Chipotle Pinto Beans (Copycat)

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These copycat Chipotle Pinto Beans are easy to make, inexpensive, and healthy! Add to burritos and salads or serve with rice for a tasty vegetarian meal.

A large pot of Chipotle copycat pinto beans.

Pinto beans are versatile and healthy, inexpensive and delicious. I remember when Chipotle used to put bacon in their beans, but they took it out because you don’t need it!

These beans flavorful on their own and perfect for adding to burritos and tostadas. Or, serve them on the side of scrambled eggs and corn tortillas for a hearty Mexican breakfast.

Recipe ingredients

Labeled ingredients for Chipotle Pinto Beans

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Olive oil: Chipotle uses rice bran oil, but olive oil is more widely available (and probably already in your pantry).
  • Pinto beans: To soak dried beans overnight, pick through and sort 1 pound of dried pinto beans. In a large bowl, add beans and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Soak at least 8 hours overnight. Drain and discard soaking liquid.
  • Oregano: Chipotle uses Mexican oregano, but you can use Italian oregano if that’s all that you have. They have different flavors (Mexican oregano tastes more like marjoram) but both taste great in this recipe.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a Dutch oven or large pot over medium high heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Cooking rice in a saucepan for pinto beans.
  1. Add beans, chipotle pepeprs and adobo sauce, garlic, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf. Add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
A large pot of Chipotle copycat pinto beans.
  1. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Remove from heat.
A large pot of Chipotle copycat pinto beans.
  1. Remove chipotle chilies if desired and bay leaf. Stir in lemon and lime juices, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
A bowl of Chipotle steak, pinto beans, cilantro-lime rice, and pico de gallo.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes about 8 cups Chipotle pinto beans, enough for 16 (½ cup) servings.
  • Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • Freezer: The beans can be cooled and packed in freezer-safe containers, labeled, and frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Quick soak: If you forgot to soak your beans the night before, use this method to get a jump-start on cooking them.
    1. Pick through and rinse 1 pound beans. To a large saucepan, add beans and enough liquid to cover them by 1 inch.
    2. Bring beans to boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat, cover, and let beans sit for 1 hour. Drain and discard soaking liquid.
  • Slow cooker Chipotle pinto beans:
    1. Heat oil until shimmering and cook onions until softened. Stir in garlic until fragrant, then add beans, spices, and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then transfer to a slow cooker.
    2. Cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours or LOW for 6 to 8 hours. Remove bay leaves and chipotle chilies if desired. Add lemon juice, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Substituting kidney beans: Kidney beans contain phytohemagglutinin, a type of lectin that is very toxic at high levels. To substitute dried kidney beans in this recipe, you MUST pre-soak dried kidney beans AND hold them at boiling point (212 degrees Fahrenheit) for at least 10 minutes. This means you should never cook kidney beans in a slow cooker. You won’t know for sure if the slow cooker reached 212 degrees and held it for 10 minutes. Better to be safe than sorry!
A bowl of Chipotle steak, pinto beans, cilantro-lime rice, and pico de gallo.

Recipe FAQs

Can I substitute canned beans?

To substitute canned beans for the dried beans, use 4 cans of pinto beans. Rinse and drain before adding to the pot in step 2, adding enough water to cover (you may only need 1 to 2 cups), and cook until heated through, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Do I need to soak the beans before I cook them?

No, you don’t have to pre-soak your beans. Un-soaked beans take about 30 minutes longer to cook than soaked beans, so just keep an eye on your beans and be prepared to add more water and/or cook them longer if they go in un-soaked.

Should I discard the bean soaking liquid?

Yes, you should. If you keep and use the soaking liquid in your recipe, it might add a sour taste. But, some people think it’s wasteful to discard the soaking water, so ultimately the choice is yours.

Chipotle Burrito Bowl

Tonight, stay in and build your own Chipotle Burrito Bowl with the copycat recipes you know and love. Fluffy rice, black beans, tender chicken, sweet corn salsa, tomato salsa, and lots of guacamole. It’s great…

50 minutes
View Recipe

More Chipotle copycat favorites

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A large pot of Chipotle copycat pinto beans.

Chipotle Pinto Beans (Copycat)

These copycat Chipotle Pinto Beans are easy to make, inexpensive, and healthy! Add to burritos and salads or serve with rice for a tasty vegetarian meal.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 16 servings (½ cup each)
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 113
4.99 from 85 votes

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • In a Dutch oven or large pot over medium high heat, heat oil until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add beans, chipotle pepeprs and adobo sauce, garlic, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf. Add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. 
  • Remove from heat. Remove chipotle chilies if desired and bay leaf. Stir in lemon and lime juices, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Olive oil: Chipotle uses rice bran oil, but olive oil is more widely available (and probably already in your pantry).
  2. Pinto beans: To soak dried beans overnight, pick through and sort 1 pound of dried pinto beans. In a large bowl, add beans and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Soak at least 8 hours overnight. Drain and discard soaking liquid.
  3. Oregano: Chipotle uses Mexican oregano, but you can use Italian oregano if that’s all that you have. They have different flavors (Mexican oregano tastes more like marjoram) but both taste great in this recipe.
  4. Yield: This recipe makes about 8 cups Chipotle pinto beans, enough for 16 (½ cup) servings.
  5. Storage: Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  6. Freezer: The beans can be cooled and packed in freezer-safe containers, labeled, and frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  7. Quick soak: If you forgot to soak your beans the night before, use this method to get a jump-start on cooking them.
    1. Pick through and rinse 1 pound beans. To a large saucepan, add beans and enough liquid to cover them by 1 inch.
    2. Bring beans to boil and cook for 2 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat, cover, and let beans sit for 1 hour. Drain and discard soaking liquid.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 113kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 6gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 9mgPotassium: 407mgFiber: 5gSugar: 1gVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 2mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @culinaryhill on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! #culinaryhill
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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Comments

  1. I don’t remember pinto beans from Chipotle being spicy, but this recipe calls chipotle peppers. is this going to be spicy? im asking for my kids.

    1. Hi Nat, thank you so much for your question! Overall, mine typically do not come out spicy, but that may be because of the brand of chipotle peppers I am able to find at the store. I would reduce or omit them to make sure the beans do not come out spicy for them. I hope you love this recipe! – Meggan

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