Pinto Beans That Rock!

Pinto Beans with Bacon, and stuff.

There is something to be said for the often bland and/or under appreciated Mexican side dish. When it comes to rice and beans, yeah, you can go with the standard Rosario’s canned re-fried beans, maybe mix in some cheese and peppers. Yippee.

Or, you can make these amazing pinto beans that your guest will not only remember, but rave about during the meal, and even better, quietly ask you for the coveted recipe.

Oh yeah, this is NOT one of our vegetarian recipes. I suppose it would be easy to make it vegetarian, but I wouldn't recommend it. Most of the flavor comes from the half pound of bacon that goes in it.

1 pound dry pinto beans
1 medium roasted onion, sliced
1/2 pound bacon
3 Serrano chili peppers, seeded
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried cumin
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper 
¼ cup cilantro chopped
Grated cheese to garnish

In a large mixing bowl, soak the pinto beans in room temperature water overnight.
When ready to prepare, drain the beans and set aside.

In a cast Dutch oven or heavy pot, stir the onions, bacon, garlic and peppers over medium high heat until onions are transparent and the bacon is crispy. Stir in the cumin powder and thyme.

Add the beans, 4 cups water and a pinch of salt. Increase heat to high, bring liquid to a boil. Decrease heat to medium or medium-low and cook for about 8-10 minutes or until the beans are tender, adding more water as needed.

Add salt and pepper to taste. I like to throw in a handful of chopped cilantro towards the last few minutes before serving.

Garnish with Queso Fresco, Cheddar or Parmesan cheese, cilantro, or fresh onions.


  1. Yeah, I usually snub the beans, but I may have to rethink that now!

  2. I have been trying for months and months to come up with a perfect bean recipe. This sounds SOOOO good. Mine always end up bland and underwhelming, but this recipe looks anything but bland! Love the bacon and serrano peppers here.

  3. I have a funny story about a bean recipe like this one... a vegetarian friend of mine was in Vegas and beans were served with part of her meal. She took one bite and her eyes lit up and she commented to the server, "Wow... these are the best beans I've ever had, I wonder what that taste is that I can't place?" When the server answered, "That's probably the bacon!" she nearly spit it out. Her husband still teases her that she is not really a vegetarian!
    Love these! They will be on our menu as well! This is exactly what my husband likes. He's been asking for that red bean soup recipe that you made a while ago. We haven't had it for about a year and he's been hinting that now that the weather is turning "fallish" that it would be a good time to make it!

  4. Hi Tiffany,

    Thanks for your comment. Lol, we must be in sync with our food tastes. I just cringed as I bought a can of baked beans, convincing myself they sound way too complicated to make. Now I can give this recipe a whirl:)

  5. Tiffany, I made this the night you posted it and it was just as you said, amazing! Everyone loved it. The flavors are so big. Thanks so much!!!

  6. something that i'd love to try... rgds susan

  7. Just thinking of you... we are making these again tonight!!! Awesome recipe!!!


Thank you for your comments!