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What Are Pinto Beans?


  • Contain the most fiber of any bean
  • Popular in U.S. Tex Mex and Latin American cuisine
  • Favorite bean for making chili
Scientific name: Phaseolus Vulgaris

Scientific name: Phaseolus Vulgaris

The Pinto Bean Story

Both the lima and the pinto (Spanish for “painted”) bean were cultivated by early Mexican and Peruvian civilizations more than 5,000 years ago. Pinto beans, kidney beans, navy beans, pink beans, Great Northern beans, and black beans are referred to as “common beans” and are classified as the same species. Pintos contain the most fiber of all beans and are the most popular bean consumed in the United States. They are a favorite in the American West; in fact, Dove Creek, CO, claims that it’s the Pinto Bean Capital of the World!

Pintos are small but flavorful and are a central part of the cuisine of many Latin American countries. They are prepared in refried beans and chile con carne and are typically served with rice. Pintos are also used in three-bean salads, minestrone soup, stews, and casseroles. Because of their similarity, pinto beans and pink beans are often used interchangeably.

Our favorite Pinto Bean links:
How to Cook Beans and Peas
How to Soak Your Beans
Pinto Bean Recipes
Camellia Brand Pinto Beans