Pinto beans are a high-protein, high fiber powerhouse. They are easy to cook and taste delicious as a side dish or a main ingredient in soups, stews, dips, and burritos. Don’t just stick them in your chili—break out of the pinto bean mold. They are really good for your vegans’ menu rotation. Just pick one of them!
Vegan Mushroom Bean Burger
This recipe combines mashed pinto beans with sautéed mushrooms, onion, and garlic for a flavorful mushroom bean burger. The patties have a hearty texture from the beans and meaty umami flavor from the mushrooms. Serve with your choice of toppings—it’s easy to keep them vegan (no cheese) and gluten-free (bunless).
Ground Beef and Pinto Bean Chili
Ground beef and pinto bean chili start with dried beans for superior flavor and texture. As long as you plan ahead, it’s an easy recipe that’s mostly hands-off. You can swap out all or part of the meat if you like for Mexican chorizo, ground turkey, or pork. This recipe tastes even better the next day, so make extra.
Dutch Oven Pinto Beans (Refried Beans)
Pinto beans are the traditional choice when making refried beans. They’re extra flavorful when cooked in chicken broth from dried before finishing with lard or bacon drippings on the stovetop. Serve as a side dish or as a dip for tortilla chips. You can also make refried beans in the Instant Pot.
Vegetarian Bean and Rice Burrito
You can’t make a good vegetarian burrito without beans. This recipe calls for black beans or pinto beans and can be tweaked to your tastes. Try adding cheese if you’re not vegan, avocado or guacamole for creaminess, or sautéed veggies like peppers and onions. Serve with salsa.
Texas Bean Bake With Ground Beef
Texas bean bake is a combination of browned ground beef, beans, and smoky bacon. The sweet and savory barbecue sauce adds tons of flavor. You can swap the kidney beans for more pinto beans with equally delicious results. Serve at a big family meal, potluck, or barbecue and watch it disappear.
Basic Mexican Beans
For a classic Mexican and Tex-Mex side dish, make pinto beans the old fashioned way. Cooked from dried with onion and garlic, they turn out tender and flavorful. For an extra kick, add chopped chipotle peppers or a squeeze of fresh lime juice to the Mexican beans after cooking. These beans can also be turned into refried beans.
Canned pinto beans are always a convenient option and still taste great. Give your beans a good rinse and drain before using them in a recipe. Store any leftover beans (cooked dried or canned) in an airtight container in the fridge with a little liquid to keep them from drying out. Beans will keep for up to four days in the fridge, or drain the liquid and freeze them for up to a month.