The slow cooker makes magic with meats and beans. In general, it works a lot better with ingredients that are hard and take a long time in the stove to soften. These Crockpot pinto beans are a must!
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How to cook pinto beans in the slow cooker without soaking?
As you probably know, when cooking almost any type of bean you need to soak for long hours, probably overnight. This is made to ensure the beans soften when cooking. This shortens the cooking time but adds a lot of preparation time.
In order to eliminate this overnight soaking step, I cook the pinto beans in the slow cooker for 5 – 6 hours on high temperature. This time and mode will always give me soft pinto beans without soaking.
The pinto beans must be covered with water or broth for about 2 inches. If you see that the water is almost gone, add a bit more. Another benefit of cooking pinto beans in the slow cooker is that you don’t have to be constantly adding more water because slow cookers allow minimum evaporation.
If you want to soak overnight you only need to cook for 3-4 hours on high temperature or 6-7 on slow.
Water or Broth?
Personally, I like to use both. For 2 cups of dry pinto beans, I use 3 cups of water and 2 cups of broth.
I feel that if I use only broth the result is too salty and if I only use water I get bland pinto beans.
How to season pinto beans?
In this part, basically, the sky’s the limit. You can check my frijoles charros recipe for an authentic Mexican pinto beans recipe.
In this case, I decided to keep it simple and old fashioned. A bit of pork with good smoked chorizo, onions, garlic, and paprika. I can’t get any easier!
I add the seasoning once the pinto beans are soft. So, after 5 hours in the slow cooker, I make a “sofrito” in a pan and then I pour it onto the beans and let it cook in the slow cooker for an extra hour to let the flavor infuse to the beans.
Personally, I enjoy my pinto beans better the next day, they are way thicker and the pork flavor is more intense.
- 2 cups dry pinto beans
- 3 cups of water
- 2 cups chicken or beef broth
- 1 chorizo
- 1 onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse the pinto beans and remove any broken bean.
Toss them into the slow cooker and cover with water and broth. Let them cook for 5 hours on high.
In a pan, pour the olive oil and let it heat over medium heat. Add the diced onion, the minced garlic and cook for a minute until fragrant.
Add the chorizo cut into small pieces. Stir and cook until the chorizo starts releasing its grease. Add paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Pour this mix onto the beans and let it cook for an extra hour.
I’m Maria and I love cooking—and mostly EATING—food from all around the world. I’ve been sharing my abuela’s secret Latin-American recipes for the last 7 years with the world on this blog. I’ve been a full-time food blogger for many years and I’m always trying new delicious meals that don’t require a culinary degree or a Michelin-star chef. I also love traveling, cats, and knitting.