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How to Cook Pinto Beans in a Crock Pot

Updated on May 31, 2017
Faye Rutledge profile image

Faye has been cooking for over 50 years and loves to share her recipes and cooking tips with everyone.

A crock pot of pinto beans...yum!
A crock pot of pinto beans...yum!

How to Cook Pinto Beans in Your Crock Pot

There's nothing better on a cold, snowy (or, rainy) day than the smell of a pot of beans cooking! And, of course, eating them! Hot and filling, comfort food.

Of course, you should cook beans any time of the year because they are nutritious and have lots of fiber. It's a good idea to keep cooked beans on hand for quick use in many different recipes. Dried beans cooked at home, taste so much better than those bought in a can.

I love to put pinto beans in my crock pot in the morning and let them cook all day. Not only do they smell good, they help warm your house. Double benefits!

If you're working, you can put them in before leaving, and come home to hot beans for dinner.

Whether they're in your crock pot or on your stove, in my opinion, pinto beans are best when cooked for several hours or, even better, all day. You can apply this recipe to any type of dried bean.

I have pinto beans in my crock pot as I write this, and boy, they sure do smell good! And, an extra bonus is that the beans cooking are adding moisture to the air, and causing my kitchen to be warm and cozy!

Now, let me find a good book to read while my beans are cooking! :)

A Healthy Choice!

Pinto Beans are High in Fiber and Fat Free.

Directions for Cooking Pinto Beans in Your Crock Pot

What could be easier than putting beans in a crock pot and letting them cook all day? They'll be ready to eat when you get home from a hard day at work. Mmm, they make the house smell so good, too! Plus, you can use the left-over beans another day. You can print this recipe.

Cook Time

Prep Time: 30 minutes + soaking time

Total Time: 6 - 8 hours

Serves: 4 - 6


  • 1 pound bag of Pinto Beans
  • 6 - 8 cups Hot Water for cooking
  • Ham and/or other seasonings - bacon, fatback, butter, margarine (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt (to taste)


  1. Pick through your beans and discard any small rocks or bad beans.
  2. Rinse beans well in cold water.
  3. Cover with water and let soak overnight or use quick soak method shown below.
  4. Rinse beans again after soaking period.
  5. Pour beans into crock pot and add 6 - 8 cups of hot water. Enough to cover plus about 1 inch above.
  6. Add any seasonings desired. (diced ham, butter, margarine, fatback)
  7. Turn crock pot to high, and cook all day. (at least 6 - 8 hours)
  8. Add salt during last hour of cooking (if possible)
  9. Serve and enjoy!
3.2 stars from 120 ratings of Crock Pot Pinto Beans Recipe
pinto beans
pinto beans

Step #1: Clean Your Pinto Beans

I use a one pound bag, but you can cook at least 2 pounds at one time in your crock pot (you'll need more water).

Sort and Rinse:

Dried pinto beans need to be sorted before cooking to remove any little rocks or bad beans not found with the factory cleaning equipment. They also need to be washed. I usually sort mine into a bowl, add some cold water and stir them around good. Then I pour that into a colander and rinse well again with my sink sprayer. I repeat this at least twice or more.

Soaking pinto beans
Soaking pinto beans

Step #2: Soak Beans

Overnight or Quick Soak

Overnight Soak:

Rinse and sort 1lb. of pinto beans. Place in large pot. Add enough COLD water to cover beans by 2 inches. (About 8 cups) Let stand overnight or at least 6 to 8 hours. Drain soak water and rinse beans. Continue to Step #3.

Quick Soak:

Rinse and sort 1lb. of pinto beans. Place in large pot. Add about 8 cups of HOT water. Bring to a rapid boil and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain soak water and rinse. Continue to Step #3.

Note: I have found that soaking beans overnight, rather than a quick soak, will lessen the "gas" caused after eating the beans!

These Pinto Beans Have Been Quick Soaked in Hot Water and Are Ready to Cook All Day in My Crock Pot

Ready to cook!
Ready to cook!

Step #3: Cooking Directions for Crock Pot

Cook All Day

Place drained and rinsed pinto beans into a crock pot. Add about 6 - 8 cups of hot water to cover beans. Add seasonings (except salt) and a ham hock or diced ham. If you don't have any ham, just use 2 - 3 Tablespoons of butter or margarine. Set on High temperture and let cook 6 to 8 hours, or all day. Add about 1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste) about 1 hour or less before finished cooking.

Note: You may want to try this for the first time when you are going to be at home, to make sure the water doesn't get too low. You may need to start with more water or set the temperature on Medium. It will depend on your crock pot.

Alternative: Cooking Directions for Top of Stove

Place drained and rinsed pinto beans into a large pot. Add about 6 cups of hot water to cover beans (depending on the size of your pot). Add any seasonings desired (except salt), and your choice of ham hock, diced ham, butter, margarine or nothing. Bring to a boil. Lower temperature, cover pot, and simmer for at least 2 hours or until done. Best if simmered 4 hours or more! Add about 1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste) about 1 hour before finished cooking.

Adding Salt:

Do not add salt until the last hour of cooking or beans will not get tender.

Now My Crock Pot Pinto Beans are Ready to Eat!

Crock Pot Pinto Beans
Crock Pot Pinto Beans

Put These Toppings on Your Beans

People like different things on their pinto beans. My husband likes LOTS on diced onions on his and I like mine just plain. Pinto beans are good any way you fix them!

  1. Pickle Relish

  2. Green Tomato Relish

  3. Salsa

  4. Ketchup

  5. Chow Chow

  6. Onions

Let's Hear From You...

What do you like on your pinto beans?

See results

Uses for Leftover Beans

1. Re-heat the next day

2. Freeze for later

3. Chili Beans

4. Re-fried Beans

5. Baked Beans

6. Use in Soup

These directions are a little different than mine, but basically the same.

Thanks for Your Visit

I'd love it if you left a note in the comment section below and let me know you were here! If you have any tips about cooking pinto beans, please share them. Have a great day! :)

© 2010 Faye Rutledge


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    • profile image

      bsakcouch 2 months ago

      Thanks for the info!!!

    • profile image

      Tenn Hill Willian 7 months ago

      Neighbor in nursing home, take him soup beans, onions, Texas Pete and corn bread. Called it the NECTAR OF THE GODS.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 2 years ago from Concord VA

      @BarbaraCasey: I know you will love your new crock pot! Thanks for your visit and comment.

    • profile image

      BarbaraCasey 2 years ago

      Now that I have a larger kitchen with counter space, I can get a crockpot. Timely how-to for this family, thanks.

    • Corrinna-Johnson profile image

      Corrinna Johnson 3 years ago from BC, Canada

      This is how I like to cook beans for using in burritos and salads. Very easy and hands off!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      This is one of those lenses I just love to find on Squidoo. It makes me feel all warm and cozy just thinking about the aroma of the beans floating through the house on a chilly day.We love beans at our house too, and make them in a small slow-cooker just right for two or four. I also make them nearly as often on the stove top using my many-decades-old cast-iron bean pot. I don't soak my beans, but I know many people do. We have never had a problem with gas, but perhaps that's because of the homemade yogurt that keeps our intestinal flora active and healthy.

    • Richard1988 profile image

      Richard 3 years ago from Hampshire - England

      I love beans when they have been slow cooked - I definitely agree with you about the "cook all day" method. It's worth it for the smell alone! Yum.

    • Cesky profile image

      Cecilia Karanja 3 years ago from Nairobi

      We never eat beans alone in Kenya. It's either served as stew for another meal, or we boil together with green maize. We call it Githeri.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 3 years ago from Concord VA

      Pinto beans are even popular in the summer time. You can use them to make baked beans for your picnics and cook outs!

    • vineliner57 profile image

      Hal Gall 3 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      My wife is making beans today. May have to sleep on the couch tonite :)

    • queenofduvetcover profile image

      queenofduvetcover 3 years ago

      I cook beans all the time and never thought of using a crock pot. This is some great info! =)

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 3 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I love Pinto Beans and just have to have slaw and cornbread with them. I have never cooked them in the crock pot but will have to try it soon. In fact, after reading this I now have a craving for some.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      I think a bag will start soaking tonight. It sounds so easy. Have you tried them without meat? I'm hoping they will come out okay that way too.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 3 years ago from Concord VA

      @Merrci: Merrci, yes you can just add margerine or butter, instead of meat. Also, onions or any spices you might like. I have a friend who adds carrots to her pinto beans when cooking.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 3 years ago from Concord VA

      Have you ever heard of cranberry beans? They're pretty much like pinto beans, and I am cooking them in my crock pot on the cold, snowy winter day.

    • profile image

      Donna Cook 3 years ago

      Great minds think alike! This is exactly how I cook pinto beans for burritos. The beans are so much softer than cooking on the stove. I buy a 15 pound bag of pinto beans at the local farmers market and divide it into one pound bags. Saves money and supports local farms.

    • profile image

      cbarkett 3 years ago

      Love my crock pot. I'll have to try this, thanks

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 3 years ago from Concord VA

      It's a cold, snowy day in Concord VA...and guess what we'll be having for supper tonight? Pinto beans, of course. I have them cooking now, and they sure do smell good. Maybe I'll have cornbread with them tonight...Yum!

    • AnonymousC831 profile image

      AnonymousC831 3 years ago from Kentucky

      I love me some pinto beans. Great lens.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 3 years ago from Concord VA

      I cooked pinto beans a few nights ago for our supper. We added salsa and cheese to ours and ate them with tortilla chips. Yum!

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