After many times cooking canned pinto beans at home, I’ve mastered techniques for cooking pinto beans from a can on the stovetop and microwave for simple weeknight meals or sides. So, in this article, I want to share my favorite two methods so others can easily enjoy their nourishing comfort too.

1. How To Cook Canned Pinto Beans on Stove


  • 1 can (15 oz) pinto beans
  • 1 small onion (optional)
  • 1 tsp garlic (optional)
  • 1 tsp olive oil or butter
  • Seasonings (such as cumin, chili powder, or bay leaves)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Start by finely chopping onion and mincing garlic, if using.

In a saucepan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil or butter over medium heat.

Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the pan and sauté until they become translucent and aromatic.

Open the can of pinto beans, drain and rinse them thoroughly under cold water. This helps remove excess sodium and starch.

Add the drained and rinsed beans to the saucepan, stirring them into the onion and garlic mixture. Then season the beans with your preferred seasonings, such as cumin, chili powder, or bay leaves. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Allow the beans to simmer on low to medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and to allow the flavors to meld. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Once the beans are heated through and have absorbed some of the flavors from the seasonings, they’re ready to be served.

2. How To Cook Canned Pinto Beans in Microwave


  • 1 can (15 oz) pinto beans
  • Microwave-safe bowl
  • Seasonings (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Open the can of pinto beans, drain and rinse them under cold water.

Place the drained and rinsed beans in a microwave-safe bowl. Next, sprinkle your preferred seasonings over them. Common options include garlic powder, onion powder, or a pinch of cumin. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap, leaving a small vent for steam to escape.

Microwave the beans on high for about 2-3 minutes. Check after 1-2 minutes and stir to ensure even heating.

Once the beans are heated through and seasoned to your liking, they’re ready to be enjoyed.

3. What To Serve With Canned Pinto Beans

Rice: Serve canned pinto beans over cooked rice to create a simple and filling meal. The combination of beans and rice provides a complete protein source and can be easily customized with spices, herbs, and vegetables.

Tacos or Burritos: Use canned pinto beans as a filling for tacos or burritos. Combine them with sautéed vegetables, cheese, salsa, and your choice of protein for a flavorful and hearty dish.

Cornbread: Pinto beans and cornbread make a classic and comforting combination. Enjoy a bowl of beans alongside a slice of warm cornbread for a satisfying Southern-style meal.

Baked Meats: Pair canned pinto beans with baked meats like chicken, steak, or pork. The beans add a protein-rich side that complements the smoky flavors of the grilled meat.

Salads: Add canned pinto beans to salads for an extra dose of protein and creaminess. They work well in green salads, grain salads, and bean salads. Combine them with fresh vegetables, herbs, and a flavorful dressing.

Cooking canned pinto beans on the stove and in the microwave are two simple and effective methods that allow you to create flavorful dishes in a matter of minutes. The stove method lets you infuse the beans with your favorite seasonings while they simmer, enhancing their taste and aroma. The microwave method is ideal for busy days when you need a quick and convenient solution without compromising on taste.

Emily Harris

Emily Harris is a seasoned chef and a food aficionado with a boundless love for all cuisines. With years of experience experimenting in the kitchen and crafting delightful dishes, Emily has honed her culinary expertise to share with the world

Comments are closed.