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Salsa Verde Pinto Beans

Vegetarian

Slightly spicy and full of flavor these simple salsa verde pinto beans bathe in a rich and creamy broth that will leave you longing for more. Naturally vegan and gluten-free.

Two bowls of beans.

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What’s to love about this recipe?

  • They’re great for those with dietary restrictions! These beans contain no animal products so they are great for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. And they are also gluten-free!
  • It’s simple and hands-off! Although there is the added step of preparing the salsa verde (which is also incredibly simple), you can’t get much easier or more hands-off than letting a pot of beans simmer away until ready.
  • It’s so so flavorful! I’m always shocked at how much flavor is infused in pinto bean broth when cooked correctly. And with the addition of salsa verde, the beans are even more flavorful – they’re a little bit spicy, rich, and creamy with a nice touch of acid from the tomatillos and lime juice.
Two bowls of salsa verde pinto beans with lime halves and a towel.

Ingredients + notes & substitutions

Ingredients for salsa verde pinto beans (see recipe card).
  • Tomatillos: Tomatillos are a husked fruit. They may look like tomatoes, but they actually are not. They do belong to the nightshade family, however. Choose tomatillos that have filled out their husk and are firm rather than mushy and shriveled. After removing the husks it is important to rinse them as they are often dirty and sticky.
  • Jalapeno
  • Anaheim or poblano pepper: Both of these peppers are on the milder side, although Anaheim peppers have the potential to be a bit spicier.
  • Serrano pepper: Serranos pack quite a bit more heat than jalapenos and poblanos/Ahaheims so skip it if you’d prefer the end result to be milder.
  • Garlic: Gotta have those aromatics.
  • Dry pinto beans: Make sure to rinse them first and remove any debris.
  • White or yellow onion: No pot of beans is complete without onions.
  • Water
  • Kosher salt
  • Cilantro: Optional; for garnishing the beans.
  • Lime wedges: To serve; a little bit of lime juice is the perfect finishing touch.

How do you make salsa verde pinto beans? ( + tips)

  1. Preheat broiler to high heat for at least 10-minutes.
  2. Arrange the tomatillos, jalapeno, poblano/Anaheim pepper, and Serrano pepper on a baking sheet and broil for 10-15 minutes flipping the peppers about halfway through. The veggies should be significantly browned before you remove them from the oven so you get that nice roasted flavor.
Roasted peppers and tomatillos on a sheet pan.

3. Remove the stems from the peppers then transfer them to a blender or food processor along with the tomatillos and garlic and pulse until smooth.

Salsa verde in a blender.

4. Transfer to a large pot with a lid. Add the pinto beans, diced onion, and lastly the water.

5. Bring to a boil then reduce heat so that the water gently boils up from the center. Cover and cook for at least 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours or until the beans are nice and tender. You can let the beans cook even longer if you’d like, just make sure to keep an eye on the liquid level – if it begins to get too low, as in the beans are not fully submerged, add water. I typically let my beans simmer away for at least four hours. Doing so thickens the broth and allows the flavors to further develop.

Cooked pinto beans in pot.

6. When the beans are done, it’s time to salt them. Adding the salt at the end prevents it from altering the texture. Salting them at the beginning can lead to tough beans. Serve warm with cilantro and lime wedges. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Is it necessary to soak the beans?

There is a lot of debate as to whether pinto beans should be soaked prior to cooking. It is believed that soaking the beans speeds up the cooking process. While this may be true, in my opinion, it doesn’t cut enough time for it to be worthwhile. According to this test by Epicurious, soaking the beans cut a mere 10-minutes from the total cook time.

How to store

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to one week. Freezing the beans is also an option. Store in an airtight container or freezer bag in the freezer for up to six months.

Bowl of pinto beans with a spoon.
Close up of pinto beans.

More Mexican-inspired side dishes:

  • Cilantro Lime Spinach Rice: This healthy spinach rice with lime and cilantro is a simple and delicious way to get in an extra serving of greens. It works great as a side or served up in a burrito or wrap. Naturally vegan and gluten-free.
  • Chipotle Potato Salad: Mexican twist on a classic; this chipotle potato salad is bursting with flavor. Creamy, smoky, and spicy; incorporating roasted poblano peppers, roasted red bell peppers, and corn. Naturally gluten-free and vegetarian.
  • Creamy Poblano Rice w/ Corn: This Mexican-inspired rice incorporates a creamy roasted poblano sauce, onion, garlic, and corn. Great side dish to serve alongside your next Mexican meal. Simple prep, naturally gluten-free, vegetarian option, and just the right amount of heat.
  • Cilantro Lime Sweet Potato Salad: This fresh and zesty Mexican style cilantro-lime sweet potato salad requires only a handful of ingredients, is super simple to make, and takes just 30-minutes. Naturally vegan and gluten-free.

If you make these salsa verde pinto beans I’d love your feedback. Please leave a comment and/or a rating below as I greatly value your opinion. Or snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @taoofspiceblog. Love, light, and happy cooking ya’ll ♥

Close up of pinto beans.

Salsa Verde Pinto Beans

Yield: ~ 8 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Slightly spicy and full of flavor these simple salsa verde pinto beans bathe in a rich and creamy broth that will leave you longing for more. Naturally vegan and gluten-free.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 serrano pepper (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound dry pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
  • 7 cups water 
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt + more to taste
  • Chopped cilantro, to serve 
  • Lime wedges, to serve

Instructions

  1. Preheat broiler to high heat for at least 10-minutes.
  2. Arrange the tomatillos, jalapeno, poblano pepper, and Serrano pepper on a baking sheet and broil in the top half of the oven for 10-15 minutes, flipping the peppers halfway through, until browned.
  3. Remove the stems from the peppers then transfer them to a blender or food processor along with the tomatillos and garlic and pulse until smooth.
  4. Transfer to a large pot with a lid. Add the pinto beans, white onion, and water.
  5. Bring to a boil then reduce heat so that the water gently boils up from the center. Cover and cook for at least 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours or until tender. (see notes)
  6. Just prior to serving stir in the salt. Serve warm with chopped cilantro and lime wedges.

Storage: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to one week. Freezing the beans is also an option. Store in an airtight container or freezer bag in the freezer for up to six months.

Notes

    • You can let the beans cook even longer if you'd like, just make sure to keep an eye on the liquid level - if it begins to get too low, as in the beans are not fully submerged, add water. I typically let my beans simmer away for at least four hours. Doing so thickens the broth and allows the flavors to further develop.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 225Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 546mgCarbohydrates: 41gFiber: 10gSugar: 4gProtein: 13g

The nutritional information provided is computer generated. It is only an estimate and intended for informational purposes only. Nutrition details may vary depending on various factors such as origin, freshness of ingredients, etc

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