New ways to cook Pinto Beans. So many pinto beans
July 31, 2020 7:44 AM   Subscribe

As a loving gesture or in a moment of Covid panic I have been blessed with a huge sack (not a bag a commercial sized sack from Sams Club) of Pinto beans by a family member "just in case". I would love some recipes or ideas on things to do with them. I have a pretty well equipped kitchen and an instant pot & know how to cook basic beans in it, but what do I do with them after that?

Our favorite bean dish is red bean & rice, could I use them as a replacement or make something similar with them?

Only dietary requirement is no cilantro or sheep/goats cheese or that I can leave it out if I want. Oh & please no chili recipes, I'm sure yours is delicious it's entirely a texture thing.
posted by wwax to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
can you specify what about chili is a bad texture? it sounds like that could also eliminate any bean soups.
posted by brilliantine at 7:58 AM on July 31, 2020

Best answer: Here's a dish my husband came up with a million years ago, using cranberry beans, but you can use pinto beans. We wrote it down as "Cold October Bean Salad" ... which, I don't know. Maybe we first made it in October.

cooked cranberry beans
chopped celery
generous amount of olive oil
garlic paste (we mash w/mortar and pestle with a bit of olive oil and salt)
hot pepper sauce
white pepper
fresh squeezed lemon juice

Obviously, all to taste. Google tells me cranberry beans are more flavorful than pinto beans, so you might want to toss in some crushed walnuts, pecans, or pine nuts for a little extra savory oomph.
posted by taz at 8:06 AM on July 31, 2020

Best answer: There's always refried beans, of course. You can make bean burgers (most recipes call for black beans but you can sub for pinto). Then there's pinto bean curry, thoran, or croquettes.
posted by mezzanayne at 8:17 AM on July 31, 2020

Best answer: One of my go-to bean recipes is: Start with cooked beans. Sauté a half an onion and some garlic in a generous dollop of olive oil. Add beans, cook until warmed through. Take a fork and mash one half to two thirds of them. Eat on toast or those Ryevita crackers/flatbread. You can also flavour this recipe however you like; if I’m using garam masala I add a bit of fresh ginger at the garlic stage.
posted by warriorqueen at 8:28 AM on July 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

I usually cook them slowly (crock pot or slow on the stove) with a quartered onion or two and cumin. The onion falls apart in a nice way and adds some depth.

Also if the beans are meant to be a “just in case” thing, I’d hang on to them longer before tapping into the bag. I’m not sure we’ve seen the worst of potential grocery supply-chain issues.
posted by needs more cowbell at 8:41 AM on July 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have whipped up beans with canned salmon as a base for dip or spread.
Also, I have used a stick blender to blend beans into tomato based pasta sauce for meatless meal nights.
posted by i_mean_come_on_now at 8:50 AM on July 31, 2020

Best answer: I eat beans and rice like nobody on this planet (in fact, as I'm typing this I'm eating chicken rice-a-roni with garbanzos and white northerns, mirepoix, and vegetarian 'chicken strips', plus spices), and I must second warriorqueen's suggestion: bean dip/pastes of all sorts. Just when I though that I'd finally exhausted the humble bean, I started mushing or pureeing them, and oh my god.
posted by pseudophile at 8:51 AM on July 31, 2020 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I make these Not Refried Beans in a slow cooker; pressure cooker should work fine. They freeze very well. Then I mix them with salsa and use it as the basis of a burrito filling. (My other toppings are hot sauce, onion, chili powder & cheese but of course you can use whatever you want.)
posted by JanetLand at 8:52 AM on July 31, 2020

Best answer: Refried beans are covered...croquettes are covered....

This recipe is something I checked out when I first got my Instant Pot. I loved it for the name alone - fiasco beans. It's got a more Italian flavor profile, but you could probably swap out the cannellini for the pintos and substitute oregano instead of the sage and just leave out the kale and have a good Mexican bean recipe.

This recipe for Tuscan Bean Soup is from the Moosewood soup and salad cookbook I recommend every other day around here; someone has kindly posted it on their own site so you can just look at it there. It calls for 6 cups of cooked beans, and pintos are one of the beans it suggests. I've made it several times; it's one of those nice basic homey comforting earthy grounding meals, especially if you serve it with a nice crusty bread and a simple green salad.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:00 AM on July 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I've done this Smitten Kitchen black bean soup recipe with dried pintos, and it's worked just as well as with dried black beans. I do it in an old school crockpot slow cooker, but she gives Instant Pot directions as well.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:24 AM on July 31, 2020

Best answer: I've had my eye on this Rajma recipe - it's a baked recipe with beans in a creamy tomato sauce (omit cilantro). It uses kidney beans but I'd try it with pinto, why not. It's different enough from other bean recipes I've made that it has me excited!
posted by beyond_pink at 9:31 AM on July 31, 2020

Best answer: Since pinto beans are a pulse, you can use them to make dosa, a savoury south-asian crepe, which you can then stuff with all sorts of things!
posted by burntflowers at 10:25 AM on July 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: The Chili texture thing relates to childhood food poisoning and is to do with ground/pulled meats in a sloppy sauce not the beans. I can eat beans & rice with no worries but I can't eat bolognese sauce as an example. I'm OK with pork sausage meat as the texture is firmer. And yes I know it's kind of irrational.
posted by wwax at 11:02 AM on July 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There is a stew in America's Test Kitchen's "The Best Mexican Recipes Cookbook" (page 67) that is sounds so strange but is one of the most delicious things we've ever cooked at home. It's called "Chicken Stew with Sweet Potato, Pineapple, and Plantains" and it's also got pinto beans and a small amount of peanuts in it. It sounds ridiculous, but it is, in fact, delicious.

Not sure if you'll be able to find the recipe online, but there are many other great recipes in the book. We use that cookbook at least once a month.


Also, look into pasta e fagioli recipes. You should be able to find one that calls for pinto beans.

During the pandemic, I started cooking this one with a parmesan stock base and cranberry beans (I did something similar and bought a large bag of roman beans because those were the only beans left in the supermarket). Anyway, we liked the recipe so much that we've bought more and larger bags of the beans. I think pinto beans would work fine in that recipe, though as mentioned above, cranberry beans have a little more flavor. You can get parmesan rinds at places like Whole Foods or fancy cheese stores.
posted by msbrauer at 11:26 AM on July 31, 2020

Best answer: There's a restaurant we go to when we visit relatives that has a bean soup that is just heaven. This is a pretty spot on copycat of it. I used a smoked ham hock in it, and my goodness...!
posted by BlueBear at 12:43 PM on July 31, 2020

Best answer: You can swap out beans pretty readily, and make bean dip or hummus with pinto beans instead of black beans or garbanzos, respectively. Pintos seem a bit less firm so they're great for bean dip, many recipes on the web; I don't use the dairy and add some vinegar and cilantro. I made a big batch of bean salad with black & pinto beans, fresh green beans, cabbage, red pepper, cucumbers, onion, vinegar, olive oil, herbs, and add different things to vary it, like tuna, black olives, etc. I have been eating it once or twice a day, typical for me, and not tired of it yet. You can add cooked beans to pasta salads.

I like mashed beans in any sort of wrap, maybe with scrambled eggs, rice, and sweet potatoes, with salsa. You can use mashed pinto beans, cooked with some onion and fat, and fairly wet, as a side dish with a lot of meals.

Beans feature in lot of Indian cooking; I am lazy and usually buy the packets, but, again, tons of recipes if you search. Some sauces are tomato-based, some seem to be onion and broth-based.

The Rancho Gordo blog has good recipes.
posted by theora55 at 1:15 PM on July 31, 2020

Best answer: I recently had surplus cooked beans (kidney and cranberry). We had been making crunchy roasted chickpeas, so i decided to try it with my other beans, and the results were great! I think it would work with pinto beans too.

After cooking them drain & rinse them and spread them out to let the surface moisture evaporate. Then toss them with a little oil of your choice, spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet and roast them in the oven at 325f/160c. Use fan bake if your oven has it. Turn them after half an hour, then check them every 15 minutes until they're crunchy. Season to taste. Just a touch of salt is nice, but whatever spice mix you like is good.

They split and curl back while roasting and look like wierd popcorn. Very addictive. I like them better than crunchy chickpeas tbh.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 2:39 PM on July 31, 2020

Best answer: This recipe for pinquito beans is fantastic. I'm sure you could use pinto beans for it instead of pinquito or navy beans. And of course pre-cook the beans in the instant pot rather than on the stove as called for in Step 1.
posted by slenderloris at 10:36 AM on August 1, 2020

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