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.
"Black or pinto beans?"
Before Chipotle removed the pork from its pintos, this was an easy decision. Because bacon! But now there is no bacon and the beans are just is good, and life is full of tough choices.
How to Make Chipotle Pinto Beans
There is no need to soak the beans overnight (not in this recipe and not in any other beans recipes, either). And if you do, don't throw away the water! That's your flavor. (Thanks to my buddy Dave for all the insights on beans!)
Start by sautéing some onions in oil. Add garlic, spices, chipotles in adobo for heat, and your beans. Add enough water to cover the beans, and then let them simmer.
A couple of hours later, you'll have a giant pot of tender, hearty beans that taste just like Chipotle's. Along with the bay leaf, you'll probably want to remove the chipotle chilis. Leave them in for a BIG spicy kick (at your own risk!).
Are Chipotle Pinto Beans Vegan?
Yes, they are. Just have a look at the ingredient statement and see for yourself.
Chipotle Pinto Beans (Copycat)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or rice bran oil (see notes)
- 1 medium yellow onion finely diced
- 16 ounces dried pinto beans rinsed and sorted
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce plus 2 teaspoons sauce (see notes)
- 6 cups water (enough to cover beans)
- lemon juice
- lime juice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- To the pot with the onions add beans, cumin, oregano, garlic, bay leaf, chipotle chilies, and adobo sauce. Add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until beans are tender, about 2 hours.
- Remove from heat. Remove bay leaf and chipotle chilies. Stir in lemon and lime juices, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Chipotle uses rice bran oil, but any neutral oil will work.
- To strain the adobo sauce from the chiles, add the content of the can into a strainer set over a small bowl, pressing down on the peppers to extract as much liquid as possible (you should have at least ¼ cup). Reserve remaining chipotle chilies and sauce for another use.