Pinto beans are high in fiber and an excellent source of vegetable protein. They’re simple to prepare and can be used in soups, as a side dish, or as the star of the meal.
Most of the time, you’ll find yourself soaking more beans than the recipe calls for, or opening a can of pinto beans only to use a portion of it.
You don’t need to rack your brain for leftover pinto bean ideas. Here are 15 tasty leftover pinto bean recipes that everyone will love and devour in no time.
They’re all ideal for using up leftover pinto beans, but you can also use dried or canned pinto beans.
Let’s jump right in!
1. Mexican Salsa with Baked Flatbread Chips
This chips and salsa recipe is a healthier version of the Mexican chips and salsa that we all know and love.
The Mexican salsa is a vibrant, zingy, and fresh mix of tomatoes, onion, garlic, lemon, and pinto beans.
Then there are the baked flatbread chips, which are less greasy and allow you to eat as much as you want of this dish without feeling sluggish afterward.
Even if the leftover pinto beans add a distinct flavor to the dish, you can personalize it with seasoning and bread type to make it more to your liking.
In just 15 minutes, you’ll have a tasty, refreshing, and nutritious snack.
2. Spanish Pinto Bean Stew
Spanish pinto bean stew combines comfort food and healthy eating in one dish. Ready in about 40 minutes, it’s a mid-week dinner that’ll warm both your heart and your stomach.
This recipe celebrates the most common vegetables that you have in your pantry. To avoid overcooking the leftover pinto beans, add them near the end of the cooking time.
Serve it with a side of crunchy leftover baguette to amplify the dish’s textures.
3. Old-Fashioned Pinto Bean Patties
Old-fashioned pinto bean patties are mashed greasy delights that you can whip up in no time.
This recipe was made specifically for leftover beans, so the hero of this dish is the leftover pinto beans.
You combine the mashed and seasoned beans with onion, egg, as well as some flour to make the patties.
All that’s left is to fry and eat them while they’re hot.
Talk about a low-cost, versatile, and comforting recipe!
4. Southwestern Pinto Bean Burgers
A juicy, loaded southwestern pinto bean burger for a hearty dinner. I can’t even begin to explain how much this burger hits the spot.
While this recipe takes the longest to prepare on my list, the pinto bean patties are so flavorful that the effort is well worth it.
What’s more, you can customize the burger and add whatever toppings you want.
It remains a healthier but scrumptious alternative to the traditional meaty burger without skimping on flavors.
5. Minestrone – Italian Bean and Pasta Soup
Minestrone is a hearty Italian vegetable soup that’s made with basic pantry ingredients, a tomatoey broth, and pasta.
This delicious soup was traditionally made with leftover vegetables, so it only seems natural that leftover pinto beans are well-suited here.
6. Pulled Pork Taco Soup
There’s one word to describe this pulled pork taco soup: mouth-watering. Every sip is a savory and umami flavor explosion for your taste buds.
You won’t need to do any preparatory cooking if you have leftover pulled pork and pinto beans. You’ll dice the tomatoes and green chilies.
That’s not the best part, though!
All you have to do is put everything in a pot, bring it to a boil, and then reduce it to a simmer. This slow-cooking method will intensify the flavors of pork, beans, veggies, and seasoning.
7. Costa Rican Rice and Leftover Pinto Beans Breakfast
This Costa Rican rice and bean breakfast is a dish that can be enjoyed whenever you need a quick and filling meal. It uses simple ingredients, but it’s full of many essential nutrients.
I don’t know about you, but where I grew up, breakfast was usually cereal or toast. Rice and beans showed up for dinner only.
Not only will you be trying out new superb cuisine, but you’ll also be able to use up any leftovers from taco night before.
8. Pinto Bean Fajita Bowls
Next time you wonder what to make with leftover pinto beans, you should consider this recipe.
The pinto bean fajita bowl is a Tex-Mex gluten-free and vegan lunch that you can prepare its components ahead of time.
Fajita veggies, rice, and beans are full of nutrients, can keep you full, and satisfy any takeout cravings that you have.
On the plus side, you can increase the portion sizes and store them for up to four days as leftovers.
9. Pinto Bean Tamales
These gluten-free, allergy-free, and vegan pinto bean tamales have the flavors of traditional Mexican tamales but none of the meat.
The corn-cake-like taste and texture, combined with the spicy pinto bean goodness, will make you wish you had tamales for every meal.
Keep in mind that this recipe requires a bit of time and patience. So, make sure to start a bit early to make these Mexican delicacies.
During the process, you can make more than you need and freeze what you won’t eat that day. Both cooked and uncooked tamales have a shelf life of up to six months in the freezer.
10. Pinto Bean Casserole
If you have leftover pinto beans that you want to transform into a scrumptious dish, this is the recipe for you.
This cheese-smothered, heart-warming comfort food is a true southern recipe that’ll fill your body with fiber and protein fuel.
The cool thing is:
You can make this casserole your own by adding as many toppings as you want. Some people sprinkle some cilantro, while others add crushed taco shells.
Choose one, both, or an entirely different ingredient. It’s entirely up to you how you jazz up this casserole.
11. Ridiculously Easy Bean Salad
This ridiculously easy bean salad is, indeed, ridiculously easy. Just cut up some crunchy cucumbers and onions and mix them in with the leftover pinto beans.
A simple recipe like this one will allow you to experiment with more vibrant vegetables and mouth-watering dressings.
You can also add some croutons to balance out the texture of the beans.
Next time you have a picnic or a barbecue, you can prepare this simple bean salad in advance.
12. Pinto Bean Fritters With Corn and Bell Pepper
These delectable, crispy pinto bean fritters with corn and bell pepper are a fun spin on old-fashioned pinto bean patties.
Because the pinto beans are already prepared and cooked, you’ll be able to skip a few steps in the recipe.
For a nutritious and delicious lunch, serve these fritters alongside a bowl of salad.
If the patties aren’t sticking well, you can add more bread crumbs. If the patties are too dry, you can add a splash of water or lime juice to moisten the mixture.
13. Doritos Taco Casserole
This Mexican-inspired casserole puts a twist on taco night by combining crunchy Doritos, savory Mexican flavored ground beef, hearty beans, and a generous amount of melty cheese.
It doesn’t have to stop with those ingredients, though.
You can add different types of cheese, Mexican street-style corn, and a variety of other toppings to make this casserole a full meal.
Who knew you could eat dinner and snack at the same time?
You can even involve the kids in assembling the casserole, making this dish a fun activity for everyone involved.
The best part?
You can make this casserole ahead of time, refrigerate it, and bake it just before serving.
14. Refried Leftover Pinto Beans
Believe me when I tell you that making refried pinto beans is so effortless.
All you need to do is put your leftover pinto beans with a little bit of oil in a food processor.
Blend the beans until they reach the desired consistency, and, voila, your refried pinto bean is ready for use.
You can serve this leftover pinto bean dish as a midday snack topped with fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice, and slices of pita bread for a Middle-Eastern twist.
With this quick and easy recipe, you’ll never have to wonder what to do with leftover pinto beans again.
15. Spiced Pinto Bean Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing
If you’re looking for a quick salad that’s not boring and will keep you cool in the summer heat, look no further.
In just 15 minutes, you can whip up this Tex-Mex low-calorie but extremely filling spiced salad with an easy-to-make finger-licking avocado dressing for dinner.
The only “cooking” you’ll be doing is toasting your leftover pinto beans in a skillet with a spice mixture.
Then it’s just a matter of chopping up some fresh veggies, a soft avocado, and some milky queso fresco.
Top the salad off with a creamy avocado dressing using the provided recipe.
Great Ways to Store Pinto Bean Leftovers
If you have leftover pinto beans, you don’t have to immediately use them in a dish, especially if you were just cooking.
Set aside the pinto beans to cool if they’re still warm. Place the beans in airtight storage containers in the amount of 1 2/3 cup servings.
If you store more than this amount, the beans at the bottom of the container may soften and squash due to the excess weight.
Leftover pinto beans typically have a four-day shelf life in the refrigerator.
If you aren’t going to use the pinto beans within four days, you should freeze them.
Allow the beans to cool completely before dividing them into one and two-third cup portions in Ziploc bags or airtight freezer containers.
Properly seal the bags and containers. Then, place them in the freezer, making sure to lay the Ziploc bags flat.
And guess what?
You can store those leftover pinto beans in the freezer for up to five months. Just make sure to mark the container with the date to remind you to use it before the beans expire.
Reheat Leftover Pinto Bean
Pour the refrigerated pinto beans with a splash of water into a saucepan over low to medium heat.
Stir the beans with a wooden spoon every three to four minutes for 10-15 minutes, or until the beans begin to bubble.
When defrosting, warm enough water to cover the frozen pinto bean bags, then immerse them for five minutes in the water.
You can also use a microwave oven, but make sure to partially open the bags to avoid any microwave mishaps.
Remember that overcooked beans may become even softer when thawed after freezing. Still, this consistency lends itself well to pinto bean dips and refried beans.
What to Make with Leftover Pinto Beans
- Mexican Salsa
- Spanish Pinto Bean Stew
- Old-Fashioned Pinto Bean Patties
- Southwestern Pinto Bean Burgers
- Minestrone – Italian Bean and Pasta Soup
- Pulled Pork Taco Soup
- Costa Rican Rice
- Pinto Bean Fajita Bowls
- Pinto Bean Tamales
- Pinto Bean Casserole
- Ridiculously Easy Bean Salad
- Pinto Bean Fritters with Corn and Bell Pepper
- Doritos Taco Casserole
- Refried Leftover Pinto Beans
- Choose your desired leftover pinto bean recipe.
- Gather and organize needed ingredients.
- Create a tasty leftover pinto bean recipe to complete your meal!