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Crock Pot Pinto Beans with Bacon

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This Crock Pot Pinto Beans with Bacon recipe is the best tender and delicious southern comfort food – loaded with nutrition – easily made in the slow cooker.

two green bowls of crock pot pinto beans with ham with a striped red cloth and a salt and pepper cellar at the side.
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There’s nothing quite like a hearty, comforting Crock Pot pinto beans with bacon dish on a cold winter day. We jazzed up a southern classic with a spicy twist, and not only is it delicious, but it’s also good for you!

Pinto beans are packed with nutrition like fiber and protein, while the bacon adds a touch of richness and flavor. This recipe is super easy to make – just throw everything in the Crock Pot and let it cook!

Southern Style Pinto Beans with Bacon in Slow Cooker

Pinto beans get their name from their “painted” appearance – they’re brown with specks of red, white, and black.

Pinto beans are a staple in many cuisines, but they’re especially popular in the South. They’re often cooked with ham or bacon, which adds a delicious salty flavor.

This Crock Pot pinto beans with bacon recipe is the perfect combination of southern and southwestern cooking. I’ve added cumin and optional jalapenos for a touch of the southwest.

The beans are slow-cooked to perfection, and the bacon gives them a delicious smoky flavor.

Serve slow cooker pinto beans with bacon with some cornbread or biscuits, and you’ve got a hearty, comforting meal that will warm you up on even the coldest winter day. Enjoy!

Do you have to soak beans before cooking in crock pot?

Per USDA recommendations, you should soak all dry beans first (see the USDA instructions below). You should not cook dry beans in your slow cooker without properly prepping them first. 

USDA recommendations for preparing beans

  • Hot Soak: Hot soaking helps reduce intestinal gas. For each pound (2 cups) of dry beans, add 10 cups of hot water; heat to boiling and let boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside for up to 4 hours.
  • Quick Soak: For each pound of dry beans, add 10 cups of hot water; heat to boiling and let boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside for at least one hour.
  • Overnight Soak: For each pound of dry beans, add 10 cups of cold water and soak pinto beans overnight, or at least 8 hours.
  • I recommend adding 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar to your water to pre-soak dried beans.
a close up photo of two green bowls of crock pot pinto beans with ham with a striped red cloth and a salt and pepper cellar at the side.

Pinto beans nutrition

The health benefits of pinto beans are many:

Pinto beans are also low in calories and fat, making them a healthy nutrition choice. One cup of cooked pinto beans contains only about 200 calories.

Pinto beans are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which is important for a healthy digestive system. They’re also a good source of protein and iron.

One cup of cooked pinto beans contains about 15 grams of protein and 13 grams of dietary fiber. This is good news for vegans and vegetarians, who often rely on beans as a source of protein.

Love beans recipes? We have lots of them! Try our Instant Pot Pinto Beans, Instant Pot Calico Beans, Instant Pot White Beans, and Instant Pot Navy Bean Soup.

Pinto beans in crock pot Ingredients

  • Dried pinto beans – pre-soaked, see notes
  • Chicken broth
  • Water
  • Bacon – cooked and crumbled or bacon bits
  • Chopped large onion
  • Minced garlic
  • Dried oregano
  • Ground cumin
  • Optional: Jalapeno – chopped with membranes and seeds removed

Note: Jalapeno pepper is optional, but it gives the beans a nice little kick. If you don’t like spice, leave it out.

ingredients for making slow cooker pinto beans with ham which consists of pinto beans, chicken broth, water, mined onions, garlic, bacon, jalapenos, and spices.

Equipment Needed

Cooking Pinto Beans in Crock Pot

Rinse the beans. Rinse your presoaked pinto beans in clean water, and drain in a colander.

pinto beans placed inside the crock pot.

Add the ingredients. Put pinto beans, broth, water, bacon, onion, garlic, seasonings, and jalapeno pepper (if using) into the slow cooker.

all the ingredients placed inside the crock pot.

Pressure cook the Pinto Beans. Cook the pinto beans in a slow cooker on high heat for 4-6 hours, then on low heat for 2 hours. For creamier pinto beans, mash about 1/2 of the beans with a potato masher.

Recipe Variations

  • Crock Pot Pinto Beans with Ham – for pinto beans in a Crock Pot with ham, skip the bacon and swap with 1 cup of ham instead.
  • Crock Pot Pinto Beans with ham hock – for pinto beans and ham hocks in a slow cooker, swap the bacon with a ham hock for extra flavor.
  • Vegetarian Crock Pot Pinto Beans – omit the bacon and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. You can also add extra vegetables like carrots, celery, or bell peppers.
  • Pinto beans and Sausage in Slow Cooker – use 1/2 pound of cooked sausage instead of bacon in the Crock Pot for a hearty meal.
  • You can use any type of bacon in this recipe – pork, beef, or turkey bacon.
  • Make it spicy, add more jalapeno peppers or some chopped green chilies.
  • Add a can of Rotel tomatoes and/or bay leaves for extra flavor.

Try our other slow cooker bean recipe, Slow Cooker Calico Beans.

a close up photo of two green bowls of crock pot pinto beans with ham with a striped red cloth and a salt and pepper cellar at the side.

How to Serve Pinto Beans with Bacon

Pinto beans can be served as a side dish, but we added bacon, so they’re also great as a main dish. Serve them with some cornbread or biscuits for a complete meal.

You can also serve them with your favorite toppings like pico de gallo, sour cream, crushed tortilla or corn chips, pepitas, or salsa.

Storage, Freezing, and Reheating Instructions

Leftover pinto beans can be stored in the fridge for up to four days. To store, place them in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.

You can also freeze Crock Pot pinto beans. To do so, place them in a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze them for up to three months.

To reheat, simply thaw in the fridge overnight and then reheat on the stove or in the microwave. You may need to add a little water to get them to the desired consistency.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put raw bacon in a Crock Pot?

Yes, you can put raw bacon in a Crock Pot. It will cook as the beans cook. But, I prefer to cook the bacon first and then add it to the Crock Pot because it renders some fat and gives the beans a nice smoky flavor.

How long do dry beans take to cook in a Crock Pot?

It depends on the type of bean. Smaller beans like black-eyed peas will take less time to cook than larger beans like pinto beans. For this pinto beans in Crock Pot with bacon recipe, cook the beans on high heat for 4 to 6 hours and then on low heat for 2 hours.

Are pinto beans safe in the slow cooker?

Yes, pinto beans are safe to cook in a Crock Pot or slow cooker. Just be sure to soak the beans overnight before cooking (see USDA recommendations above).

What can I add to pinto beans for flavor?

You can add many things to this pinto beans recipe for flavor. I added bacon, onion, garlic, and seasonings to this recipe. You could also add a can of Rotel tomatoes, chopped green chilies, or pico de Gallo. See the recipe variations for more ideas.

a green bowl of slow cooker pinto beans with bacon.

Get the Full Pinto Beans in Crock Pot Recipe Below

a square photo of a green bowl of slow cooker pinto beans with bacon.
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5 from 5 votes

Crock Pot Pinto Beans with Bacon

This Crock Pot Pinto Beans with Bacon recipe is the best tender, delicious, and nutritious southern comfort food ever that is made in a slow cooker.
Course Main Course, Entree
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword Main Course, pinto beans, slow cooker, crockpot, dried beans, slow cooker beans, crock pot beans
Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 3 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 292kcal

Equipment

  • Crock Pot or slow cooker
  • colander
  • potato masher optional

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried pinto beans (pre-soaked, see notes)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled or 1/2 cup bacon bits
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 3 teaspoons ground cumin

optional

  • 1 large jalapeno, chopped with membranes and seeds removed

Instructions

  • Rinse your presoaked beans in clean water, and drain in a colander.
  • Add all ingredients to the slow cooker: pinto beans, broth, water, bacon, onion, garlic, seasonings, and jalapeno pepper (if using).
  • Cook on high heat for 4-6 hours, then on low heat for 2 hours. For creamier pinto beans, mash about 1/2 of the beans with a potato masher.
  • Serve with your favorite toppings like pico de gallo, sour cream, crushed tortilla or corn chips, pepitas, or salsa.

Notes

Pre-soak beans: I recommend adding 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar when soaking your beans. 
  • Hot Soak: Hot soaking helps reduce intestinal gas. For each pound of dry beans, add 10 cups of hot water; heat to boiling and let boil 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside for up to 4 hours.
  • Quick Soak: For each pound of dry beans, add 10 cups of hot water; heat to boiling and let boil 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside for at least one hour.
  • Overnight Soak: For each pound (2 cups) of dry beans, add 10 cups of cold water and let soak overnight, or at least 8 hours.
Pre-soak instructions and recommendations are from the USDA website

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 453mg | Potassium: 1143mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 5mg

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