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The Camellia Bean Blog

How to Turn 1 Pot of Pintos into 5 Meals


Healthy, inexpensive and a great vegetarian source of protein, a pot of cooked pinto beans can take you through a whole week of delicious, nutritious dishes. If you’re already a fan of using beans at different times of day and in all kinds of recipes, you know how versatile they are and how easy it is to get creative. But for those who haven’t tried stretching a pot of beans, or just need a little recipe inspiration, we’re going to show you how to spread the bean love. Also, making your own is so much cheaper and more flavorful than stocking your pantry with canned beans. A 1-pound package of Camellia Brand Pinto Beans costs about the same as one 15-ounce can of beans, but it yields 5-6 cups of cooked beans compared to just 1 1/2 cups per can of beans. That’s a lot more to work with when it comes to family-friendly menu planning. And keep in mind that a pot of pintos can easily be replaced with a pot of black beans, if you prefer – and used in all the same delicious ways detailed below.


Easy Make-Ahead Pinto Beans

You can practically cook a pot of pintos while blindfolded, although we wouldn’t recommend it. It’s as simple as this: Add 2 lbs. Camellia Brand Pinto Beans to a large, heavy pot, and cover beans with water, about 2 inches above the top of the beans. Cover the pot, bring to a boil and then remove from heat. Let the pot rest for 1 hour, covered. (This is called a 1-hr. quick soak.) Then, stir in 3 teaspoons of kosher salt, cover and bring to a boil (this won’t keep the beans from getting soft, promise). Take the cover off the pot, reduce heat to low and simmer until beans are tender, about 1-1 ½ hours total. All you need to do is make sure the beans stay submerged, adding more water if necessary, and taste test after an hour to see if their level of softness is to your liking. That’s it, friends. Get the Easy Make-Ahead Pinto Beans recipe. Now, on to the fun part. Let’s see what we can do with this pot of beans!


Easy Refried Beans

Refried Beans from Camellia

When you’re suddenly rewarded with a whole pot of pintos, making homemade Easy Refried Beans is a must. Refried beans aren’t actually fried at all, and are incredibly easy to make. This particular recipe is vegetarian – and gets its creaminess from olive oil and veggie broth, and its great flavor from onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder and a few drops of liquid smoke. When ready, top with chopped red onion, cilantro and a little shredded Cheddar, and serve with your favorite chips, or wrapped up in a warm flour tortilla. If the batch doesn’t get demolished in one sitting, stick leftovers in the fridge and reheat for more snacks and meals later in the week. Get the Easy Refried Beans recipe.


Pinto Bean Burrito Bowl with Avocado Cilantro Dressing

Bean Burrito Bowl recipe from Camellia

A Pinto Bean Burrito Bowl is a recipe idea that’s healthy, features a variety of tastes and textures, and comes together easily for a hearty lunch or dinner. Burrito bowls are a great way to combine cooked beans with all kinds of yummy accompaniments. Try shredded lettuce or cabbage, chopped cooked chicken, tomatoes, corn, crumbled cheese and more. Get the Pinto Bean Burrito Bowl recipe, top it off with a fast & fresh Avocado Cilantro Dressing, and enjoy.


Chipotle Pinto Bean Tortilla Soup

Chipotle Tortilla Soup recipe from Camellia Beans

A wonderful way to use a batch of beans is to whip up this tasty Chipotle Pinto Bean Tortilla Soup. Made with sautéed veggies like onions, garlic and orange bell pepper, and filled out with chipotle salsa, veggie stock, beans and corn, this soup is gluten-free, vegetarian and super quick to make. Let everyone top their own bowl with chopped cilantro, diced red onion, avocado, shredded cheese and crunchy tortilla strips. Get the Chipotle Pinto Bean Tortilla Soup recipe.


Cheesy Bean Quesadilla

Cheesy Bean Quesadilla recipe from Camellia Beans

An easy lunchtime treat is a Cheesy Bean Quesadilla made with shredded sharp Cheddar, whole beans (or refried beans) and a sprinkling of chopped red onion. Top with a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt and some sliced jalapenos, and you’ve got a filling favorite. Get the Cheesy Bean Quesadilla recipe.


Bean & Bacon Breakfast Tacos

Bacon & Bean Breakfast Tacos recipe from Camellia Beans

Take the opportunity this week to ditch the morning cereal bowl and replace it with these flavorful, protein-packed Bean & Bacon Breakfast Tacos. Scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, tender beans, shredded cheese and chopped avocado fill your choice of grilled flour or corn tortillas, and make a great Saturday morning breakfast that’ll really start your weekend off right. Get the Bean & Bacon Breakfast Tacos recipe.

Now that you’ve got some ideas to get you going, the sky’s the limit. Put a pot of beans on the stove, and start brainstorming all the tasty ways you’ll use them throughout the week. You might not have any leftovers by the time you’re done, but if you do, we’ve got an idea for those, too. Simply portion into freezer storage bags, lay them flat on their side and stack to store in the freezer for future use.

Categories: Let's Cook! Recipes