How to cook pinto beans in a crock-pot?

Pinto beans are a versatile staple that can be used in many dishes, from tacos to soups and more. Cooking them in a crockpot yields tender, flavorful beans without much effort. This guide covers everything you need to know to make delicious crockpot pinto beans.

Ingredients Needed

  • 1 pound dried pinto beans – Rinsed and picked through for debris
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

Step-by-Step Instructions


  • Rinse beans in a colander and remove any damaged beans or debris
  • Add rinsed beans to a 6-quart crockpot

Add Aroma and Flavor

  • Add onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, bay leaves, salt, water and chicken broth to crockpot
  • Stir well to combine ingredients

Cook the Beans

  • Cover and cook on low heat for 8-10 hours or high for 4-5 hours
  • Cooking time can vary based on crockpot model
  • Beans are finished when fork-tender

Finish and Serve

  • Remove bay leaves when beans are cooked
  • Serve beans warm as a side dish or use in recipes

Helpful Tips for Best Results

  • No need to soak beans beforehand when cooking in a crockpot
  • Use lower suggested cook times for a very full crockpot
  • Add cooked leftover ham or crumbled bacon for extra flavor
  • Mash some of the finished beans and mix back in for thicker texture
  • Season with cayenne, chili powder or other spices to taste
  • Store leftovers in fridge up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months

Expected Crockpot Cook Times

  • High setting: 4-5 hours
  • Low setting: 8-10 hours

Testing Doneness of Beans

  • Beans should be fork tender when fully cooked
  • Sample a bean and taste for doneness
  • Texture should be soft and creamy, not crunchy

Serving Suggestions

  • Spoon over nachos or baked potatoes
  • Pair with fried potatoes or rice
  • Mix into burritos, tacos or nachos
  • Add to soups, stews or chili
  • Mash and use as refried beans

Benefits of Crockpot Pinto Beans

  • Convenient hands-off cooking
  • Requires minimal prep work
  • Yields tender, flavorful beans
  • Perfectly cooked beans without effort
  • Versatile ingredient for many dishes

Do You Have to Soak Pinto Beans Before Cooking in the Crock Pot?

No, you don’t, because I wanted this recipe to be as simple as possible (since we already get major kitchen points for cooking our own beans from scratch, why make things more difficult?) In order to avoid soaking the pinto beans, I changed the cook time and liquid ratio.

Now that the matter of soaking has been resolved, let’s return to the topic of cooking dried pinto beans:

  • Once the veggies are sautéed, add them to the crock pot along with the dry pinto beans, some spectacular spices, and chicken broth. Stir.
  • Crank the crock pot to high and COOK, BABY COOK. Or rather slow cook. This recipe does take some patience.
  • Once the beans are finished, you can either enjoy them right away or mash them to create Slow Cooker Refried Beans. I have directions for you for both!

Do you have to soak beans before cooking them?

I’ll be completely honest: I typically subscribe to the overnight soak school of thought. Although by no means scientific, I’ve discovered that soaking for the night strikes the perfect balance between sufficiently long and not too long. They appear to have a better texture and taste as a result.

However, I’ll share with you a few general ideas on soaking beans in this article. Your mileage may vary.

  • The Overnight Soak: Rinse your dry pinto beans and place in a large bowl. Cover beans with water (2-3 inches of water above the top of the beans). You can add a bit of kosher salt if you’d like. I usually don’t. Soak between 6-12 hours, rinse and cook.
  • The Quick Soak: Rinse your pinto beans and place in a pot on the stovetop. Cover with water – and bring to a boil. Then turn off the heat and let your beans soak in the hot water for about an hour-and-a-half. Rinse again and cook.
  • The No Soak: Did you know your beans don’t actually require a soak to cook up? It’s true. You can rinse and cook straight away. Typically, they will require a longer cooking time to achieve doneness. And, in the past, I’ve found beans that weren’t soaked to be slightly course in the texture department.

To prepare pinto beans for the slow cooker, you can use any of these techniques.

I still advise giving your beans a soak if you’re on the fence, sweating bullets, or wondering how to make the BEST beans!

How to cook pinto beans in a crock-pot?

How Long to Cook Pinto Beans in Crock Pot

Depending on the setting, pinto beans will take different amounts of time to cook. It is possible to use either high or low cooking settings with success. Cook the beans for eight hours on low or four hours on high.

Put your pinto beans in a big bowl and cover them with water to soak them before cooking. After 6–12 hours in the refrigerator, rinse and cook the food.

Dry pinto beans should be rinsed before cooking on high for 8 hours if you prefer to use them in this recipe. Keep in mind that the longer cooking time may result in a texture that is more coarse.

How to cook pinto beans in a crock-pot?

There are numerous ways to prepare and enjoy this recipe. This low-carb, gluten-free recipe for vegan pinto beans can be used to make your favorite tacos, over rice (or cauliflower rice for a low-carb option), as a side dish, or as the main course.

These protein- and flavor-packed slow cooker pinto beans can be used in baked burritos, taco pizza, tacos as is, whole in tacos, mashed as a side dish, or in any recipe that calls for refried beans.

How to cook pinto beans in a crock-pot?

For up to four days, keep your leftover beans in an airtight container. Warm up until thoroughly heated over low heat or in the microwave. Pinto beans freeze exceptionally well and can be kept for up to three months. See below for how to freeze beans.

Prepare the recipe fully and let it completely cool. Place beans in freezer bags and remove extra air. When ready to consume, freeze flat and thaw in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stovetop with a little broth or water to thin it out.

How to cook pinto beans in a crock-pot?

How To Make Pinto Beans In A Crockpot


How long does it take raw beef to cook in a crock pot?

Meat Cut
Meat Weight
Low Cook Time
6 lbs
7 ½ hours
Beef Roast
3-4 lbs
8 hours
Stew Meat
3 lbs
6 hours
2 lbs
3 ½ hours

How long can you keep stew in a crockpot on low?

In general, it’s best to stick to the indicated cook time on the recipe you’re following. Most slow cooker meals take 8-12 hours on low or 4-6 hours on high, but there are also recipes for slow-cooked meat that take up to 24 hours.

Can you cook beef stew too long in slow cooker?

You could, but it probably wouldn’t be good. You want to cook stew meat long enough for the meat to become tender, but even when immersed in liquid, if it cooks too long it basically just loses all its texture and disintegrates.

How do you know when stew meat is done in a crock pot?

Stew meat is generally from tough cuts. Meat is tough because of collagen, which takes time to break down into gelatin, and gelatin gives a luscious mouth feel. The meat will get up to temperature and stay there for hours, the way tell it is done is with a fork – if it falls apart it’s done.

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