Easy Slow Cooker Pinto Beans Recipe

slow cooker pinto beans
Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN, LD
Total Time: 370 min
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 360 min
Servings: 10 (1 cup each)

Nutrition Highlights (per serving)

198 calories
1g fat
36g carbs
12g protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 (1 cup each)
Amount per serving  
Calories 198
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 146mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 12g 43%
Total Sugars 2g  
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 12g  
Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 77mg 6%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 661mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Pinto beans make a super filling, inexpensive, and easy meal. Thanks to 12 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber in a single cup, beans keep you full for hours and are great for your heart, waistline, and digestive system.

Making pinto beans in the slow cooker is an easy way to have a meal ready when you get home from work. Just toss everything in and walk away while they cook. Making them at home also lets you control exactly what goes into the recipe.

Canned beans are great in a pinch, but sometimes it’s hard to find some without added salt. These slow cooker pinto beans are flavorful when simmered with garlic, jalapeño, tomatoes, and spices. The recipe makes a large batch, so you can bring them to potlucks or eat some now and freeze the rest for later. They make great additions to salads, tostadas, tacos, and more.


  • 1 lb. dry pinto beans
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 large jalapeño pepper
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • Small ham hock, a slice of low sodium bacon, or pork bone
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 can (15 oz.) no added salt diced tomatoes


  1. Soak beans overnight: Pour beans into a large bowl or pot. Sift through and pick out any small rocks that may be present. Cover beans with water (at least 3 inches over beans) and let sit on the counter overnight. If you forgot to soak the beans, use the quick soak method (see cooking tips).

  2. Drain and rinse beans. Place in the bowl of your slow cooker. Add onion, garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, and ham hock, if using. Add spices and tomatoes and fill with enough water to cover beans at least 2 inches with water.

  3. Place lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours, adding more water as needed.

Variations and Substitutions

Leave out the pork for kosher or for vegetarian. This recipe will also work with black beans, which are just as nutritious.

Cooking and Serving Tips

  • For a quick soak method, rinse and drain beans. Add to a pot and cover with at least 3 inches of water. Cover, turn heat to high, and bring to a rapid boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let soak, covered, for 1 hour. Then drain and proceed with the recipe.
  • Garnishes such as sour cream, shredded cheese, avocado, and cilantro are a nice touch.
  • Serve alongside a green salad and cornbread for an easy and delicious meal, or use in tacos, salads, etc.

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2 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. Pinto beans.

  2. Polak R, Phillips EM, Campbell A. Legumes: Health benefits and culinary approaches to increase intakeClin Diabetes. 2015;33(4):198–205. doi:10.2337/diaclin.33.4.198

By Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN, LD
Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN, LD, is an intuitive eating registered dietitian with a master's in clinical nutrition.