Pinto Beans with Chile


Pinto Beans with Chile

Pinto Beans with Chile (Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

 There is simply something satisfying about a slow cooked pot of lentils, and this recipe serves up flavor in spades. We learned the basic recipe for these when we took a cooking class in New Mexico years ago, but we’ve riffed on the dish a bit since then until we think we got it just right. This dish is perfect for almost any Mexican meal, and is pretty darn tasty just on its own. So don’t be shy about cooking up a batch the next time you have your friends over. They even taste awesome mixed with eggs and chorizo in a batch of breakfast burritos. On a side note, this recipe calls for epazote, a pungent herb which grows wild in Mexico and the United States and is a classic seasoning for beans. Not only does it have a wonderful flavor, but it also helps makes beans socially acceptable due to its anti-flatulent qualities.

PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 4 hours and 15 minutes


  • 1 pound pinto beans (2 1/3 cups), sorted and rinsed
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cups diced white onion
  • 2 slices thick cut bacon, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried epazote
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, toasted
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, toasted
  • 1 dried chipotle chile
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons juice from a can of chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, or more to taste


  1. Place beans in a 6-quart pot, cover with 3 inches of cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer beans for 3 hours, until beans begin to soften. Drain and rinse well.
  2. Heat oil in a 6-quart pot over medium-high heat and sauté onions and bacon until golden. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  3. Add beans, broth, bay leaves, oregano, epazote, cumin, coriander and dried chile and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 1 hour, stirring frequently. Add more liquid if needed.
  4. When beans are creamy add canned chipotle chile juice and salt and cook 15 minutes more. Beans should have enough liquid to stir easily.

YIELDS: 8 servings

© 2015 Jadeworks Entertainment

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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