Slow-Cooker Pinto Beans

  • Level: Easy
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Total: 8 hr 10 min
  • Active: 10 min


1 pound dried pinto beans, rinsed and picked over (see Cook’s Note)

48 ounces low-sodium chicken broth (or one 32-ounce carton plus 2 cups water) 

One 8-ounce jar mild or hot diced pickled jalapeños  

2 tablespoons dried oregano 

1 tablespoon ground cumin  

3 cloves garlic 

2 dried bay leaves 

1/4 cup cilantro leaves plus 1/4 cup chopped cilantro stems, optional 

Kosher salt  

3/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar or crumbled Cotija or queso fresco  

1 lime, cut into wedges


Special equipment:
a 4-to-7-quart slow cooker
  1. Put the beans, chicken broth, pickled jalapeños and brine from the jar in a 4-to-7-quart slow cooker. Stir in the oregano, cumin, garlic, bay leaves, cilantro stems if using and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook on high until the beans are tender but still hold their shape, 8 to 10 hours.
  2. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Use the back of a spoon to smash the garlic cloves, then stir them into the beans. Serve topped with the cheese, cilantro leaves and lime wedges.  

Cook’s Note

Soaking the dry beans in cold water overnight before cooking doesn't improve their flavor but it will speed up the cooking and help the beans hold their shape better. If you decide to soak the beans, reduce the cooking time to 4 to 5 hours on high.

Let's Get Cooking!

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6 Reviews