Pinto beans are a highly versatile legume that can be incorporated into many different recipes. With their mild flavor and creamy texture when cooked, pinto beans make a great addition to soups, stews, tacos, burritos, salads and more. This article will provide guide on how to cook canned pinto beans to make them even tastier and ready to be used in your favorite recipes.

1. Benefits of Using Canned Pinto Beans

Affordability – Canned beans are an affordable source of protein compared to meat. Dried beans may be cheaper but require more prep time.

Long shelf-life – Unopened cans of pinto beans can be stored for 12-24 months. Once opened, store beans in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Nutrition – Pinto beans are packed with protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, potassium and B vitamins. Canning locks in many of these important nutrients. Rinsing removes some sodium that is added during canning.

Convenience – Canned beans are pre-cooked so they can be used right out of the can without lengthy prep or cooking times. This makes them great for quick meals.

While canned beans provide convenience, a few additional steps can impart more flavor. Follow these tips for cooking canned pinto beans.

2. How To Cook Canned Pinto Beans


  • 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


Rinse the canned pinto beans well under cool running water and drain thoroughly.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes until translucent.

Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. Then pour in the chicken broth and add the drained pinto beans. Bring to a gentle simmer.

Next, add the cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, and chili powder. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Allow the beans to simmer for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the broth has reduced slightly and the beans are heated through.

Remove from heat and adjust seasonings as needed. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.

Serve the flavorful beans warm as a side dish, or use them as a base for various recipes.

3. What To Do With Heated Canned Pinto Beans?

Bean Burritos

Fill tortillas with heated pinto beans, rice, shredded cheese, salsa, and your favorite toppings like sour cream, guacamole, and lettuce. Roll them up for a quick and satisfying meal.

Bean Tacos

Create tasty tacos by using the heated beans as a filling. Add taco seasoning, lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, and any other toppings you prefer.

Bean and Cheese Quesadillas

Spread the heated beans and shredded cheese between two tortillas and cook until the cheese is melted and the tortillas are crispy. Serve with salsa or sour cream.

Bean & Rice Bowls

Combine heated pinto beans with cooked rice, sautéed vegetables, and your choice of protein (e.g., grilled chicken, beef, or tofu). Top with salsa or a drizzle of hot sauce.

Bean Salads

Mix heated pinto beans with chopped fresh vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and bell peppers. Toss with a vinaigrette dressing for a healthy and filling salad.


Use the heated pinto beans as an ingredient in chili. Combine them with ground beef or turkey, tomatoes, chili spices, and simmer for a hearty and flavorful chili.

Now that you know how to cook canned pinto beans, you can enjoy this nutritious and versatile ingredient in a variety of dishes!

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Julia Jane is a home cook inspired by her mother's cooking. With the desire to share my cooking experiences with everyone, she created this website

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