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A view from above of a bowl of beans for HOW TO COOK PINTO BEANS ON THE STOVE TOP
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4.91 from 21 votes


This recipe explains how to turn canned pinto beans into a delicious side dish to be proud of
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: canned pinto beans, how to cook canned pinto beans
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 167kcal


  • 1 tbs cooking oil
  • ½ inch slice of yellow onion - chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 slice of bacon - cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 15 oz can pinto beans
  • 1/2 cup water ***See Pro Tip***
  • 1 tbs unsalted butter
  • ½ tsp white granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp hot sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper


  • In a saucepan, heat 1 tbsp cooking oil over medium heat. When the oil is shimmery on the top add the chopped onion and garlic and saute until soft and nearly see through (about 2 minutes)
  • Add the bacon and cook together until the bacon is soft and nearly done.
  • Drain the liquid from the can of pinto beans
  • Now Add the pinto beans to the sauce pan and continue to heat over medium heat.
  • Add 1/2 cup fresh water to the pinto beans
  • Put the butter, sugar, hot sauce, salt and pepper in and heat till bubbly.
  • Taste before serving and add more salt and pepper if needed.  Garnish with chopped onion and hot sauce



  • It is important to do your cooking math!  One can of beans feeds about 2 people, so if you are feeding more people simply divide the number of people you have by 2 and that's how many cans you need.
  • Just increase the other ingredients by however many cans of beans you need to use to feed your family.
  • Always drain the liquid off of the pinto beans before doing anything else.  Some might say there is flavor in that liquid, but honestly, most of the time I think that liquid doesn’t taste very good.  It isn’t the type of flavor I look for in my bean recipes!
  • Rinse the beans too if the liquid looks really thick and sticky.  Sometimes it does. I don’t know why this happens, but if you are in question, then put your beans in a colander or strainer and rinse them off with cold tap water.
  • In the recipe, I give instructions for adding onion, garlic and bacon.  All of those are great ingredients but not entirely necessary if you don’t have them available.  What is necessary is salt, pepper and a tiny bit of sugar.
PRO TIP:  To add a MORE flavor to your beans, use chicken stock instead of a 1/2 cup of water OR add 1 bullion cube plus 1/2 cup water and hold the salt until you taste, then add salt if needed.  


Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 687mg | Potassium: 21mg | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 175IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg