• 3 cups dried pinto beans, organic if you prefer
  • 2 quarts water 
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • Optional additions:
  • 1 minced jalapeno if you like spice, or a pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon cumin, ground

This no-soak basic and delicious pinto bean recipe was created by Toni Okamoto for her new Plant-Based on a Budget QUICK & EASY cookbook. I’m loving the cookbook, and am thrilled with these versatile beans. She also offers stovetop directions, although using the Instant Pot is the bomb. They are easier to digest, and take very little attention.

Pinto beans are America’s most popular bean, with a muted pink color and creamy, earthy,  slightly nutty flavor. Yes, they are easy to find in cans, but not with the kind of flavor profile that you can create when you cook them from scratch.

In a 6-quart pressure cooker, [I used the Instant Pot], combine the beans, salt, and any or all of the optional additions. [I use all]. Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes.

Release the pressure with a quick release and remove the lid. [This creates heavy and moist steam, I surround the valve with a small towel, or use a diverter.  Switch to the saute function and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans reach your desired softness, Usually 25 to 35 minutes.

Serve right away or cool and store in airtight containers in the fridge for 5 to 6 days.

You may freeze in airtight containers with just enough broth to cover the beans. Canned beans, when drained, offer about 1 1/2 cups of beans. Freeze in that quantity, or the amounts that you will use for future meals, like soups, chilis, or salads

For stovetop cooking: I haven’t used this method but it is in Tony’s book.

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add the pinto beans, salt and other additions desired.  Cover and cook for 45 minutes. Then, add another 2 quarts of water, stir, and cover. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 1 hour. Check the beans and if not soft enough, cover and cook for up to 30 minutes more. Take off the heat and follow step 3 above.