Sunday pinto beans | Homesick Texan

Sunday pinto beans

Every Sunday afternoon, I make a pot of pinto beans. They’re nothing special, I just like to keep beans on hand for when I get a craving during the week. With these pintos, I’ll spoon them into tacos, stir them into scrambled eggs, or toss them into salads. These are my quick and easy Sunday pinto beans.

While there are quite a few bean recipes on this site, such as Mom’s pinto beans and these Austin-style black beans, this batch is different. First, I don’t soak the beans before cooking–neither an overnight rest nor even a quick soak. Instead, I cook them once all the way from start to finish.

They’re also heavily salted and seasoned from the beginning. The spices aren’t that unusual, though some may have issues with the beans being salted so early in the process. However, I’ve found this gives the beans a wonderful depth of flavor. Because they’re not rinsed, I also add a pinch of baking soda, which not only helps with softening but prevents a build-up of the elements that can cause discomfort. (Ahem.)

Sunday pinto beans | Homesick Texan

Finally, these beans are cooked in the oven instead of on the stove. I find it’s easier to moderate the temperature this way. While using a slow cooker also yields an even cook, the flavor with that method pales to what happens in the oven, plus the oven takes less time.

All these steps make for a quick and easy pot. Sure, none of these techniques are revolutionary, but they veer enough from some of my other recipes that it merits sharing with you.

Usually, I just eyeball my measurements. For my last pot, however I got out the measuring spoons so I could be more exact. Think of this recipe as a base template, which can be easily scaled.

First, I start with half a pound of dried pintos. I add them to the pot and then layer in the spices, which include chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and a bay leaf.

For the liquid, I go with straight water, finding that four cups work well. While I wouldn’t decrease that amount, if you crave a soupier pot, you could certainly add more.

Sunday pinto beans | Homesick Texan

The beans begin on top of the stove, though once they come to a boil, I slide them into a low oven. Then I cook them covered until tender, which works out to about three hours each time.

5 from 9 votes

Sunday pinto beans

Servings 4
Author Lisa Fain


  • 8 ounces dried pinto beans
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups water


  • Preheat the oven to 275°F.
  • Place the beans in a pot then add the salt, chili powder, black pepper, cumin, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, baking soda, bay leaf, and water. Stir until the spices are blended with the water.
  • Place the pot on the stovetop and turn the heat to high. Cook the pot uncovered on high until it begins to boil.
  • When the pot begins to boil, turn off the heat.
  • Remove the pot from the stove, cover the pot, then place the covered pot in the oven.
  • Cook the beans in the oven for 3 hours. After this time, check on the beans' tenderness. If they're not tender enough, continue to cook covered for another 30 minutes, and then check again. Otherwise, remove the pot and they're done.
  • Eat immediately or store the beans refrigerated and add to dishes, such as eggs or tacos, as desired. Will keep refrigerated for 1 week.


These beans can be easily doubled. If you choose to do so, after three hours, check on the beans and then assess if you need more cooking time or not. 

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5 from 9 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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  1. Kristin Valente says:

    This is just a good thing to add to the weekly routine. What size and type of pot do you use?

    1. Lisa Fain says:

      Kristin–For 8 ounces, I use a 4-quart pot. I’d go with a 2-gallon if I were doubling the recipe.

  2. A. D. Jones says:

    5 stars
    Her cheese enchilada recipe is outstanding.

  3. I also like black beans. Will this exact recipe work with black beans, too?

    1. Lisa Fain says:

      Susan–Yes, you might need to cook the beans a little bit longer, though, as I find black beans often are slower to cook.

        1. Lisa Fain says:

          Susan–You’re welcome!

  4. Bonnie Roberts says:

    5 stars
    Just made these then immediately made another pot of these beans! So tasty, soft and easy!

    1. Lisa Fain says:

      Bonnie–Happy Sunday to you! I’m so glad you enjoyed the beans!

  5. I made these exactly as directed and they are pretty soupy. Flavor is fantastic! If I wanted them less soupy should I simmer on the stove or drain? Thanks for another winning recipe!

    1. Lisa Fain says:

      Suzanne–If you wanted them less soupy, you could remove the lid for the last half hour or you could drain.