Southern Style Pinto Beans

"A southern staple, this is one of those good ol' down home meals. Add a pan of cornbread and it's almost perfection! And if you’re in the mood to splurge, fried potatoes are a must. I used to spend all day cooking a pot of beans and watching them carefully so they didn't burn. The crock pot solves that problem."
photo by Jessi Leigh photo by Jessi Leigh
photo by Jessi Leigh
Ready In:
4hrs 10mins




  • Cover beans with water and soak overnight, or 6-8 hours.
  • In the morning, drain and rinse the beans, discard soaking water, and put beans in slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients, including chicken broth.
  • Cover. Cook on low 10 hours, or on High 5 hours.
  • Transfer 2 cups of the bean soup to a food processor or blender and puree. Return puree to the slow-cooker. Heat on High an additional 30 minutes. (This is an easy way to thicken the soup.).
  • Serve with cornbread and fried potatoes.
  • TO PRE-PREP: Combine 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, and 1 bay leaf, and store in a plastic storage bag until ready to cook. Having these dry ingredients packaged ahead of time will make seasoning the beans as easy as pouring the seasonings into the slow-cooker along with the beans and chicken broth.
  • TO STORE: Bean soups keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to three months. The flavors are even better after standing. When reheating, thin with a little water if necessary.

Questions & Replies

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  1. danipani
    These are, hands down, the best pinto beans I've ever had/made. I made them for the first time two weeks ago and I've made them two more times since. The first time I made them I followed the recipe exactly. Second time, I used pork belly since I didn't have any hocks. I do NOT recommend that; you must have some kind of smoked pork. Tonight I made them again although I didn't puree any of the beans and these were the best yet. All three times I did use my pressure cooker (after 24 hour soak, put all ingredients in pressure cooker, bring to high pressure and cook for 6 minutes then let the pressure naturally release).
  2. jeannetomlin
    It's a good recipe but I think they are better cooked on stove top and not in a crock pot which generally means there is no need for any pureeing since they thicken naturally. It's not that big a deal to stir every hour or so and about 3 hours cooking on low is usually long enough. Otherwise this is an excellent recipe that I use exactly.
  3. baltisraul
    These are really good and it does need smoked meat to top it off. Badia Spice Co. used to make a Pinto Bean Spice mix but have not seen it in the stores for a few years .I started to make my own and it does take the guess work out of getting the spice combinations just right. Beans are just beans until you get spice mixture just right. We eat a lot of beans!!


<p>I'm just a simple home cook who enjoys cooking for my family. I learned most of what I know about cooking from my Mom, who is a pretty great cook in her own right. I have also learned to make use of sites like RecipeZaar to find new and interesting recipes that my family enjoys.</p>
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