Mexican Pinto Beans

Mexican food makes a frequent appearance in our home. At least twice a month we have some form of Mexican cuisine and the other night we had chicken and steak fajitas. I like steak and the rest of the clan prefer chicken.

Whether we are having tacos, fajita, tostadas or chimichangas, I always like to have one or two sides that are Mexican or at least southwestern in flavor. These Mexican pinto beans are probably the most common side that I make on Mexican night. They are easy, healthy and quite cheap.

how to make mexican pinto bean recipe

The flavor profile of these pinto beans are clearly Mexican with the cumin, coriander and cinnamon. The brown sugar gives a hint of sweetness and the chipotle powder gives some smokey spice.

I typically use canned pinto beans, but dry beans can also be used. If using dry pinto beans, it would be necessary to soak them for 8 or more hours and then to boil them in water for approximately an hour to soften them up. I use canned pinto beans primarily because they are more convenient.

These beans are great purely as a side but they are also amazing as a topping on the fajita or taco itself.

how to make mexican pinto bean recipe

This recipe is great to have as part of a Mexican meal. Here are a number of other great recipes that go very well with these pinto beans!

Mexican Pinto Beans

how to make mexican pinto bean recipe
5 out of 5
2 reviews
Mexican pinto beans with cumin, coriander, cinnamon onion and pepper. The brown sugar gives a hint of sweetness and the chipotle powder gives some smokey spice. 
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6 people


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 can pinto beans (18oz/540ml) drained
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • fresh cilantro for garnish


  • Melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the garlic cloves, diced onion, red pepper and tomato. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and peppers are tender and the tomatoes are broken down to create a sauce, about 7 minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients, minus the fresh cilantro. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat so it cooks at a low simmer. Cook for 45 minutes. If the water evaporates, it may be necessary to add another 1/4 cup of water.
  • Garnish with the fresh cilantro.


Did you try this recipe?

Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out. Or, take a picture to share on Instagram and tag me @theblackpeppercorn.

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  • Yum! This looks like perfect comfort food.

  • I love bean dishes of any kind, especially the spicy variety. Nice dish.

  • Found your site thru pinterest and am looking forward to trying your recipes. Your pics are great and when searching on the web that is always what gets my attention first. Have a party coming up with multiple recipes of yours I am trying – I will let you know if the pics live up to the taste 🙂 Thanks for all the great ideas.

    • Reply
  • Another triumph! The cilantro garnish makes this vibrant and irresistible. Not to mention the healthiness of beans…

    • O tryed the refried beans recipe and all ingredients except the cinnamon added pankake suurp instead 1/2 tbs . I fried the beans in bacon grease then added the rest very good.
      Thank you for your recipe

      • Reply
  • Yum, yum, yum! Looks a lot like the charro beans my wife makes. Throw in a bottle of beer and they become borracho beans (drunken beans). Try adding some salt pork or bacon to them. Great…now you got me craving Mexican food.

  • Looks absolutely delicious, love all the spices in the recipe, and it’s healthy too, a keeper!

  • We don’t have any ready-to-eat beans here (like beans in tomato sauce). Lots of cooked beans, but all just in water and salt so they have to be rinsed, then prepared. Great recipe, thanks

  • on my way to the kitchen to try this sounds mmm mmm good

  • This is an amazing recipe. I cook my beans in the slow cooker instead of using canned beans. I do not add cilantro as I am highly allergic to it. Tons of flavor. Awesome on its own or in a burrito or taco. I use pinto as well as black beans for this recipe.

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  • I’m cooking this rite now but in slow cooker since I work graveyard shift …I’ve been looking for a good recipe thanks

  • Sounds so good! I think I’ll make it by soaking the beans first. They taste so much better than canned. Grew up eating lots of Pintos and still love them. Also try some Hungarian peppers chopped up and sprinkled on top.

    • Reply
  • Which size can of beans do you use for this recipe?

    • Reply
    • I use 18oz/540ml cans. Going to update the recipe to include that.

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