Simple Crock Pot Pinto Beans

Crock Pot Pinto Beans come out super tender and creamy without any soaking! These slow cooker pinto beans have tons of flavors and are the perfect way to make homemade beans without spending hours soaking and simmering beans on the stove.


These simple Crock Pot Pinto Beans are the easiest thing to make and are so much better than canned beans. They don't require any soaking and come out tender and ready to eat. Make these in your slow cooker and come home to the best pinto beans. Works great for crockpot black beans too.

Cooking pinto beans in the crockpot is defintiely the way to go. These slow cooker pinto beans without soaking take no time to throw together and are one hundred times better than any canned beans you will buy. Plus they are much more affordable. A one pound bag of pinto beans is usually less than one dollar at the store and will result in 6-8 cups of cooked beans versus about 1.5 cups in a standard can of beans. They can be used in all kinds of recipes and freeze well in case you don't think you can finish the whole recipe.

I used to have a love-hate relationship with beans, all because of the soaking. I am not sure why it bothered me so much since soaking isn't actually hard. Its just time consuming and an extra step I never planned for.  And to be honest, that extra step made me avoid beans altogether unless they came in a can. That was until I discovered you can cook beans in your crock pot without any soaking. Now I make slow cooker beans all the time. 

Crockpot pinto beans in a black slow cooker with bay leaf.

This recipe is purposefully a very simple recipe for pinto beans. It's meant to be versatile and serves as a base slow cooker pinto bean recipe. The beans will cook down until they are nice and creamy and the vegetables will almost completely dissolve into the beans. This is true no matter what blend of veggies and spices you use. You can easily switch out the ingredients, adjusting for heat, adding different spices for flavor, and adjusting to suit your tastes and preferences. There are all kinds of options and ideas below to get you started.

How long do I cook pinto beans in the crockpot?

For this method of cooking pinto beans in the crockpot, they will take between 8 and 10 hours since they do not require soaking first.  For fresher beans, they will cook closer to 8 hours and older beans or larger beans may take a little longer. If you decide to soak the beans overnight before putting them in the crockpot, they will only take 5-6 hours.

Do I have to soak beans before cooking them?

Using this method of cooking beans, you don't have to soak them first. The "soaking" happens during the first couple of hours in the slow cooker. In case you are wondering, soaking beans helps to make them more digestible and removes some of the sugars that are hard to digest. If you decide you want to soak your beans, just leave them covered in water overnight or for 6-8 hours. Then rinse. You can also quick soak by covering beans in water in a large pot. Bring it to a boil and then boil for 2-3 minutes. Cover and set aside for one hour. Drain and rinse.

How much does one cup of dry beans make?

One cup of dry beans makes between 2-3 cups of cooked beans depending on the specific bean. Pinto beans will more than double in size when cooked and normally you will get around 2.5-3 cups per one cup of dry beans. 

What do you use to season pinto beans?

There are tons of different seasoning options you can use for pinto beans depending on what flavor you would like to build. Here are some of our favorites.

  • Basic: For basic pinto beans add one onion, 3-4 garlic cloves, 2 bay leaves, salt, and pepper.
  • Spicy: For spicy beans, use one onion, 3-4 garlic cloves, 1-2 jalapeno or poblano peppers, 2 bays leaves, 1/2 tbsp cumin, salt, and pepper. You could also use chili powder in place of the fresh peppers.
  • Southern: Use the basic pinto bean recipe but add some chopped bacon or a ham hock to add a pork flavor to the beans.
  • Mexican: Use the basic recipe but also add a can of drained diced tomatoes, 2 jalapeno peppers, 1/2 tbsp of cumin, and 1/2 tbsp of Mexican oregano.
  • Barbecue: Use the basic recipe and then once the beans have cooked, add 1-2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce.

Slow cooker pinto beans in a bowl with a spoon and cilantro.

Recipe Ideas for Crock Pot Pinto Beans

  • Side dish: This goes without saying, but these make the perfect side dish on their own. They are packed with fiber and extremely healthy.
  • Refried Beans: These can easily become refried beans. You can mash them by hand or give them a quick whirl with a blender. 
  • Pinto Bean Soup: Use chicken or vegetable broth instead of water and add a large can of diced tomatoes to make this into a soup. You can top with cheese, avocado, cilantro, and onion.
  • Vegetarian Barbecue Beans: Once the beans have cooked, stir in barbecue sauce. Serve it on a sandwich with fresh slaw, in grain bowls, or in lettuce wraps with corn and coleslaw.
  • Tacos and Burritos: It should go without saying that these beans make excellent vegetarian tacos and burritos. Just layer on some fresh toppings to add texture and crunch.

This post originally appeared in 2012 but has been updated with new photos, tips, and ideas. Here is the old photo - thankfully things have improved :)

Pinto beans in broth in a white bowl.

The Recipe
Crockpot pinto beans in two bowls with cilantro on top.

Simple Crock Pot Pinto Beans

COOK TIME: 8 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 8 Hours, 5 Min
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  • 1 lb dry pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 poblano peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups water (or enough to cover beans, broth also works great)

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Start by rinsing your pinto beans and removing any sand or rocks.


Add the beans, onions, garlic, poblano, cumin, salt, and bay leaves to the crock pot. Cover with chicken broth, water, or vegetable broth until there is an inch of broth above the beans.


Cook for 8-10 hours until beans are soft.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 2/3 cup (179g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 129
Calories from Fat 6
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
Saturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 313mg
Total Carbohydrate 37g
Dietary Fiber 10g
Sugars 2g
Protein 14g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Simple Crock Pot Pinto Beans
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Tricia H
December 18, 2021 - 05:51
Add a Rating:
Going to make this for tomorrow's dinner.
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Chantal Aschwanden
January 19, 2020 - 15:07
Do you think this could be made in the Instant Pot?
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Lauren Jaeger
June 11, 2019 - 09:17
I'm making these tomorrow. What setting on my slow cooker - high or low?? Thanks!
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Pauline Digini
July 10, 2018 - 15:03
I just started cooking my beans in a Crockpot, they turn out sooo good. I season with salt, red chile flakes, onion and cumin. Just let them cook and I love that they cook to a thick consistency and very flavor full. And the kitchen doesn't get all hot by having the burner on for hours. Enjoy.
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Laurie Decker
June 27, 2018 - 11:32
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Savory beans are the best! Baked beans have their place but a good pot of savory beans are so good and can be used in so many different ways.
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