Ladle full of cooked pinto beans.
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Cooking Pinto Beans (Frijoles de la Olla)

Next time you’re thinking of cooking pinto beans, or Frijoles de la Olla, try out this easy recipe. It is the perfect side dish to your Mexican food favorites.
Prep Time12 hrs
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time14 hrs
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4 cups
Author: Maggie Unzueta



  • 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.
  • Drain.
  • Stovetop Cooking Method: In a large stock pot, add enough water to cover 4 inches above the beans, and add salt.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Cover and reduce heat to low.
  • You should barely see the water moving when boiling.
  • Cook for 1 hour.
  • Taste for salt.
  • Add salt if needed.
  • Then add 1 cup of water.
  • Return to a gentle boil.
  • Let simmer for 1 more hour.
  • Enjoy!
  • Slow Cooker Method: Transfer the soaked beans to the slow cooker, add enough water to cover 4 inches above the beans, and add salt. Set the slow cooker: 4 hours on high, or 8 hours on low.