I had the wonderful good fortune to live in Guadalajara, Mexico for several years when I was in my 20s – besides making dear friends and learning Spanish, I also was taught to cook many of the traditional dishes. Here is one of my all-time favorites. And if you want to have THE best refried beans you’ve ever had, there is a link at the end of this recipe to take it one step further.

Amazing Pinto Beans

©2016 Drew Emborsky, aka The Crochet Dude®



6 cups dry pinto beans, well cleaned
1 medium onion, quartered
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 dried chile de arbol


If you want to reduce cooking time you can soak the beans overnight in water, but don’t refrigerate them. Also be sure to rinse them one more time before cooking.


In a traditional bean pot (my fave option), a regular pot, or a slow cooker add the beans, onion, garlic, and chiles. Do NOT add the salt yet. (Be sure you use a pot that has enough space for the beans plump up).


Add water until 3″ above the beans. Place over low heat (or set slow cooker to low) and simmer. Check periodically to see if more water needs to be added. It is critical that when you go to add more water that you have heated it up first – otherwise you will shock the beans and they will stop cooking.

After your house smells unbelievable, taste test the beans to be sure they are fully cooked, soft, and creamy – this will take 6 to 12 hours but is one of the reasons that it comes out so yummy.

Once done then add salt to taste. Sneak up on it so you don’t make it too salty, but rest assured it will probably take more than you’d think.

Serves 10-12

If you want to refry these, click here to check out my recipe for Amazing Refried Beans


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2 thoughts on “Free recipe: Amazing Pinto Beans”

  1. Thank you so much! I’m making this this afternoon. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

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