Easy Mexican Pinto Beans Recipe

food, easy mexican pinto beans recipe

pinto beans topped with red onion

With all that we attempt to balance, getting dinner on the table sometimes feels like an impossible feat. While we love take out just as much as the next person, we try to avoid ordering it every night. And frankly, some recipes are too involved for the busy weeknights. Needless to say, we need more quick recipes in our lives!

Recipe developer and health coach Miriam Hahn brings us this recipe for easy Mexican-style pinto beans that comes together in under 30 minutes. Not only is this recipe truly easy, but it is also incredibly speedy.

She notes that these beans can be served for any meal of the day. While you may have already imagined that these pinto beans would be delicious paired with fajitas or tacos, Hahn adds: “I also love them served alongside an egg or tofu scramble for a delicious breakfast. These beans are super versatile!”

Gather Your Ingredients For These Mexican Pinto Beans

food, easy mexican pinto beans recipe

ingredients for mexican pinto beans

To make these easy Mexican pinto beans, you can start by gathering your ingredients. For this recipe, you will need a neutral oil, a white onion, garlic, a red bell pepper, a couple cans of pinto beans, broth (chicken or vegetable works; Hahn uses the latter here), brown sugar, ground cumin, ground coriander, salt, and cinnamon. For a garnish, you can chop up some cilantro and reserve some of that onion.

What’s with that cinnamon, you may be wondering? Hahn says “the pinch of cinnamon I use in this dish adds a hint of spice with a savory overlay. I like how it adds a surprise element in this recipe and takes it up a notch in flavor.”

Sauté The Veggies

food, easy mexican pinto beans recipe

vegetables cooking in oil pan

To start, place a pot on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then toss in the onion, garlic, and red bell pepper. Sauté these veggies for about 8 minutes until they become tender. These beans can be a part of a very vegetable-forward meal, especially if you serve it as a burrito bowl as Hahn recommends. She says “they make a speedy meal when served with a cooked grain and fresh avocado and tomato.”

Add The Beans, Broth, And Seasonings

food, easy mexican pinto beans recipe

beans and spices in pot

Once the veggies are tender, add in the drained and rinsed canned beans. Hahn loves using canned beans in this recipe, explaining they “make this a really quick recipe versus starting with dry beans. No planning needed as most of the ingredients are pantry staples!” Who doesn’t love a time-saver?

After the beans have been added, pour in the broth along with the brown sugar, coriander, cumin, and cinnamon. Stir this mixture until it is well combined then lower the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot with a lid and continue simmering the beans for 15 minutes.

Top With Cilantro And Onions

food, easy mexican pinto beans recipe

pinto beans topped with cilantro and onion

After the 15 minutes are up, the beans are complete. Hahn likes adding chopped cilantro and additional diced onions as a garnish before serving.

Because these are super quick to whip up, you will likely have time to make these any night of the week, but if you don’t, these beans also make a great meal prep option. Hahn says “they last great for a week, so they can be used in different meals throughout the week for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.”

Easy Mexican Pinto Beans Recipe

food, easy mexican pinto beans recipe

pinto beans with green onions as toppings

Prep Time: 5mCook Time: 23mYield: 4 servingsIngredients

  • 1 tablespoon neutral cooking oil
  • ½ white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup broth (vegetable or chicken)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Optional Ingredients

  • chopped cilantro, for serving
  • diced onions, for serving


  1. Add oil to a medium pot. Heat to medium-high.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, and red pepper. Sauté for 8 minutes.
  3. Add the beans, broth, brown sugar, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and salt. Stir, then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer, and cover the pot.
  4. Let beans simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
  5. Top finished beans with fresh cilantro and diced onions if desired.

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