Social Media

One Pot Pinto Beans Recipe

An easy, hearty, and tasty one-pot pinto beans recipe that you can prepare at home. This recipe combines the rich, earthy flavor of pinto beans with aromatic garlic, tangy pico de gallo, and creamy mozzarella, all simmered together to create a heartwarming dish suitable for any meal.

One Pot Pinto Beans Recipe

Photos of One Pot Pinto Beans Recipe

Most of the ingredients for this recipe are pantry staples, but you might need to hit a supermarket for pico de gallo, a fresh salsa usually made of tomato, onion, peppers, and cilantro. If it's not readily available, you can always make your own. Also, pay attention to the type of beans; we're using dried pinto beans, not canned.

Ingredients for One Pot Pinto Beans Recipe

Water: Used as the primary cooking liquid.

Chicken broth: Adds a savory depth to the beans.

Dried pinto beans: The star ingredient, pinto beans are nutritious and full of flavor.

Garlic: Adds a robust, aromatic flavor.

Red onion: Offers a sweet and slightly spicy flavor.

Red pepper flakes: Adds a touch of heat.

Salt: Enhances the flavors of all other ingredients.

Mozzarella cheese: Gives a creamy, rich texture.

Pico de gallo: Fresh salsa that adds a tangy punch.

One reader, Gwen Staggs says:

star icon star icon star icon star icon star icon

This one pot pinto beans recipe is a game-changer! The flavors are rich and the beans turn out perfectly tender. It's so easy to make and the addition of mozzarella and pico de gallo takes it to the next level. A definite must-try for anyone who loves hearty, delicious meals!

Gwen Staggs

Techniques Required for One Pot Pinto Beans Recipe

How to cook pinto beans: This involves simmering the beans with water, chicken broth, garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes until they are soft and tender.

How to mash cooked beans: After the beans are cooked, they should be mashed to the desired consistency using a potato masher.

How to stir in mozzarella and pico de gallo: Once the beans are mashed, the mozzarella and pico de gallo should be stirred in to add flavor and creaminess to the dish.

How To Make One Pot Pinto Beans

Enjoy a plate of tasty pinto beans in no time with this one pot recipe! It’s tender, well-seasoned, and can be cooked ahead just in time for dinner.

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 15 minutes



  • cupswater
  • 1cupchicken broth,condensed
  • 2lbsdried pinto beans
  • 5garlic cloves,chopped
  • ½red onion,chopped
  • 1tbspred pepper flakes,or to taste
  • salt,or to taste
  • 8ozmozzarella cheese,shredded
  • 16ozpico de gallo,1 container


  1. Combine the water, condensed chicken broth, beans, garlic, onion, and crushed red pepper flakes into a large saucepan, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

  2. Bring to a simmer, then cover.

  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3½ hours until the beans are soft.

  4. Mash the cooked beans with a potato masher to desired consistency.

  5. Stir in mozzarella and pico de gallo, serve, and enjoy!


  • Calories: 259.44kcal
  • Fat: 4.39g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.39g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 1.21g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.38g
  • Carbohydrates: 39.78g
  • Fiber: 8.92g
  • Sugar: 3.58g
  • Protein: 15.70g
  • Cholesterol: 13.07mg
  • Sodium: 492.51mg
  • Calcium: 151.60mg
  • Potassium: 828.41mg
  • Iron: 2.97mg
  • Vitamin A: 29.99µg
  • Vitamin C: 5.31mg

Technique Tip for Perfect One Pot Pinto Beans

When mashing the pinto beans, it's important to leave some texture and not mash them into a complete puree. This will give your dish a more interesting and satisfying mouthfeel. Also, adding the mozzarella cheese while the beans are still hot will allow it to melt and incorporate better into the dish, creating a creamy and delicious texture.

Time-Saving Tips for Making One Pot Pinto Beans

Prep ahead: Chop and measure ingredients in advance to streamline the cooking process.

Use canned beans: Save time by using canned pinto beans instead of dried beans for a quicker cooking process.

Pressure cooker: Consider using a pressure cooker to significantly reduce the cooking time for the pinto beans.

Multi-task: While the beans are cooking, prepare other components of the meal to maximize efficiency.

Kitchen tools: Utilize kitchen tools like a food processor or blender for quick chopping and blending tasks.

One-pot meals: Opt for one-pot recipes to minimize cleanup and save time on dishwashing.

Organized workspace: Keep your cooking area organized and clean to work efficiently and avoid wasting time searching for ingredients or tools.

Substitute Ingredients For One Pot Pinto Beans Recipe

  • water - Substitute with vegetable broth: Vegetable broth can add a rich and savory flavor to the dish, similar to the depth provided by water and chicken broth.

  • chicken broth - Substitute with vegetable broth: Vegetable broth can provide a similar savory and flavorful base for the recipe, enhancing the overall taste.

  • dried pinto beans - Substitute with dried black beans: Black beans can be used as a substitute for pinto beans, offering a similar texture and taste in the dish.

  • garlic cloves - Substitute with garlic powder: Garlic powder can be used as a substitute for fresh garlic cloves, providing a convenient alternative without compromising the flavor.

  • red onion - Substitute with yellow onion: Yellow onions can be used as a substitute for red onions, offering a slightly milder flavor while still providing a good base for the dish.

  • red pepper flakes - Substitute with chili powder: Chili powder can be used as a substitute for red pepper flakes, adding a warm and earthy heat to the recipe.

  • mozzarella cheese - Substitute with cheddar cheese: Cheddar cheese can be used as a substitute for mozzarella, providing a rich and creamy texture with a slightly sharper flavor.

  • pico de gallo - Substitute with salsa: Salsa can be used as a substitute for pico de gallo, offering a similar combination of tomatoes, onions, and peppers with added flavors of cilantro and lime.

Best Way to Present One Pot Pinto Beans

  1. Elevate the plating: Arrange the mashed pinto beans in a circular motion using a ring mold to create a visually appealing base for the dish.

  2. Garnish with fresh herbs: Sprinkle finely chopped cilantro and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil to add a pop of color and enhance the aroma of the dish.

  3. Incorporate texture: Top the dish with crispy tortilla strips for a delightful crunch that contrasts with the creamy beans.

  4. Add a touch of acidity: Place a small dollop of sour cream on top of the beans and garnish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice to balance the flavors.

  5. Create a visual focal point: Place a vibrant, fresh salsa in the center of the dish, using the bright colors to draw attention to the plate.

  6. Use high-quality serving ware: Present the dish on a sleek, modern plate to showcase the rustic elegance of the pinto beans.

  7. Balance the composition: Add a few whole pinto beans on top of the mashed beans to create a dynamic and visually appealing presentation.

  8. Consider the negative space: Utilize the empty space on the plate to create a sense of balance and harmony in the overall presentation.

Essential Tools for Making Pinto Beans in One Pot

  • Saucepan: A deep cooking vessel with a handle and a lid, used for boiling, stewing, and making sauces.
  • Potato masher: A kitchen tool used to mash cooked potatoes or other soft foods.
  • Cutting board: A durable board on which to place material for cutting.
  • Knife: A cutting tool with a sharp blade, used for preparing ingredients.
  • Spatula: A flat, flexible utensil used for lifting, flipping, or spreading foods.
  • Measuring cups: Utensils used to measure the volume of liquid or dry ingredients.
  • Measuring spoons: Utensils used to measure small amounts of liquid or dry ingredients.
  • Wooden spoon: A utensil typically used for stirring and mixing ingredients.
  • Large saucepan: A larger-sized saucepan for cooking larger quantities of food.
  • Mixing bowl: A bowl used for mixing ingredients.
  • Pot: A deep round container used for cooking stews, soups, and other dishes.
  • Colander: A bowl-shaped kitchen utensil with perforated holes for draining liquids from food.
  • Grater: A kitchen utensil with a surface containing sharp-edged holes used to shred and grate foods.
  • Can opener: A device used to open metal cans.
  • Strainer: A device used for separating liquids from solids.
  • Food processor: An electric kitchen appliance used for chopping, mixing, or pureeing foods.
  • Cheese grater: A tool used to grate cheese into fine pieces.
  • Garlic press: A kitchen tool used to crush garlic cloves.
  • Ladle: A long-handled spoon with a deep bowl for serving soups and stews.

How To Store and Freeze Cooked Pinto Beans

  • Let the pinto beans cool completely before storing or freezing.
  • For storing in the refrigerator, transfer the cooled beans to an airtight container. They will keep well for up to 5 days in the fridge.
  • To freeze the beans:
    • Portion the cooled beans into freezer-safe containers or resealable bags, leaving about an inch of space at the top for expansion.
    • Label the containers or bags with the date and amount.
    • Lay the bags flat in the freezer for easier storage and quicker thawing.
    • Frozen pinto beans will maintain their best quality for about 6 months, but remain safe to eat beyond that time.
  • To reheat the refrigerated or frozen beans:
    • Thaw frozen beans overnight in the refrigerator.
    • Transfer the beans to a saucepan and heat them over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until they are heated through. Add a splash of water or chicken broth if the beans seem too thick.
    • Alternatively, you can reheat the beans in the microwave. Place them in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with a lid or plastic wrap, and heat in 1-minute intervals, stirring between each interval, until the beans are heated through.

How To Reheat Leftover Pinto Beans

  • Stovetop method: transfer the leftover one pot pinto beans to a saucepan and reheat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. If the beans seem too thick, add a splash of chicken broth or water to thin them out and prevent burning.

  • Microwave method: place the desired amount of leftover pinto beans in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until heated through. Stir well before serving to distribute the heat evenly.

  • Oven method: preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Transfer the leftover pinto beans to an oven-safe dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until heated through, stirring once halfway through the reheating process.

  • Slow cooker method: if you have a large amount of leftover one pot pinto beans, you can reheat them in a slow cooker. Transfer the beans to the slow cooker, cover, and cook on low for 1-2 hours, or until heated through. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating.

  • Regardless of the reheating method you choose, be sure to taste the pinto beans and adjust the seasoning if needed. You may want to add a little extra salt, red pepper flakes, or a splash of fresh chicken broth to revive the flavors.

  • To add a fresh twist to your leftover one pot pinto beans, consider topping them with some freshly grated mozzarella cheese and a dollop of pico de gallo just before serving. This will give the dish a burst of fresh flavor and make it feel like a brand new meal.

Random Fact About Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are a great source of protein and fiber, making them a nutritious addition to any meal.

Is This One Pot Pinto Beans Recipe Economical for Home Cooking?

This one pot pinto beans recipe is highly cost-effective for a household. The main ingredient, pinto beans, is an affordable source of protein and fiber. The addition of garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes enhances the flavors without adding significant cost. The use of mozzarella cheese and pico de gallo adds a touch of indulgence without breaking the bank. Overall Verdict: 9/10. Approximate cost: $10-15 for a household of 4 people.

Are Pinto Beans Healthy or Unhealthy?

The one pot pinto beans recipe is a hearty and flavorful dish, but it does have some aspects that could be improved to make it healthier. Here's a breakdown of the recipe's nutritional profile:


  • Pinto beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals
  • Garlic and onion provide additional nutrients and have potential health benefits
  • Pico de gallo adds freshness and nutrients from tomatoes, onions, and cilantro


  • The recipe uses chicken broth, which may contain added sodium
  • Mozzarella cheese is high in saturated fat and sodium
  • Red pepper flakes add heat but not significant nutritional value

To make this recipe healthier, consider the following suggestions:

  • Use low-sodium or no-salt-added chicken broth to reduce the overall sodium content
  • Replace half of the mozzarella cheese with a lower-fat alternative, such as part-skim mozzarella or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor
  • Increase the amount of pico de gallo to boost the vegetable content and add more fiber, vitamins, and minerals
  • Add additional vegetables, such as diced bell peppers or carrots, to the cooking process for extra nutrients and texture
  • Serve the beans with a side of leafy greens, like sautéed spinach or a fresh salad, to balance the meal and add more vitamins and minerals

By making these adjustments, you can enhance the nutritional value of the dish while still enjoying its comforting flavors. Remember, moderation is key, and this recipe can be a part of a balanced diet when paired with other nutrient-dense foods.

Editor's Thoughts on This Pinto Bean Recipe

This one pot pinto beans recipe is a hearty and flavorful dish that is perfect for a cozy meal. The combination of pinto beans, garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes creates a rich and aromatic base, while the addition of mozzarella and pico de gallo adds a creamy and fresh finish. The long cooking time allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a satisfying and comforting dish. However, I would recommend adjusting the cooking time and liquid levels to ensure the beans are not overcooked and the dish has the desired consistency. Overall, this recipe has great potential for a delicious and wholesome meal.

Enhance Your One Pot Pinto Beans Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Guacamole: Create a zesty and creamy guacamole with ripe avocados, diced tomatoes, and a splash of lime juice for a refreshing side dish.
Cornbread: Whip up a batch of golden, buttery cornbread to complement the hearty flavors of the pinto beans.
Grilled Pineapple: Grill slices of sweet and tangy pineapple for a tropical twist that pairs perfectly with the savory beans.
Cilantro Lime Rice: Prepare fluffy cilantro lime rice with fragrant herbs and zesty citrus flavors to add a light and refreshing element to the meal.

Alternative Recipes Similar to One Pot Pinto Beans

Spicy Beef Tacos: Use ground beef, taco seasoning, and your favorite toppings to create a delicious and spicy taco dish.
Creamy Tomato Basil Soup: Combine fresh tomatoes, basil, and cream to make a rich and flavorful tomato soup that's perfect for a cozy night in.
Grilled Peach Salad: Grill fresh peaches and toss them with mixed greens, goat cheese, and a balsamic vinaigrette for a refreshing and summery salad.
Chocolate Lava Cake: Indulge in a decadent and gooey chocolate lava cake that's sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Appetizers and Desserts to Serve with One Pot Pinto Beans

Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a savory and indulgent appetizer by stuffing large mushroom caps with a mixture of cream cheese, garlic, and herbs. Top with breadcrumbs and bake until golden and crispy.
Caprese Skewers: Impress your guests with these elegant and refreshing skewers featuring cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil leaves. Drizzle with balsamic glaze for a burst of flavor.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and velvety chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder for an elegant and decadent dessert experience.
Strawberry Cheesecake: Savor the creamy and luscious texture of a classic strawberry cheesecake, topped with fresh, juicy strawberries and a drizzle of sweet strawberry sauce for a delightful and satisfying treat.

Why trust this One Pot Pinto Beans Recipe:

This recipe offers a delicious and hearty pinto beans dish that is perfect for any occasion. The combination of garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes infuses the beans with rich, savory flavors. The addition of mozzarella cheese and pico de gallo provides a delightful, cheesy finish with a fresh, zesty kick. The use of chicken broth enhances the depth of flavor, and the slow cooking process ensures that the beans are perfectly tender and packed with deliciousness. Trust this recipe to deliver a satisfying and flavorful one pot pinto beans experience that will leave everyone coming back for more.

Share your thoughts and experiences with this One Pot Pinto Beans Recipe in the Recipe Sharing forum section.
How long does it take to cook the pinto beans?
The pinto beans take approximately 3½ hours to cook until they are soft and tender.
Can I use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth?
Yes, you can substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth if you prefer a vegetarian option.
Can I use a different type of cheese instead of mozzarella?
Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with different types of cheese such as cheddar, Monterey Jack, or queso fresco for a unique flavor.
Can I make this recipe in a slow cooker instead of a saucepan?
Yes, you can definitely make this recipe in a slow cooker. Simply combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
Can I freeze the leftover pinto beans?
Yes, you can freeze the leftover pinto beans in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Simply thaw and reheat when ready to enjoy again.

Was this page helpful?

Chat Bubble Icon Share your own special recipe
Submit Your Own Recipe

Have your own special recipe to share? Submit Your Recipe Today!