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Pinto Beans


Nutritional Information: This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Thiamin, Magnesium, Iron, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper, Manganese and Selenium and a very good source of Folate.


Storage Information: See general bean page

Food Fun Facts:
This is the bean most commonly found in burritos and is known as “Refried Beans”.  The pinto bean (frijol pinto in Spanish, literally "painted bean") is named for its characteristic spots.  According to some, Pinto beans are the most common bean in the U.S. and northwestern Mexico and can be an important symbol of regional identity. This type of bean is also referred to as "Cowboy Beans" in Texas, all along the Mexican border and wherever Mexican cowboys were employed. Whole, mashed or refried, they are a common filling for burritos. Pinto beans can also be pureed and used in dips, as a soup base, or to thicken soups and sauces. Rice and pinto beans served with cornbread or corn tortillas can be a staple meal.      

Basic Recipes: See general bean page for basic preparation


Other Recipes:


Pinto Pie with Cornmeal Crust

Cornmeal Crust Recipe (makes 2 crusts)
Whisk 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup cornmeal, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in small bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, and 3/4 cup sugar in large bowl. Beat in 3 large egg yolks. Add dry ingredients and beat just until blended. Divide dough in half; flatten into disks. Wrap each dough disk in plastic and refrigerate 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly oil 9-inch-diameter pie pan. Unwrap 1 dough disk; press onto bottom and up sides of pan.

Idaho's Pinto Bean Pie
Blend up to 1½ cups sweetner of your choice (mix of 1/2c white and 1 c brown sugar, or part maple syrup or try something else) 2 eggs, and ½ cup butter until creamy. Add 1 heaping cup of mashed pinto beans (Note: 1 ½  cups cooked beans equals about 1 cup, mashed) Blend thoroughly. Pour into a 9-inch unbaked pie shell. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 25 minutes or until a knife inserted into the pie comes out clean. This pie taste a lot like pecan pie. Serve with whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.
Adapted from:

Rosemary and Lemon Pinto Beans (Serves 4)
3-4 cups cooked pinto beans
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup olive oil (preferably extra-virgin)
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Combine above ingredients in medium bowl. Toss to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon wedges over beans. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, if desired.

Mashed Pinto Beans with Cheese
Ingredients for  a homemade Bean Burrito!

These Frijoles Meneados are an ideal addition to any meal

  • 1 pound dried pinto beans, soaked overnight and rinsed
  • 2 cups chopped green onions (about 8)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups (packed) coarsely grated cheese

Place beans in heavy large pot. Add 10 cups water, green onions, and 1 tablespoon oil. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover partially, and simmer until beans are just tender, approximately 30 minutes. Mix in 1 teaspoon fine sea salt. Cover partially and continue to simmer until beans are very soft, adding more water by cupfuls if water level falls below top of beans, about 20 minutes.

Heat remaining 1/3 cup oil in skillet over medium heat. Add white onion and sauté until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Using slotted spoon, transfer beans to skillet. Mash with potato masher to lumpy puree. Mix in enough bean liquid (about 1/2 cup) to moisten. Mix in cheese. Season to taste. Serve with tortillas. (Makes 6 servings)