Albuquerque Pinto Beans

Updated on January 16, 2020
THE DIRTY DISH profile image

Recipes so tasty you will want to eat your fill—and so healthy you actually can!

Cowboy-Style Pintos Cooked Tender With Just a Hint of Spicy Heat

Serve them with everything, just like they do in the Duke City! Pinto beans are standard New Mexico fare. They are always served whole, never refried, and are prepared simply, often with only salt and water. Most farmer's markets and area grocery stores carry fresh, local beans, evidenced by their lighter color. (Dried pintos darken in color over time.) According to my grandmother, a long-time Albuquerque resident, pintos grown at high altitude have a better flavor. To test her theory, I prepared a locally-grown bag along with a grocery-store generic bag, and conducted a taste test. Grandma was right, of course! However, everyone did agree that the generic beans were delicious as well, so don't let a limited selection at your grocery store keep you from enjoying this recipe.

Pressure Cooker / Slow Cooker

Prep time: 3 min

Cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes / 8 hours

Ready in: 1 hour 13 minutes / 8 hours 3 minutes

Yields: 12 half-cup servings of beans

Electric Programmable Pressure Cooker (I affectionately call mine R-2.)
Electric Programmable Pressure Cooker (I affectionately call mine R-2.)


  • 1 lb dry pinto beans
  • 1 teaspoon Morton's Lite Salt (Why use Lite Salt?)
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder (Note the "e")

Chile Powder and Chili Powder: What's the Difference?

Chile powder, with an "e", is usually packaged in a small bag, contains only one ingredient, ground red chile peppers, and is available from mild to x-hot. Chili powder, with an "i", is usually packaged in a spice jar and contains a blend of spices commonly used to prepare chili soup. If you have the blend on hand, and want to use it in this recipe, replace the chile powder with 2 teaspoons blend, and use half the amount of the other spices.

The term "chili" indicates a spice blend; "chile" indicates powdered red chile peppers.
The term "chili" indicates a spice blend; "chile" indicates powdered red chile peppers.

Methods & Madness

  • Pressure Cooker: Combine beans, spices and 4 cups water in a pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure for 70 minutes. (Both natural and quick release work well.)
  • Slow Cooker: Combine beans, spices and 7 1/2 cups water in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-9 hours, or on high for 4-5 hours.

Before Cooking
Before Cooking

Based on one 1/2 cup serving

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1
Calories 134
Calories from Fat9
% Daily Value *
Fat 1 g2%
Saturated fat 0 g
Unsaturated fat 1 g
Carbohydrates 25 g8%
Sugar 0 g
Fiber 8 g32%
Protein 8 g16%
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 97 mg4%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
4 stars from 5 ratings of Albuquerque Pintos

© 2017 Stacy Becker


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    • Tom Lohr profile image

      Tom Lohr 

      2 years ago from Santa Fe, NM

      Those look mighty tasty.


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