Pinto beans are a common ingredient in many Mexican meals, but they can also be eaten alone or as a side dish. They have a creamy texture with a nutty flavor and are high in protein, fiber, and antioxidants. In this article, I’ll show you how to make and store homemade crockpot pinto beans. This is a quick and easy way to make a large batch of beans that you can freeze and use later.
- Bag of dried pinto beans
- No-chicken bouillon (or vegetable broth)
Making The Pinto Beans in The Crockpot
- Rinse the beans and remove any debris or broken pieces. Transfer them to a 6-quart crockpot.
- Add enough water to cover them by about 2 inches. You can use the rule of thumb: for every 8 ounces of beans, add 3 cups of water.
- Cover the crockpot and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours, or on low for 8 hours, until the beans are tender. Check them occasionally and add more water if needed.
- Once the beans are done, stir in the no-chicken bouillon or vegetable broth and taste for seasoning. You can add salt, pepper, garlic, onion, cumin, or other spices. Let the beans cool completely before storing them.
Storing The Pinto Beans
- You can keep the cooked beans in the fridge for up to 4 days, or freeze them for up to 3 months.
- To freeze the beans, ladle them into quart-sized Ziploc bags, leaving some space for expansion. Flatten the bags and seal them well. Label them with the date and contents. Stack them in the freezer for easy storage and thawing.
- To use the frozen beans, thaw them overnight in the fridge or microwave them on low power until heated through.
Using The Pinto Beans
- Enjoy the beans as they are or use them in your favorite recipes. For example, you can make burritos, nachos, salads, tostadas, tacos, and more.
- You can also mash the beans with a potato masher or a fork to make refried beans. You may need to add some water or broth to adjust the consistency. You can also add oil or butter to make them richer and creamier. You can season the refried beans with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, or any other spices you like. You can heat them up in a skillet over medium-high heat until bubbly and thickened.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do I need to soak the beans before cooking them in the crockpot?
No, soaking the beans is optional. It can help with cooking time, texture, flavor, and digestion. To soak the beans, rinse them well and cover them with water overnight. Then drain and rinse them again before cooking.
How long do I cook the beans in the crockpot?
The cooking time depends on the temperature setting of your crockpot and how soft you want your beans. On low settings, it will take about 7 hours. On high settings, it will take about 4 hours. Check the beans occasionally and add more water if needed.
What can I add to the beans for more flavor?
You can add onion, garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, ham hock (if using), salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, chili powder, or diced tomatoes. You can also use chicken broth or vegetable broth instead of water for more depth of flavor. Experiment with different spices and herbs to suit your taste.
How do I store and use the leftover beans?
You can store the leftover beans in the fridge for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To freeze the beans, ladle them into Ziploc bags and label them. To use the frozen beans, thaw them in the fridge or microwave them until heated through.
How do I make refried beans from cooked beans?
You can make refried beans by mashing the cooked beans with a potato masher or a fork. Add some water or broth to adjust the consistency. Add some oil or butter to make them creamier. Season them with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, chili powder, or any other spices you like. Heat them up in a skillet until bubbly and thickened.
- 1 (16-ounce) bag of dried pinto beans
- 1 tablespoon of no-chicken bouillon (or vegetable broth)
- Rinse beans and remove debris. Place in 6-quart crockpot.
- Add enough water to cover beans by 2 inches (use 3 cups for every 8 ounces of beans).
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 8 hours, until beans are tender. Add water if needed.
- Stir in no-chicken bouillon/vegetable broth and seasonings to taste.
- Let beans cool completely before storing.
- Store in fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- To freeze, ladle beans into quart-sized Ziploc bags, leaving space for expansion. Seal and label with date.
- Thaw in fridge overnight or microwave on low power. Enjoy as is or in recipes.
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 198kcalTotal Fat: 1gCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 12gProtein: 12g