Pinto bean

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About Pinto bean

Wikipedia Article About Pinto bean on Wikipedia

The pinto bean (Spanish: frijol pinto, literally "painted bean") is named for its mottled skin (compare pinto horse), hence it is a type of mottled bean.

Pinto Beans are the most widely produced bean in the United States and is one of the most popular in the Americas. It also contains the most fiber of all beans. Characteristically known by their medium size oval shape, with speckled reddish brown over a pale pink base and solid texture and flavor.

Pinto Beans are high in fiber, provide a good source of protein and iron, and are fat, sodium, and cholesterol free.

Preparing Pinto bean

Sort beans to remove foreign matter, such as small stones, dark or odd shaped beans. Rinse in a colander under cold water.

Soaking not only makes the beans cook faster, but by discarding the soaking water, gas-causing compounds may be reduced. There are four ways to soak beans, depending on how far in advance you plan and how much time you have, you can decide which method of soaking will work best for you.

Overnight Soak

In a large pot, add dry beans to cold water. Cover. Let stand in refrigerator overnight. Drain and discard soaking water. Replace water and cook immediately after soaking period. Longer periods of soaking are not recommended.

Hot Soak

In a stockpot, bring 10 cups water to a boil. Add 1 pound dried beans and return to a boil. Remove from the heat; cover tightly and set aside at room temperature 2–3 hours. Drain and rinse the beans.

Quick Soak

In a large pot, pour dry beans into boiling water and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and allow to set for 1 hour. Drain and discard soaking water and proceed with cooking.

Gas-Free Soak

In a stockpot, place 1 pound of beans in 10 or more cups of boiling water; boil for 2–3 minutes, cover and set aside overnight. The next day approximately 75 to 90 percent of the indigestible sugars will have dissolved into the soaking water. Drain, and then rinse the beans thoroughly before cooking them.

Cooking Pinto bean

  1. Return the soaked, rinsed beans to the stockpot. Cover the beans with 3 times their volume of water. Add herbs or spices (not salt), as desired.
  2. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender (the time will depend on the type of bean, but start checking after 45–60 minutes). Boiling beans will break the skins and leave you with a mushy meal. Add more water if the beans are not covered.
  3. When the beans are tender, or for later use, freeze in 1- to 2-cup packages. One pound of dried beans will yield about 5 or 6 cups cooked beans.

Pressure Cooking

This is one of the quickest ways to cook beans. After you've soaked 1/2 pound of beans, place them in a 4-quart pressure cooker with 4 cups water. Cook at 15 pounds pressure following the manufacturer's directions for the type of legume you are cooking.

Uses & Tips

Cooked pinto beans may be used in salads, soups, stews, casseroles and chili, or as a side dish. They are also excellent mixed with rice.

Try seasoning pinto beans with bay leaves, cilantro, garlic, oregano, parsley, or thyme while cooking.

Do not add salt or acidic ingredients, like vinegar, tomatoes or juice, this will slow the cooking process. Instead, add these ingredients when the beans are just tender.

Cooking times vary with the types of beans used but also may vary with their age.

Beans are done when they can be easily mashed between two fingers or with a fork. Always test a few beans in case they have not cooked evenly

Storing Pinto bean

Store dry beans in a cool, dry place off the floor. High temperatures cause hardening of the dry beans; high humidity may cause mold.

Store cooked pinto beans in a covered nonmetallic container and refrigerate. Use within 2 days or freeze.

Pinto bean Recipes


  • Beans, Pinto Dry by the US Department of Agriculture, public domain government resource—original source of article
  • Vegetable of the Month: Beans by the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, public domain government resource—source of additional text