Stewed Mexican Pinto Beans (Fat-Free, Vegan)

Pinto beans are simmered with onion, garlic, bay, and dried chipotle pepper for this easy, fat-free Mexican recipe.  You can even make a big batch in your Slow Cooker: simply throw everything in and set on low for 8-10 hours.  Beans are packed with healthy vegetarian protein and gluten-free fiber.  Serve them over Quinoa Fiesta Salad, Arroz Verde, or just topped with some fresh Guacamole.

EASY       Servings: 6     Ready In: 90 minutes

Easy Stewed Mexican Pinto Beans - Healthy, Plant-based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipe

Easy Stewed Mexican Pinto Beans - Healthy, Plant-based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipe


1 cup Pinto beans
1 small onion, diced
1 bay leaf
1 dried chipotle pepper
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp salt

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Easy Stewed Mexican Pinto Beans - Healthy, Plant-based, Oil-Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipe Pin

To soak the beans, place them in a container and cover with 2-3 inches of water. It's a lot of water! Let soak at least 6-8 hours, or overnight. 
After soaking, the beans will have grown 2-3 times their size. They do most of their growing during the soaking, not during cooking.

To cook the Beans: Drain the beans. Thoroughly rinse under running water.  Place the beans in a medium pot. Add the onion, bay leaf, chipotle pepper, and garlic. Cover with enough water that there is "1 knuckle" between the top of the beans and the top of the water (about 1/2 inch water covering the beans)

Chef's Tip: Add 1/2 tsp of baking soda to the beans. This will help release the gas in the beans, making them more digestible and tender. It's food science! 
As the beans come to a simmer, you might notice a foam develop at the surface of the water. Use a large spoon to skim off this foam. This isn't delicious and it makes the beans gassy. 

Place a lid on the beans and simmer. After about 60 minutes, start checking the beans. The beans will be tender and start to fall apart when they are done cooking. It can take up to 90 minutes to cook older, drier beans. 
Season with salt after the beans are done cooking. If you add salt (or other acid) sooner, it will toughen the beans and take them longer to cook. 

Garnish with fresh diced tomato, avocado, minced red onion, or sliced radish. The fresh flavors will make the beans "pop".  Enjoy Mexican comfort food!

Chef's Tips: Pinto beans are named after the spotted pinto horse. The name literally translates from "painted". You can also use black beans or kidney beans for this recipe.

Yield: About 3 cups

Step-by-Step Photos:

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: About 1/2 cup (1.6 ounces).

Calories 118.18
Calories From Fat (3%) 3.73
% Daily Value
Total Fat 0.42g <1%
Saturated Fat 0.08g <1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 101.46mg 4%
Potassium 469.26mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 21.64g 7%
Fiber 5.22g 21%
Sugar 1.18g
Protein 7.1g 14%
Calcium 3.36mg <1%
Iron 41.1mg 228%
Vitamin A 8.11IU <1%
Vitamin C 2.02mg 3%

How do you cook beans?  How do you make them less gassy? Watch how easy it is to soak and simmer a delicious pot of Mexican pinto beans.  Plant-based Chef Katie Simmons shares her tips for delicious fat-free flavor, essential for healthy vegetarian protein and gluten-free fiber.