This post may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Frijoles de la Olla (or frijoles de olla) remind me of carrying an empty stock pot to the local tortilleria where they sold tortillas and cooked pinto beans.
They are a staple in the Mexican cuisine. Creamy, hearty, and so yummy!
Lucky for us, this Mexican recipe is easy to make at home and the start to refried beans.
Make Mexican beans faster with this Instant Pot Pinto Beans recipe.
- dried pinto beans
Cooking pinto beans is easy. EASY! It involves only those 3 simple ingredients.
However, it does take a long time. Hours and hours, in fact. You can’t rush the magical bean.
This isn’t “Jack and the Beanstalk.” This is “Juan, let the beans talk”.
Feel free to add extra ingredients like 1 bay leaves, 1/2 medium onion, 2 garlic cloves, and epazote to enhance the flavor of the beans.
- Remove any twigs, rocks, or hard dirt.
Sorting beans is a must. They are very dirty. Rinse and repeat, or they will taste like mud.
Cooking a large pot of frijoles pintos is a weekly thing for many Mexican families
The traditional cooking method to make pinto beans is in a big clay pot – known as “olla de barro.”
- Best method: Soak for 6 hours or overnight in a large bowl.
- Quick soaking method: Add dried beans and 2 inches of cold water above the beans. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat off and soak for one hour. Then continue to the cooking instructions.
When the beans are soaked, they absorb the water and become bigger.
Pinto beans have a nuttier taste and have the unique ability to take on the flavor of the foods they are cooked with.
On the other hand, black beans (frijoles negros) are oval-shaped, smaller, and sturdier, can better handle high temperatures and resist moisture so they don’t turn mushy.
- The skin on soaked beans will look wrinkly. Don’t be stingy with the water.
- Cooking pinto beans on the stove involves a lot of water.
Test your beans after 45 minutes. They should almost be completely soft, add 1 cup of water and a teaspoon salt at the very end until the pinto beans are tender. This will give your beans plenty of liquid to continue cooking and prevent them from burning.
Canned pinto beans
• Use organic canned pinto beans. They taste much better than the others. I like these canned pinto beans.
Drain and reheat the beans with spices like cumin and oregano to remove the canned flavor. Use as normal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Storing them – How long will they last?
Properly cooked pinto beans will last from 3-5 days in the fridge. But you can also freeze them in freezer bags or airtight containers for up to 6 months.
Are pinto beans good for you?
Eating pinto beans can help you stay healthy. It can lower the risk of getting heart disease and diabetes. It also might help you live longer and reduce your chances of getting cancer. Plus, it fills you up!
More Pinto Bean Recipes:
Frijoles de la Olla is a tasty staple of Mexican cuisine. This easy recipe makes a perfect side dish for your main meal favorites. With a warm tortilla and queso fresco, a large bowl of pinto beans is comfort food at its best!
Hungry for More?
Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube for my latest recipes and videos.
Cooking Pinto Beans (Frijoles de la Olla)
- 1 lb pinto beans
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 onion (small)
- 2 tablespoons salt
- Sort the beans, removing all the rocks and other debris.
- Rinse the beans thoroughly.
- Overnight Soaking Method: Cover the beans with water, at least a few inches above the beans. Overnight is best, or 6 hours.
- OR Quick Soaking Method: Add pinto beans to a stock pot and cover with water 4 inches above the beans. Bring to a boil for 1 minute. Turn off heat. Let sit for 1 hour.
- In a large stock pot, add enough water to cover 4 inches above the beans, and add onion and garlic.
- Bring to a boil.
- Cover and reduce heat to low.
- You should barely see the water moving when boiling.
- Cook for 1 hour.
- Add salt.
- Then add 1 cup of water.
- Return to a gentle boil.
- Check if tender.
- If needed, cook until tender.
I have cooked our own beans our whole married life which is 35 years. I also can the cooked beans to always have on hand. So easy and cheap.
I believe it! You’re an awesome cook. 🙂
I always bought canned pinto beans but thanks to your post I can cook pinto beans at home. Love this!!!!!
I love the smell of beans cooking. Hope you enjoy. 🙂
Chrissa - Physical Kitchness
I NEED to do this instead of buying canned pinto beans. This looks like such a healthier option and more cost efficient too!
It is more cost effective. Especially if you’re buying organic canned beans.
These look absolutely incredible & relatively simple to recreate. I like the minimal ingredients. :]
Me too! Love recipes that involve just a few ingredients. 🙂
I got a slow cooker a year ago because I wanted to cook my own beans. I still haven’t made beans in the slow cooker! It is time to start. My poor slow cooker is the forgotten appliance in the kitchen.
LOL. I have a blender that’s in the same boat. Love my slow cooker!
This looks amazing I can’t wait to try making me own beans!
So easy. You’ll wonder why you never made your own before.
I have never done “frijoles a la olla” but will add this to my recipes. It’s simple and easy, I normally do beans the same way but tend to add things such as pieces of bacon, garlic and onion procced in a food processor to real fine so it melts during the cooking, diced tomatoes and add two Serrano chiles that have been pierced to add a little hotness but that is too much work. Thanks for this!!!
Oh man! Your recipe sounds good. Yes, you can add all those things.
Hi Nancy! I’m Mexican too. 🙂 I have seen them made the way that you described. My recipe is very simple, very basic. You can add garlic and onion if you like. Knorr Suiza too. It will add flavor. However, Knorr Suiza is not vegan. Also, I have always made the beans (as my grandmother did) with the salt in the beginning. Do you notice a difference when the salt is added later in the cooking process?
wow its great and delicious Post shared by you i really loves to read this again or best idea for cooking this pinto beans
I love pinto beans and just recently started making them at home instead of buying them. I’m so glad I found your recipe!
Pinto beans are the best! Hope you try this recipe.
Taleen | Just As Tasty
Yum! I’ve never attempted to cook pinto beans but love how simple this is. Thanks for the recipe!
Glad you enjoyed this. Hope you try it!
Right? Hope you try it!
What a great recipe! And I agree about using organic canned or vacuum packed beans. They are so much better.
Thank you! Glad you enjoyed this
So simple yet so flavorful and filling! Thank you!
Simple is sometimes better
Thank you for the great tips, my beans came out perfect.
Glad you liked this recipe!