Herby Garlic Pinto Beans

Herby Garlic Pinto Beans
These OUTSTANDING and healthy herby, garlicky beans are perfect for game day, cook-outs, and potluck dinners. Throw soaked beans, chopped veggies and some herbs and seasoning into a big pot and RELAX as they transform into a thick and delicious dish.

Beans, beans – good for the heart…


I am a huge fan of pinto beans! Pinto beans are highly nutritious. They’re an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients may provide several benefits, including improved blood sugar control and heart health. Pinto beans are also rich in various antioxidants and may help lower your risk of chronic disease. They also taste great, pair well with many dishes, and are inexpensive (cheap!) I prefer to use dried beans over canned beans so I can control what’s in them. Canned beans are notorious for harboring a lot of salt and hidden sugar. 

Let’s chat about prepping the beans. Do they REALLY need soaking? The short answer is no. It’s not a requirement to soak dried beans. However, there are a couple of good reasons why you would want to soak them in salted water before cooking. First, the beans will cook faster and more evenly if they soak in salted water. The salt in the water breaks down the bean’s outer layer, reducing and preventing the beans from causing flatulence (gas) is a big reason to let the legumes take a long soak. The water leaches out the sugars in beans responsible for gas production. 

beans soaking in a bowl
Soak the beans salted water for up to 12 hours

Soak the beans

Even an hour or two of soaking will yield benefits. Ideally, beans should soak for 12 hours. I usually soak them overnight. As I mentioned, soaking is not essential. If you want to skip this step, be my guest. Give the beans a good rinse and throw ’em in the pot. They will take a little longer to cook, and you may have if you have a sensitive digestive system – don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Easy Prep

prepped celery, onion, carrots and garlic
Prep the veggies and garlic

Another reason I love making beans is that they are so easy! Other than soaking the beans, the only prep is roughly chopping the carrots, celery, garlic, and onion. No need to worry about neat evenly sized pieces; the veggies will basically melt into the beans. This recipe is called “Herby Garlic Pinto Beans,” so make sure you have dried herbs on hand. Thyme, rosemary, and sage make the perfect flavoring. However, you can use a tablespoon of your favorite herb seasoning blend instead of a teaspoon of each of the individual herbs. I’ve made this before using Italian Seasoning, and it was great. I also like using fresh herbs as a garnish, but that’s optional.  

pot with veggies and beans
Add veggies, herbs and seasoning to beans

Use a large, heavy-bottom stockpot for cooking the beans. Drain and rinse the beans, put them in the pot, cover them with two inches of water, and add salt, veggies, and herbs. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer. The pot needs to be covered loosely – so a bit of steam can escape. The beans need between 3-4 hours (longer if not soaked) to become tender and the liquid to become thick. Occasionally stir the beans and check on the consistency. Your kitchen will smell fabulous! 

cooked beans in pot

Serve as a side dish, a topping, or a vegan main course. Enjoy!

Herby Garlic Pinto Beans

Recipe by Jane BruceCourse: Side DishCuisine: Vegan, VegetarianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Herby Garlic Pinto Beans are an easy one-pot recipe perfect for Game Day, cook-outs, and potluck dinners.  Serve as a side-dish, topping, or vegan main dish.  Gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian,


  • 1 pound any kind of dried beans

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for serving

  • 4 peeled cloves garlic, chopped

  • 16-20 baby carrots or 2 large carrots, chopped

  • 2 celery stalk, chopped

  • 1 onion, chopped

  • 3 teaspoon each thyme, rosemary, and sage (or 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning)

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • Optional: chopped fresh herbs, crushed red pepper – for garnish and serving


  • Prep: Soak beans by covering them with water by 2 inches, add 2 tablespoons salt and soak at least 3 hours or up to overnight. If you don’t have time, you can skip this step. Chop garlic, carrots, celery, and onion.
  • Drain beans and put them in a pot, add enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Add oil, salt, garlic, carrot, celery, onion, and the herbs.
  • Bring pot to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Loosely cover the pot, so the cover is slightly ajar. Cook until the liquid is thick, and the beans are tender (3-4 hours) Garnish beans with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh herbs and pepper flakes (if desired).


  • Pinto beans: Although recommended, the beans don’t have to be soaked. They can be rinsed and used immediately.
  • Zhoosh it up by topping the beans with shredded cheese, sour cream and diced onions.
  • Herby Garlic Beans pair perfectly with bratwurst, hot dogs or hamburgers for GaFme Days and cook-outs

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2 thoughts on “Herby Garlic Pinto Beans

  1. The only two minor changes we made were to sautee the veg and adding a few cubes of non-chicken bouillon to infuse a bit more flavor since we don’t eat any meat. The beans were forking fantastic! I *love* the addition of the veg to the beans. They thickened nicely, and we served over brown jasmine rice to make it a hearty meal. Thank you for the recipe!

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