Black and Pinto Beans – Homemade Whole Beans Recipe

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A recipe for homemade whole beans, black and pinto, is the perfect food to have on hand. Sometimes life is crazy and hard. This simple and healthy recipe makes it possible to always have easy and inexpensive meal options. Not only that, this bilingual recipe is also a language learning opportunity – a different way to learn Spanish.

What You Will Learn

  • Interesting historical facts in English and Spanish to increase reading skills
  • Easier meal planning with bulk meal preparation
  • Use Spanish vocabulary while you cook
  • Enjoy delicious food inspired by Latin America

and most important —

  • Simple and practical tips to make a pot of whole beans – Homemade Whole Beans Recipe

Interesting Facts About Beans

  • Native American (New World) bean varieties include – black, pinto, kidney, navy… These are the most common.
  • The three sisters: corn, beans, and squash grow well together. The bean vines grow up the cornstalks which protect the squash from harsh sun and weather.
  • Beans are rich in protein, oil, soluble fiber, folate, and iron.
  • The plant leaves follow the sun and fold together at night.
  • Soaking overnight sprouts the bean.

Hechos interesantes sobre frijoles

  • Las variedades de frijoles nativos americanos (nuevo mundo) incluyen: negros, pintos, rojos, blancos … Estas son las más comunes.
  • Las tres hermanas: maíz, frijol y calabaza crecen bien juntas. La viña de frijol sube los tallos de maíz que protegen la calabaza del sol y el clima áspero.
  • Los frijoles son ricos en proteínas, aceite, fibra soluble, folato y hierro.
  • Las hojas de la planta siguen al sol y se pliegan juntas por la noche.
  • Remojanadolos toda la noche brota el frijol.

Helpful Tips to Make Whole Beans

Making beans makes life so much easier for meal planning. They taste delicious and fit into any meal – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Hey, even as a healthy snack. This is why I keep a pot ready in my refrigerator all the time.

In fact, it took years of trial and error to make a consistently great pot of beans. Some of my friends share with me how they buy canned because they say it is easier. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Canned tastes gross and takes more effort!

Here I share the simple and practical tips to make a delicious pot of beans.

The Steps for Whole Black and Pinto Beans

The cooking is pretty much the same for all these dry beans:

  1. Remove rocks and rinse
  2. Soak dry beans in water – 30 minutes to overnight (optional)
  3. Drain and add fresh water to the pot
  4. Add flavor – onion, garlic, seasoning
  5. Add salt for last 30 minutes
  6. Boil for 1 1/2 hours

First, get your package of pinto, black or red dry beans

How much to make?

It all depends on how many servings you want. For a family meal, here is a helpful rule of thumb to decide how much beans to make –

4 Servings Per Cup of Dry Beans

Black Beans
  • 1 pound package (2 cups of dried beans) 8 servings
  • 2-pound package (4 cups of dried beans) 16 servings
  • 3-pound package (6 cups of dried beans) 24 servings
  • 4-pound package (8 cups of dried beans) 32 servings
  • 5-pound package (10 cups of dried beans) 40 servings

Since my family eats a lot of beans, I usually keep a 25-pound bag of beans. The best part is that the bag costs only about $20. This makes a lot of delicious food really inexpensively for a family of 7 (including a teenage boy). Even better than that is the high nutritional value of beans.

Second, get the right size pot

The Ratio of Beans to Water – Pot Size

If you are not a big planner, like me, or you are a great planner who wants to make a large amount at once for a longer period of time. Here is another way to figure out the quantity.

1 Part Dry Beans to 3 Parts Water

Since dry beans triple in volume when cooked its important to choose the right pot size. The pot must fit a ratio of 1 part dry beans, 3 parts water, and 1 part space.


  • 1 pound dried beans – 3-quart saucepan
  • 2 pounds dried beans – 6-quart saucepan
  • 3 pounds dried beans – 8-quart saucepan/stockpot
  • 4 pounds dried beans – 10-quart stockpot
  • 5 pounds dried beans – 14-quart stockpot
Freezing Beans – Bulk Cooking

The advantage of making larger quantities is less work overall. They last in the refrigerator for about 5 days. This is the way to go if you want to prepare extra to make meals in advance and freeze. For instance, a batch of bean and cheese burritos can be wrapped, frozen, and defrosted for a quick meal.

Whole beans freeze well. I fill a gallon size freezer bag and lay the bag flat. Later, I pull the bag out to defrost anytime and heat. They last about one month in the freezer. It is that simple.

Finally, prepare the beans

Now that the quantity of dried beans and pot size are ready, its time to begin the simple cooking process.

  • Sort out debris and rinse beans thoroughly

All beans come with dirt and debris. Sort out the debris and rinse thoroughly. Not doing so may break your teeth. That almost happened to me when I almost chewed on a rock I missed.

  • Soak beans overnight

The optional step of soaking the beans adds more nutritional value. The beans begin to sprout while they are submerged in water. Fill the pot with the desired quantity of beans and fill with water. Finish by draining the water and adding fresh water to cook.

Homemade Whole Beans Recipe

I’m thinking about a side of refried beans, bean burritos, eggs and beans on toast, bean tacos, beans and rice, enfrijoladas, enchiladas… There are so many favorite meals to create with beans. This is my tried and true method of making a pot of beans successfully. They are soft, juicy, and flavorful every time.

 First, fill your pot with beans, water, and space following the quantities explained above.

  • Bring to boil on a medium-high flame, then reduce to low flame to simmer and cover with a lid
  • Add your preferred seasonings – measurements are per 1 pound

Spanish Bilingual RecipeMy Favorite Black Beans – 5 cloves garlic (without peeling and cutting)

My Favorite Pinto Beans – whole jalapeño, half onion (without peeling and cutting)

Cuban Black Beans – 1/2 onion and 1 red bell pepper chopped, olive oil, 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 bay leaf, cumin to taste, pinch oregano

Bean Soup – 1/4 cup bacon or chorizo, half chopped onion, 3 garlic cloves minced, 1 bay leaf, cumin, pinch oregano, chili powder, chopped cilantro on top

Next, simmer for two hours until soft

  • Add salt to taste – 1 Tablespoon per pound
  • Simmer 30 minutes more
  • Remove whole onion, garlic, jalapeno and discard

Finally, enjoy whole or make refried beans – more recipes coming soon!

More Bilingual Recipes to Cook and Learn Spanish


Corn Tortillas Masa Maiz Spanish .      Potato Taco Recipe Spanish Bilingual



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