Pinto Beans for Burritos

Total Time
3hrs 5mins
Prep 5 mins
Cook 3 hrs

This is my attempt to re-create the beans at my favorite burrito place, Tortillas, in Atlanta GA. Unfortunately, they closed, so now I have to try to make my own burritos, because no other establishment makes a burrito that measures up. Also, I now live in NYC, which is a burrito desert. Do not pre-soak your beans. If you do this, they will already have absorbed a bunch of water and will not be able to absorb all the flavors from the spices and broth. Do not worry about the salt added at the beginning, it is an old wives' tale that beans will be tough if you add salt at the beginning. You want to add all the spices and seasonings at the start so the beans will absorb them.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Sort the beans to make sure there are no small rocks, screws, etc. in them. And yes, I have personally found these things in dried beans before. Sort or hope you have good dental coverage.
  2. Put the beans, all the spices, and the olive oil in a large pot. Mix well.
  3. Add the chicken broth and water, and stir to mix well.
  4. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook beans, uncovered, for 3 to 4 hours until done to your liking (It usually only takes me 3 hours, and sometimes less than 3 if I have it at a fast simmer. After 2 hours, take out a bean every 30 minutes or so and eat it to check if it is done enough for you).


Most Helpful

I'm from New Mexico, so I know good burritos! These are great!<br/><br/>Couple of tips:<br/><br/>-Rinse the beans while sorting them.<br/>-"Quick soak" to get the extra dirt off. This means you put them in a pot of hot water (6-8 cups per lb), boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat, cover, and let sit one hour. Then drain and use fresh water with the broth and spices for the remaining cooking time. <br/>-Make sure the new water is hot! Going from hot to cold will make your beans tough.<br/>-Try adding a pound or so of cut chunks of stew beef. Boiling for so long will soften it. Oh, and the beef will look and taste better if you brown the edges first!<br/>-4 cubes of bouillon in a quart of water may replace the broth in the recipe. More or less cubes to taste.

Jenny M. December 26, 2013

Thank you so much for this recipe! I love cracking out the cast iron and whipping up a batch of burrito beans. It is so fast and easy!<br/><br/>The recipe is awesome as it is but I double the garlic and onion because, well, I love garlic and onion. I also use all chicken stock instead of half water - and skip the salt as a result. <br/><br/>Sometimes at the end I add a bit of oil and mash the beans for a "refried" texture. <br/><br/>These make a great burrito bowl with lots of fresh cilantro, onion, tomato, avocado, jack cheese, Spanish rice and some tomatillo salsa. Yum! Thanks again!

BeatriceBG June 08, 2014

This recipe was a winner at our house. I made it in an electric pressure cooker so I made a couple of changes to accomodate it. First, I had to adjust the liquid, so I used 5 cups of water and added 5 granulated teaspoons of Knorr Chicken Flavor Bouillon in place of 1 quart chicken broth and 1 quart water. I did not add the Kosher salt because the granulated bouillion has plenty of salt. I put all the ingredients in the pressure cooker and used the beans/lentils setting which cooks for 30 minutes after the pressure is built up on my pressure cooker (takes around 10 - 15 minutes to build the pressure). When pressure cooker was finished, I cut up a package of Butterball Turkey Sausage (hardwood smoked) into bite size pieces and browned it, during which time the pressure cooker released its pressure naturally, while sitting. I then checked the release valve to make sure all the pressure was released and removed the pressure cooker lid. I then added the browned sausage, replaced the lid and cooked the beans and sausage for approximately 20 more minutes after the pressure had rebuilt. I released the pressure using the pressure valve and served up the best pot of pinto bean burritos we have had in a long time! (Note: there is still a fair amount of liquid in the beans when finished cooking using only 5 cups of water. If you add less water your beans could actually burn. Use a slotted spoon to remove the beans without the liquid. My son likes to make frito pie, so he uses the broth that is still in the pot.)

twirp57 July 13, 2016

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a