Crockpot pinto beans are the epitome of simple comfort food.  These simple pinto beans are made in the slow cooker so that they can simmer all day and get tender while you are free to do something else.  The pinto beans thanks to the magic of the crockpot get tender and delicious while producing a creamy juice. They are just like grandma used to make.  Follow my tips for perfect crockpot pinto beans.

Crockpot pinto beans that are tender and just like grandma's.


When I think of pinto beans, I think of my grandma.  She is the queen of a comforting pot of simple beans.  As a child, when we would visit, we would almost always be served a pot of beans at one point or another.  That and chicken and dumplings have become her two signature dishes that all of us grandkids are now making in our own homes.  Both make you wanna slap your pappy as my grandpa says.  She often serves hers with greens and cornbread for a complete simple and frugal down home cookin’ country meal.

Beans are so simple to make, but I know many of you aren’t home during the day to babysit a pot of beans simmering on the stove for a couple of hours.  Using the crockpot is a great way to get dinner on the table if you work outside the home or are just busy with other things and can’t devote a lot of time to cooking.

These crockpot pinto beans are seasoned very simply with just salt, pepper and a little bit of bacon, ham, or bacon fat.  In my mind there is no need for fancy seasonings with this humble dish.  The simplicity of the seasonings, makes the flavor of the bean shine through.  I also like to keep the seasonings simple so leftover beans can be turned into different things.

Beans are an excellent frugal protein source.  One of my favorite food budget tips after I have cooked them, is to reuse them in other recipes.  Cook once, use in multiple dishes.

They are excellent in burrito bowls or taco salads. Simply layer any ingredients that you desire:  rice, beans, cheese, salsa, guacamole, corn, peppers, lettuce, sour cream.

For re-fried beans, drain off a tad of the liquid and mash or puree.  You can add it to a toasted corn tortilla shell for tostadas, wrap them in wrap, serve it with eggs and salsa, etc.  You can also use them in tacquitos, beans and greens soup, a bean dip or bean burritos.

Crockpot pinto beans: step by step

1.  Rinse and sort beans.  Pick out any funky ones or debris.


2.  Soak beans overnight with about 2 inches of warm water covering beans.  Add a pinch of baking soda if desired.

Note: If you are short on time, this isn’t a necessary step.  Just rinse and put in slow cooker and proceed with cooking.


3.  Drain beans and place in crockpot.


4.  Add 6 cups water or broth and fat of choice, or bacon or ham hock, or a bay leaf if you are vegetarian.


5.  Season that bad boy up after they’re tender.  Now gobble down your delicious pinto beans.  Nom nom nom

Pinto beans in the crockpot

Crockpot pinto beans

Simple southern comfort food made easy in the slow cooker.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword slow cooker
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6
Author Tara Buss


  • 1 lb dry pinto beans
  • 6 c water
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp bacon fat or ham hock or 2 pieces chopped bacon
  • 1 bay leaf optional but recommended if vegetarian


  1. Rinse and sort beans, removing any stones or beans that don't look good.

  2. In a pot or bowl, add warm water covering the beans by two inches. Let soak overnight.

  3. Drain the next day and add beans to a crockpot.

  4. Add 6 cups water as well as fat, bacon, or ham hock. Use a bay leaf if you are vegetarian.

  5. Cook on low for 7-9 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.

  6. After beans are tender, add salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe Notes

If you are short on time, you don't necessarily have to soak the beans ahead of time. You may have to cook the beans a little longer.

Looking for ways to use your leftover beans?

Try one of these ideas: Ways to Use Leftover Beans