How To Cook Pinto Beans in a Crock Pot

Cooking Pinto Beans in my Crock Pot
Cooking Pinto Beans in my Crock Pot | Source

How to Cook Pinto Beans in Your Crock Pot

It's that time of year again! 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.

Start With a Great Crock Pot

Start off with a good crock pot! The crock pot shown below is awesome! Cuisinart is one of the best brands and this one has fantastic features! You will love cooking in a crock pot, especially in the winter. There are so many foods you can prepare ahead and leave to cook while you're at work. Imagine coming in the door after a hard day's work, and dinner is all ready to eat! Or, if you're at home during the day, you can enjoy the wonderful smells of whatever you are cooking!

Cuisinart is one of the best brands...

Cuisinart PSC-350 3-1/2-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker
Cuisinart PSC-350 3-1/2-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker

Oval-shaped programmable slow cooker with 3-1/2-quart ceramic pot

Touchpad control panel; 24-hour LCD countdown timer; 4 cooking modes

Automatic keep-warm; glass lid; nonslip rubber feet; stay-cool handles for safety

Dishwasher-safe pot and lid; instruction manual with recipes included

Measures 14-1/4 by 16-1/2 by 11-3/4 inches; 3-year limited warranty


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!
3.3 stars from 33 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...

Cooking Directions for Crock Pot:

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?

  • LOTS of onions!
  • Pickle Relish
  • Ketchup
  • Salsa
  • Chow Chow
  • Just Plain, thanks
  • Not listed here
See results without voting

Uses for Leftover Beans

1. Re-heat the next day

2. Freeze for later

3. Make Chili Beans

4. Make Re-fried Beans

5. Make Baked Beans

6. Use in Soup

Top 89 Recipes Using Pinto Beans - Ideas for your leftovers...

Keep plenty of pinto beans on hand for making these terrific recipes. Beans are high in fiber and have no fat, thus they are a very healthy food. You should eat more of them! Of course, you don't want just plain beans all of the time. This cookbook will give you a quantity of ideas that include pinto beans.

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! :)

Comments 50 comments

Faye Rutledge profile image

Faye Rutledge 2 years ago from Concord VA Author

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

BarbaraCasey profile image

BarbaraCasey 2 years ago from St. Petersburg, Florida

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 2 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

ecogranny 2 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

Richard1988 2 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

Cesky 2 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 2 years ago from Concord VA Author

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

vineliner57 2 years ago from Bloomington, IN

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

queenofduvetcover profile image

queenofduvetcover 2 years ago

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

OhMe profile image

OhMe 2 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.

Faye Rutledge profile image

Faye Rutledge 2 years ago from Concord VA Author

@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.

Merrci profile image

Merrci 2 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 2 years ago from Concord VA Author

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.

Donna Cook 2 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.

cbarkett 2 years ago

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

Faye Rutledge profile image

Faye Rutledge 2 years ago from Concord VA Author

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 2 years ago from Kentucky

I love me some pinto beans. Great lens.

Faye Rutledge profile image

Faye Rutledge 2 years ago from Concord VA Author

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!

Mickie Gee profile image

Mickie Gee 2 years ago

My husband loves pinto beans and gets them almost every time we go to a meat-and-three restaurant. I must try your pinto bean recipe in a crock pot and surprise him. If there are any leftovers, I will use the beans in chili!

Jogalog profile image

Jogalog 3 years ago

I'm lazy and usually use canned beans but I really should try the slowcooker method.

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