Spiced Pinto Beans | Naturally Ella

Spiced Pinto Beans

  • Author: Erin Alderson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1/2 or so cups 1x


An easy component that takes dried, bulk pinto beans and turns them into a delicious meal or base for another recipe.



1 cup uncooked dried pinto beans

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large yellow onion, mincd

1 poblano pepper, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons fresh oregano

1 teaspoon toasted and ground cumin (see note)

½ to 1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons tomato paste


  • Rinse the beans and place in a pot covered with water, 2” above the beans. Cover, bring to a boil, turn off the heat, and let sit for an hour. This will provide the beans a quick soak. Alternatively, soak the beans for 8 hours/overnight.
  • While the beans are doing the quick soak, heat a pan over medium heat. Add the diced onions and poblanos to the pan and cook until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.
  • Drain the beans and add fresh water to the pot (see note) along with the cooked onion mixture oregano, and cumin. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Reduce to the heat to a simmer, add the salt,  and cook for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the beans are tender. Stir in the tomato paste, taste, and adjust seasonings as desired.


Tips & Tricks: Cumin: use the whole cumin seed and toast in a dry skillet then grind. You can use pre-ground cumin, the flavor just won’t be as prominent.

Draining the beans: This is up to you. After you do the soak, you could opt to leave the soaking liquid in. Some people say you need to drain to get rid of the anti-nutrients while others say you lose the flavor. If you don’t have issues, keep the water.

Stock up: get the pantry ingredients you will need: pinto beans, tomato paste, onion