm tortillas or crusty bread on the side. Or you can serve ranchero beans as a hearty side dish with your favorite Mexican entrée!

What to serve with Mexican beans recipes?

These flavorful and festive charro beans are incredibly versatile and pair well with all your favorite Mexican dishes, along with plain proteins, such as grilled chicken and steak, or even barbeque pulled pork!

Chef serving suggestions: Try serving mexican pinto beans over cilantro rice for a quick meal, or alongside some Easy Mexican Coleslaw with Mexican Ceviche with Shrimp or Ceviche with Fish, Epic Carnitas, or Baja Chicken Tacos for a hearty and delicious meal the entire family will love!

10 delicious side dishes to serve with mexican bean recipe

  • Guacamole: Serve Mexican charro with your favorite creamy guacamole! But don’t forget plenty of chips for scooping up the beans and the guac’!
  • Mango salsa: Refreshing, tropical mango salsa is the perfect starter or side to pair with beans, especially once the weather heats up!
  • Rice: Rice and spicy beans are a classic Mexican side dish duo! Try serving these beans over yellow rice, cilantro rice or healthy Mexican rice for a quick and easy meal!
  • Slaw: Vibrant Mexican-style slaw is a wonderful light option that will perfectly balance out the homemade Mexican beans!
  • Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes and pinto beans are a match made in heaven! Try simply roasting your sweet potatoes or opt for sweet potato fries or creamy sweet potato salad!
  • Avocado salad: Creamy, rich avocado salad provides the perfect cooling touch and balance the smoky flavors in Mexican beans!
  • Corn: Juicy corn plays up the rich flavors found in beans! Try a citrusy corn salsa or Mexican corn on the cob!
  • Brussels Sprouts: If you love sprouts, try roasting them and tossing them with a sweet and spicy honey chipotle sauce for a healthy harmonizing side to these flavorful beans!

10 entrees to pair with cowboy beans

  • Mexican Eggs: Eggs and pinto beans are a delicious breakfast treat! Try baking, frying or scrambling your beans and don’t forget to serve plenty of crispy tortillas and fresh slices of avocado on the side.
  • Torta: A giant Mexican sandwich is an easy yet satisfying pairing for beans.
  • Chiles Rellenos: Spicy, south-of-the-border chiles rellenos is perfect vegetarian pairing for this pinto bean side dish.
  • Burgers: Your favorite style burger or southwestern-style black bean burgers work beautifully with smoky, flavorful pinto beans.
  • Fajitas and Tacos: Fresh and flavorful fajitas with steak, shrimp tacos, or a fajita chicken casserole are always a fan favorite.
  • Chicken: Juicy chicken breasts or thighs are a wonderful option if you are looking to keep things healthy. Try marinating your chicken in a mixture of honey, lime and cilantro for a southwestern twist.
  • Casseroles: If you are looking for an ultra-comforting meal, pair your pinto beans chorizo with a cheesy enchilada casserole with chicken.
  • Mexican beef: The rich flavors in melt-in-your-mouth tender Mexican barbacoa perfectly complement Cowboy beans.
  • Pork: Tangy pulled pork and hearty beans are a match made in heaven.
  • Jerk Pork: The hot, smoky and sweet flavors in jerk pork pair well with charro beans.

Close-up photo of Frijoles Charros (beans mexican) garnished with slices of jalapeno and chopped cilantro.

Tips for storing Mexican bean recipe 

Food safety is of the upmost importance when it comes to storing your leftovers! Make sure you follow the simple tips below to ensure you are properly storing, freezing and reheating your pinto beans!

Can I cook recipe for Mexican beans in advance?

If you are using dry beans and would like to make this dish ahead, you can absolutely soak, cook and store the pinto beans several days in advance. Or if you are using canned beans, you can prepare the entire recipe 2-3 days ahead of time and store the ranchero beans in the refrigerator!

How to store pinto beans Mexican

Leftover ranchero beans make a delicious grab-and-go lunch or an easy heat-and-eat side for hectic work weeks! Make sure you follow the below steps when storing to preserve the flavor and texture of your leftovers!

  • Cool it: Always allow your leftovers to cool completely to room temperature before storing them in the refrigerator.
  • Store it: Transfer the cool beans to an airtight storage container and place them in the refrigerator.
  • Use by: When properly stored, Mexican pinto beans will keep well for up to 3-4 days.

How to reheat beans?

Leftover charro beans are so easy to reheat, making them perfect for quick lunches or easy weeknight dinners!

  • Stovetop: Transfer the leftover pinto beans to a saucepan and cook over low heat on the stove, stirring occasionally, until warm throughout.
  • Microwave: Transfer an individual portion of beans into a microwave-safe container. Place a lid on the container, leaving the lid slightly cracked at the side to form a vent. Reheat on full power for 1 minute. Stir and continue to microwave the pinto beans in 30 second intervals, stirring in between each interval, until warm throughout.

Can I freeze this Mexican recipe with beans?

Yes, you these Mexican charro beans freeze beautifully for up to 3 months! Freezing your pinto beans is a great way to further extend the shelf-life of your Mexican dish! Make sure you follow the simple steps below when freezing to prevent freezer burn!

  • Cool it: Always cool your beans to room temperature before storing!
  • Transfer to a bag or container: Transfer the cool beans to a freezer-safe storage bag or airtight container. If using a bag, gently press the bag to remove as much air as possible before sealing.
  • Store it: Store the leftover cowboy beans in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • To use: Defrost the beans in the refrigerator overnight before reheating them using one of the methods above!

Pro-tip: Divide your leftover ranchero beans into smaller (1 cup) portions! Freezing leftovers in individual size portions will help you get dinner on the table in a flash!

Overhead photo of charros bean in a white serving bowl with a serving spoon inserted into the beans.

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The best Mexican Charro Bean recipe 👇

Overhead photo of tender Mexican Beans with chorizo, bacon, and cilantro in a white bowl.

Charros Bean Recipe (Mexican Pinto Beans)

4.94 from 16 votes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
These Mexican charro beans are incredibly flavorful and tender! Featuring pinto beans simmered with savory bacon and smoky chorizo in a robust broth flavored with onion, garlic, chilis, tomatoes and spices! You can make these zesty "cowboy beans" with dried or canned pinto beans and serve them as a main dish or side dish!
Recipe can be scaled up or down by using the slider if you hover your mouse over the number of Servings.

Equipment

  • 1 Large Pot or Dutch Oven

Ingredients 

  • 8 slices thick-cut Bacon – cut into small dice (about 10.5 ounces)
  • 1 pound uncooked Mexican Chorizo – casings removed & roughly chopped
  • 1 small Yellow Onion – small dice (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 2 large Jalapenos – seeded, ribbed & small dice (about ½ cup)
  • 3-4 cloves Garlic – minced
  • 1 ½ tsp EACH: Ground Cumin & Dark Brown Sugar
  • ¾ tsp EACH: Chipotle Chili Powder, Mexican Dried Oregano, Smoked Paprika & Coriander
  • 3 (15 ounce) cans reduced-sodium Pinto Beans – lightly drained, but DO NOT rinse (or 1-pound dried beans – SEE NOTES)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can Fire Roasted Tomatoes – do NOT drain
  • 1 ½ Cups No-Sodium Chicken or Vegetable Broth (SEE NOTES for making Borracho Beans!)
  • Kosher Salt – to taste
  • 1/3 – ½ Cup Fresh Cilantro – chopped, or more to taste
  • Optional topping: Pico de Gallo
  • Optional garnish: Lime Wedges

Instructions

  • Cook bacon: Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the bacon (add a splash of neutral oil if you are using lean bacon) and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is cooked and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon and remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Turn off heat and drain or blot all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease (fat) from the pot.
  • Cook the chorizo: Increase heat to medium-high and add the chorizo to the pot. Cook undisturbed for 1 ½ minutes. Flip and cook another 1 minute undisturbed. Stir and continue to cook, using the back of a wooden spoon to break the chorizo up into small pieces, until browned, about 1 more minute. Use a slotted spoon and remove the chorizo to a SEPARATE paper towel-lined plate. Turn off heat and drain or blot all but 1 tablespoon of grease from the pot.
  • Sauté vegetables + seasonings: Decrease heat to medium and add the onions and jalapenos. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, sugar, chili powder, oregano and paprika. Season with ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add remaining ingredients: Add in the beans and liquid, tomatoes, broth (or beef if using) and the reserved chorizo to the pot. Stir well to combine. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a rapid simmer. Immediately reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
  • Simmer: Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25-30 minutes, or until slightly thickened. (NOTE: For soupier, more stew-like beans, cover the pot and simmer for the first 15 minutes, then remove the cover and simmer an additional 10 minutes.)
  • Add bacon, cilantro & adjust for seasoning: Turn off the heat and add the bacon and half the cilantro. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Serve: Garnish with remaining cilantro, along with fresh tomatoes or Pico de Gallo and jalapenos if using. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Borracho "drunken" Beans: Substitute 1 cup or the entire 1 ½ cups of the broth for an equal amount of your favorite dark Mexican beer, such as Negra Modelo or Dos Equis.
  • To use dry pinto beans: Follow the simple steps below for soaking and cooking dry pinto beans before proceeding with the recipe.  You will need approximately one pound of dry beans.
    1. Soak beans: Place the beans in a large pot and add enough cool water to cover the beans by two inches. Let the beans soak on the counter overnight before cooking.
    2. Drain beans: Transfer the beans to a colander to drain. Rinse the beans lightly with water and drain again.
    3. Add water + optional flavoring: Place the beans in a large pot and season the beans with ½ teaspoon of salt. Add enough water to cover the beans by three inches. If you want to flavor the beans, feel free to toss in a yellow onion (quartered), fresh garlic (smashed and peeled), a bay leaf and even a hambone!
    4. Simmer: Bring the water to a rapid simmer and then immediately reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until the beans are tender, but not bursting or mushy, about 1-2 hours. Make sure you check on the beans a few times during cooking to make sure they remain covered in water – add more water as necessary. (NOTE: The exact amount of time dry beans will take to cook can greatly vary depending upon how “old” they are. “Old” beans that have been sitting on the grocery store shelf or in your pantry for months (or years) will take much longer to cook than “new” beans.)
    5. Drain, reserving liquid: Once the beans are soft, drain them in a colander, reserving about ½ cup of the liquid. Rinse the beans with cool water and drain again.
    6. Use or store: Allow the beans to cool down completely after cooking. Either use the pinto beans according to the recipe below or, store them (with the liquid) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Nutritional information is an estimate based upon 12 servings.  Exact information will depend upon the brands of ingredients and precise measurements used.

Nutrition

Calories: 221kcal    Carbohydrates: 3g    Protein: 9g    Fat: 19g    Saturated Fat: 7g    Trans Fat: 1g    Cholesterol: 39mg    Sodium: 431mg    Potassium: 71mg    Fiber: 1g    Sugar: 1g    Vitamin A: 312IU    Vitamin C: 4mg    Calcium: 5mg    Iron: 1mg

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