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pinto beans

Crock-Pot frijoles de la olla

  • Author: Maura Wall Hernandez
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours
  • Total Time: 6 hours, 15 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Method: Slow-cooker
  • Cuisine: Mexican


Frijoles de la olla are a staple in Mexican cuisine. Traditionally, they’re cooked in a clay pot over a fire or on the stove, but this version is adapted for cooking in a slow-cooker or Crock-Pot.


  • 2 cups frijoles pintos (pinto beans)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (substitute with vegetable broth for a vegetarian version)
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 1/2 of a white onion, sliced 1/4 inch-thick
  • 1 chile guajillo
  • 1/2 of a small head of garlic (about 46 cloves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • a few pork neck bones (leave these out for a vegetarian version)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (to be added in last 45 minutes of cooking)



  1. First, rinse your beans under cool water to remove any dirt or debris and get rid of any broken beans. There’s no need to soak the beans overnight!
  2. Layer the onion slices along the bottom of the crock-pot. Place the beans directly over the top of the onions. Tear off the stem of the chile and tuck it into the beans and nestle the pork neck bones in the beans, too. Add the chicken broth. Remove the papery skin from the garlic cloves and place in the crock-pot whole. Add the ground cumin.
  3. You’ll notice the chicken broth isn’t enough to cover the beans and keep all the ingredients moist while cooking. Add 4 cups of boiling water over the top, making sure all the ingredients are under the broth and water and then put the cover on the slow-cooker.
  4. Turn the heat on to high for 5-6 hours (individual slow-cookers can vary slightly in temperature). If the beans start to get dry during cooking, add 1-2 extra cups of boiling water. I only had to add about one cup in the last hour. You can substitute boiling chicken broth in place of the extra boiling water if you like. Add the salt in the last 45 minutes of cooking and stir it in gently to incorporate.
  5. Serve warm.



The beans should be soft to bite and have a nice broth when they’re finished, but shouldn’t be watery.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.