Monday, March 21, 2022

Chipotle Pinto Beans (Stovetop)

My copycat Chipotle Pinto Beans redefine fast food! Step up your burrito game and learn how to cook pinto beans on the stove in 20 minutes.

I don’t think that I know anyone who doesn’t love Chipotle™. They’ve really nailed every item on their menu, from the meat and the salsa, right down to the rice.

Trust me when I say this copycat recipe tastes just like the real thing. It’s so easy to prepare, and this simple dish can be used in all of your favorite tacos, burritos, or bowls.

Sometimes I even just eat some on top of plain rice. They’re that good!

Chipotle Pinto Beans

Read on to learn how to cook pinto beans on the stove. For a hands-off method, you can prepare them in an Instant Pot instead.

Craving some meat with your meal? Make your own version of the restaurant’s famous steak, juicy carnitas, or spicy barbacoa right at home. And don’t forget the guacamole!

chipotle pinto beans on a spoon above a bowl

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Don’t overcook! If the beans are simmered for too long, they will split open and become mushy. Keep the heat on low and stir regularly. 
  • Use the right pepper. Instead of fresh or dried varieties, this recipe calls for chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. They come in a can and can typically be found with the salsa, taco seasonings, and green chiles.
  • Not a fan of onions? You can easily leave them out entirely. If it’s the subtle crunch you don’t like, quarter the onion instead of dicing. It will still add flavor to the dish, but you can scoop out the pieces before serving
  • Serving suggestions: These make such a terrific side and go well with so many dishes. It’s a great addition to meals with proteins such as ham, meatloaf, or fried chicken. Of course, they’re delicious in tacos and burrito bowls as well!
chipotle pinto beans ingredients

How To Cook Pinto Beans On The Stove

It really couldn’t be easier to do! First, saute the onion until softed — this creates the base of flavor for the dish.

Then, add the remaining ingredients and simmer until thickened and warmed through! Be sure to remove the whole pepper and bay leaf before serving.

how to cook pinto beans on the stove onions first

Kitchen Tools You Will Need
  • Skillet - Choose one with plenty of surface area to cook the onion before adding the other ingredients.
  • Citrus Juicer - This gets every last drop out, which makes juicing lemons and limes so much easier!
how to cook pinto beans on the stove all ingredients in the pot

Chipotle Pinto Beans FAQ

What ingredients are in Chipotle pinto beans?

The restaurant version includes bay leaves, black pepper, chipotle chili, cumin, garlic, lemon and lime juice, yellow onions, oregano, rice bran oil, and salt.

Since I wasn’t able to find rice bran oil locally, I simply used olive oil instead.

chipotle pinto beans in a burrito bowl

Do you need to soak pinto beans before cooking?

Nope! When you’re using canned, they don’t need to be soaked. Simply rinse, drain, and heat.

If you prefer to use dried, you would need to soak them overnight and cook them for several hours before using them in this recipe.

Do Chipotle pinto beans contain pork?

Currently, pork is not listed as an ingredient for this dish. However, it’s always best to play it safe and review ingredients and labels provided by the restaurant, as recipes change from time to time.

chipotle pinto beans on a cutting board


With love from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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Yield: 10
Author: Donna Elick
Chipotle Pinto Beans (stovetop)

Chipotle Pinto Beans (stovetop)

My copycat Chipotle Pinto Beans redefine fast food! Step up your burrito game and learn how to cook pinto beans on the stove in 20 minutes.
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 15 MinTotal time: 20 Min


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 (16 ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 whole chipotle pepper (in adobo sauce)
  • Juice from one lemon (about 3 Tablespoons)
  • Juice from one lime (about 2 Tablespoons)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt, to taste


  1. In a medium pan, add olive oil and diced onions. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onions become translucent. Reduce heat to low.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Return to medium high heat for 2-3 minutes, then reduce to low, stirring gently on occasion. Once thoroughly cooked, remove from heat.
  3. Using a spoon, remove the whole chipotle pepper and bay leaf. Add salt if desired. Serve warm as a side or as a topping.
  1. The chipotle pepper that is used in this recipe comes from a can and is labeled as “chipotle peppers in adobo sauce”. You can typically find these in the aisle with the taco seasonings, green chiles, salsa, etc.

Chipotle Pinto Beans closeup

Originally published March 2022

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