Vegan Pinto Beans

30 Nov
Some Ingredients for Boletas

Some ingredients for pinto beans

While out shopping yesterday, I knew it was going to rain today so I made sure I had ingredients to make a small pot of pinto beans today.  I knew I had beans and garlic at home but didn’t have  a jalapeno pepper, cilantro or tortillas.

As a child I really didn’t care much for any beans but when I discovered Mexican food upon moving to Arizona, that all changed fast!  At first, I was weary of re-fried beans and when I tried them the first time, on the first night I spent in Tempe, I loved them!  I was also leery of hot chili peppers at that time but now, many of the commercially available hot sauces I can eat with a spoon – even the ones marked very hot!  So now I prefer using the hot chilies in my cooking as opposed to the chili sauces in a can or jar.

Keep in mind this is a small pot of beans so if you are making dinner for a large family, you might want to double or triple this recipe.  Please note that only one bay leaf is enough even for a large pot of beans!


1 cup dried pinto beans, washed

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 small bay leaf

1 jalapeno pepper


FIRST:  Soak the beans overnight. I usually soak the beans in a large jar filled with water.  The photo above has the jar I used with 1 cup of beans in it.  I fill it with water and place the jar on it’s side – make sure the cap is tightly secured.  Don’t leave the jar standing up because as the beans swell up, they will will pack themselves in the bottom and won’t swell up to their full potential.  If the jar is on it’s side, there is plenty of room for expansion.  If you don’t have a jar, use a bowl to soak the beans.

After soaking these beans overnight, place them all in a large pot with two more cups of water.  Bring the pot to a boil and then lower the burner to just above simmer.  Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and check on them every half hour or so and stir them up to make sure nothing is sticking on the bottom and that there is enough liquid.  If you used a crock pot, you probably wouldn’t have to stir them up but a small quantity like this in a crock pot is not recommended (yes I tried it – the liquid burned off rapidly since crock pots are designed for a larger quantity).

Cooking time is about 4 hours.

So when they look like this photograph, remove and discard the bay leaf.  Remove the chili, smash it with a spatula and remove the skin and discard it; mince the green chili and seeds and return it to the cooking pot.

This is what the beans should look like when they are done.

Cooked Pintos – garlic, bay leaf and jalapeno pepper


1/4 cup chopped sweet onion

1 roma tomato, chopped (about 1/2 cup – a little more or less will be fine)

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder

Let this simmer for about 45 minutes.


1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro and let it simmer for another 15 minutes before serving.

Vegan Pinto Beans

Vegan Pinto Beans


3 Responses to “Vegan Pinto Beans”

  1. Louis December 4, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

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    • westdelta December 5, 2012 at 10:19 am #

      Thank you for reading! If you follow this blog you will be notified of new posts!


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