Simply Fantastic Pinto Beans

This recipe is just like the name says: simple. But it sure doesn’t taste that way! If you have a programmable pressure cooker, these fat and tasty beans go from dry to delicious in an hour with no soaking. Adding the aromatic spices before cooking fills each bean with a remarkable depth of flavor. Serve these guys up alongside a cooked whole grain (keep pestering me for a Spanish rice recipe; I have one in the works) and some greens, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts and some sliced tomatoes for an incredibly satisfying but easy meal.


    • 1 pound (about 3 cups) dry pinto beans, picked and rinsed
    • 5 cups water or vegetable broth
    • 1 baseball-sized onion, diced
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 2-3 Tablespoons) or 3 teaspoons dry granulated garlic
    • 1/4 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos
    • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper


Place all ingredients into pressure cooker. Use beans and chili setting for 45 minutes, slow release. This is the perfect time for the beans we use, in our pressure cooker. If your beans are not tender when you open the pot, close it back up and set it for an additional 10 minutes.


If you cannot find smoked paprika, use 1 tablespoon regular paprika plus 1/4 tablespoon liquid smoke.

If you have fresh jalapeño peppers on hand, you can replace the dried Aleppo or cayenne with a minced jalapeño (or habanero or ghost pepper or whatever your brave soul desires).

No programmable pressure cooker? Soak the beans overnight in a large pot, making sure to cover them with at least two inches of water. When you are ready to cook the beans, drain them, and add the other ingredients, but use 7 cups of liquid instead of 5 cups. Either place the pot, covered, in a 300ºF oven (if the pot is made for that), or bring to a boil on the stovetop. Reduce to a simmer and cover tightly. Cook beans for about 3 to 4 hours until tender, adding water or broth as needed to keep them covered with liquid and stirring occasionally. 

4 Comments on “Simply Fantastic Pinto Beans

  1. Just ordered some beans from Ranchogordo. Can’t wait to try them. Thanks

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. Made these today and you are correct! Simply Fantastic! I used Rancho Gordo Rio Zape beans. Followed the recipe exactly but next time I will pre soak the beans. Just a personal choice.
    So happy you shared this recipe Joseph. Thank you!


    • Totally fine to pre-soak, of course! The Rio Zape beans have a thicker skin than the pintos. I typically cook the Rio Zapes for 50 or 55 minutes.


  3. Trying these today, sans quick cooker. House smells wonderful. Great long simmer dish on a cold day. A little watery yet, but perhaps I simmered a bit low.


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