Cantina Pinto Beans Recipe

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Cumin, cilantro and red pepper flakes lend a Southwestern flair to tender pinto beans in this recipe from Mrs. L.R. Larson of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. "This dish was inspired by one served at a Dallas, Texas restaurant. The chef added chunks of ham, but my version is meatless," she writes. "It makes a great Tex-Mex side or a filling lunch when served with corn bread."
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. + standing Cook: 1-1/2 hours
MAKES:10 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. + standing Cook: 1-1/2 hours
MAKES: 10 servings


  • 2 cups (1 pound) dried pinto beans
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced green pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) Mexican diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Minced fresh parsley

Nutritional Facts

164 calories: 3/4 cup, 1g fat (0g saturated fat), 0mg cholesterol, 605mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (0g sugars, 10g fiber), 10g protein Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 lean meat 1 vegetable


  1. Sort beans and rinse with cold water. Place beans in a Dutch oven or soup kettle; add water to cover by 2 in. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour.
  2. Drain and rinse beans, discarding liquid. Return beans to the pan. Stir in the broth, celery, onion, green pepper, cumin, sage, pepper flakes, bay leaves and garlic. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour or until beans are very tender.
  3. Discard bay leaves. Stir in tomatoes and salt. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with cilantro. Yield: 10 servings.
Originally published as Cantina Pinto Beans in Light & Tasty April/May 2002, p33

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Reviewed Nov. 11, 2011

"This is one of our favorite bean recipes for Mexican night. I have used dried beans, but prefer to cheat with canned or frozen."

Reviewed Sep. 7, 2010

"Love this recipe. If you like a little more spice, use 2 cans of Rotel Tomatoes instead of the Mexican tomatoes and add more garlic. I also saute the vegetables before I added the beans and stock."

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