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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.

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Recipe FAQs
  6. Chipotle Pinto Beans (Copycat) Recipe

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

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.
4.98 from 43 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 5 mins
Servings 16 servings (½ cup each)
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Calories 113

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or rice bran oil (see note 1)
  • 1 medium yellow onion minced
  • 16 ounces dried pinto beans rinsed, sorted, and soaked overnight (see note 2)
  • 2 chipotle peppers plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (see note 3)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups water (enough to cover beans)
  • lemon juice
  • lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

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
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Executive Chef and CEO at | Website | + posts

Meggan Hill is the Executive Chef and CEO of Culinary Hill, a popular digital publication in the food space. She loves to combine her Midwestern food memories with her culinary school education to create her own delicious take on modern family fare. Millions of readers visit Culinary Hill each month for meticulously-tested recipes as well as skills and tricks for ingredient prep, cooking ahead, menu planning, and entertaining. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the iCUE Culinary Arts program at College of the Canyons.

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Comments

  1. Loved these! I changed the recipe by cooking them in the Instant Pot and eliminating the oil. I used the saute function for the diced onion (no oil needed), then added all other ingredients and cooked on high pressure for 32 minutes. They were a little “soupy” with 6 cups of water so I’ll reduce that next time. Thank you for the inspiration!5 stars

    1. Hi Tammy, you’re welcome! I’m so happy they came out deliciously! I would recommend doing a natural release as well (if you didn’t do it this round). Thank you and take care! – Meggan

  2. So good! My family loved these, I smashed some of the beans up and that thickened it up a little more. Needs 1 tsp salt.5 stars

  3. Thank you very much! After visiting US a few years back, I have wanted to try these beans again, as it is not a style of food typically found in my part of the world.
    Purchased everything necessary to follow the recipe 100%, and the result was absolutely amazing. Unbelievable that such simple (and few) ingredients results in such a great taste. But they sure do :).5 stars

  4. After gaining confidence from having success with the copycat black beans recipe, I tried this one as well. I made it as written, except for the fact that I forgot to add the lemon and lime juice at the end. Delicious regardless! I’ve always been afraid to cook dried beans (I tried once before and they never softened), but these were perfect. I’m happy to have these in my freezer.5 stars

  5. Should the chipotle peppers be fresh or dried?
    Does simmering these ingredients for 1.5 to 2hrs reduce/eliminate/cook out the flavor especially if it takes longer than 2hrs?
    Can you recommend a substitution for adobo sauce?

    1. Hi Ribbit, the chipotle peppers are from a can, and the sauce they are canned with is adobo sauce. Simmering the beans that long does not cook out the flavor, rather it gives the beans time to cook and absorb the flavor. Here is a substitute for the adobo sauce.

      Whisk together:
      1 teaspoon tomato paste
      1 teaspoon cider vinegar
      1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
      Pinch EACH of cumin, oregano, garlic powder, and salt

  6. Do I absolutely need chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, and bay leaf? Could I use paprika instead? Those are the only ingredients I don’t have.

    1. Hi Nimisha, you can omit them if you like. The beans will not taste like Chipotle’s beans, but I would think they will still taste nice. – Meggan

  7. Hi, wondering if I’m missing something. Does it say somewhere how much lemon and lime juice? The recipe I’m looking at just says lemon juice and lime juice, but does not include amounts.

    Thanks5 stars

    1. Hi Roberta, so sorry about that. You should add it “to taste” which is however much you like, I would start with 1 tablespoon of each and see if you think it needs more. Thanks! I’ll update the recipe so this makes more sense. -Meggan

  8. I see your warning that you must boil kidney beans for 10 minutes to keep from being toxic but none of these recipes say to boil for 10 minutes? Does simmering count? Thanks!

    1. Hi Somer, you’re right, the recipes are not for kidney beans specifically so none of them include the 10 minutes boiling time. That is just in the post in case someone makes a substitution. If you are going to use kidney beans here instead of pinto, I would bring them to a hard boil for 10 minutes and then do the simmering. I don’t think simmering is the same. It’s not written into the recipe specifically because the recipe is for pinto beans. But the note is there so if someone uses kidney beans, they will be safe. I hope that makes sense. Thanks! -Meggan

    1. Hi Michelle, I did NOT know this about kidney beans! I read some articles and you are totally right. I had no idea. Thank you so much, I will fix this post and there are some other posts on my site that I want to fix it on too. You’ve really helped me a lot. Thank you again for your help! -Meggan

  9. My second batch is perculating as I type! This recipe is awesome! My family loves it! It’s so easy and tasty. Thank you so sharing.5 stars

    1. Hi Alissa, I would still add some water. I don’t know yet exactly how much, I’m going to test these today to find out. I’m thinking 1 cup or so. The reason would be make sure all the seasonings are evenly distributed and to help the beans cook evenly. Plus Chipotle’s beans are in liquid at the restaurant; they use a slotted spoon to drain them if I remember correctly. So you want some liquid in there, just not 6 cups. If you are anxious to start, try 1 cup and see what you think, you can always add more. I’ll respond with my definitive findings after testing and update the post with that info.

      Also – I think 1 pound of dried beans is equal to 3 cans.

      Thanks! -Meggan

  10. I have the same question about the lime & lemon juices. There’s no amount listed for either – Thanks!

    1. Hi Reina, in this recipe I don’t have you soak the beans in advance. It’s totally fine if you do, and that will help reduce the cooking time. But here I didn’t, I just added them straight to the recipe after rinsing. If you soak them, I suggested discarding the soaking water (sometimes it adds a sour taste). I’ll clear this up in the recipe notes so nobody else has to ask the question. I appreciate you! Thanks -Meggan

    2. perhaps old wives tale, but hear that overnight soak and rinse before cook reduces the amount of…. gas production… from eating beans.. less music in the fruit.

    1. Hi Lynh, I’m sure you can. I’ll have to test it to see what the exact cooking times would be, if you’re interested. Off the top of my head I don’t know. But I am certain you can cook the recipe in a crockpot. I just can’t offer the specifics this second. Thank you! -Meggan

  11. I’m not a bean lover, I make them for my husband. But this recipe, I could have everyday. It’s delicious , not a boring bean by any means . thanks so much for sharing

    1. Hi Rae, sorry for the confusion. You add the beans INTO the onions. You cook the onions first, then add in everything else. You never take the onions out. I’ve updated the instructions to from “to the pot add….” to say “to the pot with the onions add….”
      I hope that helps. -Meggan

  12. My beans taste soo spicey .. I only added the two chile peppers and the sauce like it stated… is there anything I can do to adjust the spiceyness?4 stars

    1. Hi Sabrina, I’m so sorry this happened to you. I am going to change the recipe to address this and recommend people use fewer or even NO chipotle chiles, if spicy food is an issue. Part of it depends on the size of the chiles, mine always end up being tiny but maybe yours were bigger. Or maybe you have a lower tolerance for spicy food. In any case, at this point the best way to help with the spice is to add more beans. If you used dried, you could add some cans since they are already cooked. That will dilute the spice (1 or 2 cans of pintos). You can also add more lemon and lime juice, that should help tone down the overall spiciness. Last, serve the beans with bland foods (like rice or tortillas) and if you like toppings, sour cream, cheese, and avocado can help you eat the beans without setting your face on fire. I’m so sorry again. I’ll fix the recipe! Thanks! -Meggan

  13. Absolutely the best bean recipe ever. I’m n not a fan of pinto beans but this one has me hooked. I make cheesy garlic quick bread to accompany the beans and it’s delicious5 stars

  14. Wondering if anyone has tried these in the Instant Pot? I’m thinking 45 minutes cook time and natural release with maybe 3 cups of liquid? Thoughts?

    1. Hi Amanda! I’m sorry for the delay, but I actually had you and one other person ask about these beans in the instant pot, so I wanted to test them for you two before giving you an answer. I saw tons of conflicting information from different sources on how long to do the beans. Ultimately, I ended up trying the bean button, and that cooked them on high pressure for 30 minutes, and did the natural release (which took another 30 minutes). They were chewy! I ended up closing the instant pot back up and doing another 10 minutes manual high pressure, then quick release. They were perfect! Here is what I would recommend:

      -Follow recipe card above for all ingredients (use 6 cups of water for sure)
      -Manual, high pressure 40 minutes, natural release

      I will update this post soon with these instructions! Have a great day! :D

    1. Hi Jenny! I’m sorry for the delay, but I actually had you and one other person ask about these beans in the instant pot, so I wanted to test them for you two before giving you an answer. I saw tons of conflicting information from different sources on how long to do the beans. Ultimately, I ended up trying the bean button, and that cooked them on high pressure for 30 minutes, and did the natural release (which took another 30 minutes). They were chewy! I ended up closing the instant pot back up and doing another 10 minutes manual high pressure, then quick release. They were perfect! Here is what I would recommend:

      -Follow recipe card above for all ingredients
      -Manual, high pressure 40 minutes, natural release

      I will update this post soon with these instructions! Have a great day! :D

  15. I made these tonight and they came out amazing!! This recipe is perfect. Taste just like Chipotle! 5 stars

    1. Anything that absorbs water during cooking should always be covered after bringing to boil and reduced to simmer otherwise the water evaporates and the result is a dry finished product. Same principle applies to rice

    2. Covering will help reduce evaporative losses but it isn’t strictly required. As for rice, most “boiling” rice reciped are really steamed rice which REQUIRES covering. True boiled rice doesn’t and you drain the water from it when you’re done.

  16. Never knew not to soak beans overnight!…always tossed the water too. Did i mention that this recipe is delicious!?5 stars

    1. And you were smarter for it. Tossing the water tosses the disolved sugars that make beans so magical.

  17. Hi! I have a question. I thought I had saw it on the recipe before [I have made this and a few other recipes you have listed with this, all super yummy if I might add! =D] but maybe I imagined it because I’m not seeing it now. Lol. How much lime and lemon juice do you add? I thought I had saw 1 TBSP for each but I don’t see any specific amount. TIA!! =D

    1. Hi Trinity, yes! You definitely can. You could simmer everything together for 20 or 30 minutes and be all done. 1 pound of dried beans (what this recipe calls for) is the equivalent of 4 cans of beans. So, if you just want to do a single can of beans, you should divide the rest of the ingredients by 4 (if that makes sense). Or use 2 cans of beans and then just halve the recipe (easier math). You can also feel free to just wing it! If you have any questions or need anything else, just let me know! Thanks for the question.

    1. You read it right! There are no beans in my bean recipe! Fixing the typo now, so sorry about that. :) But what a nice pot of spices and adobo sauce…. LOL. The beans go in in Step 2. Thanks Sarah, sorry about that.

    1. Hi Tracee! I used to do this all the time too, although some people have different opinions. But that’s awesome! I should probably start testing this and see if it makes a different in our house, too. Some people say the cure to gas from beans is to eat more beans! I have no idea if that’s true. :)