Ms Sally’s Southern Pinto Beans Recipe

| January 16, 2012 | 102 Comments

Southern Pinto Beans Serving
Delicious additions to any meal, pinto beans are another quick and easy side dish in the classic Southern tradition.  We’re featuring the recipe of our dear friend, Ms. Sally, who says that this is her most requested dish from family and friends.  Just a few simple ingredients are all you’ll need.


Sally Wood
I’d like to introduce you to one of our real Southern Cooks, Ms. Sally.  Go ahead, say it out loud, “Hello, Ms Sally.”

Ms. Sally is one more fantastic cook and she isn’t afraid to tell you that she’s 84 years old.  She loves her family, her friends, and is one of those people that can just get along with everyone she meets.  I’ve visited with Ms Sally numerous times and really enjoy sitting around talking about food and cooking with her.  She may not get around as easily as she use to, but she still likes to cook.  Ms. Sally is also the mother of my good friend, Bobby.

Bobby is a “Purveyor of Goods, New and Used,” and a regular caller to our Swap Shop radio program.  Bobby buys, sells and trades all kinds of things, and as he likes to say, “If I ain’t got, I’ll get it, cause I want to see YOU with it.”  He’s just an all around super nice guy and someone that I’m proud to call a friend.  I pick at him a lot, but he just opens himself up to it so why resist?

I know this is supposed to be about Ms. Sally’s recipe, but let me tell you a little bit about how we all met.  OK?

I first met Bobby back in 2004 when I worked at another radio station here in our town.  Bobby called the station one day to participate in some weird thing we were doing on the air.  I recognized his voice immediately.  I’d heard him call in to the Swap Shop program on another station many times trying to sell this or that and always got a kick out of his converstations and his down home appeal.

Bobby sounded a little surprised when I asked about his name.  I then told him I’d heard him calling in to the “other” station.  We talked and carried on a bit and I guess pretty much hit it off from the start.  From that day on, Bobby called me a couple of times a week to request songs or just chat a spell.

I attended a local National Day of Prayer event not long after that.  As I was walking away, this fellow walked up and asked me if I was Steve Gordon.  “Yes,” I replied.  He then introduced himself as Bobby Wood, we talked a bit while there, and I guess we’ve been friends ever since.  In the days ahead Bobby would stop by the station a time or two and even brought me a cake one day that he purchased from one of his co-workers.

By now, it was just a few days before Thanksgiving and Bobby found out that I’d be working on Thanksgiving Day with no plans to eat with family.  Being Bobby, he offered to bring me something from his own families get together.  He’d “bring it to the station,” he said.  I argued with him a bit about not wanting to interrupt his day, but he wouldn’t hear of it.  I finally accepted his offer.

Around lunch time on Thanksgiving Day, Bobby came in with 3 big plates of home cooked food.  He had two plates of turkey, dressing, bread, and vegetables, along with another plate filled with homemade desserts.  How could you not like someone like that?  I don’t think Bobby and his family had even had their own meal at that time and little did I realize, but Bobby lived about 15 miles away.  He’s just that kind of guy.  I thanked him for thinking of me that day and it wasn’t long before I was enjoying a delicious home cooked meal.

Thanksgiving is a rough time of year for me.  My wife of 17 years passed away the day after Thanksgiving in 1998 and I still had a rough time getting together with family on holidays.  Perhaps you can understand.

I ate like a King that day.  It was all absolutely delicious and home cooking like I hadn’t had in quite some time.  Bobby told me that his wife Eva and his mom, Ms Sally, had made it all themselves.  I wondered why he wasn’t as big as I was, but I guess he works his off moving all those used appliances and furniture items around.

As life would have it, about two years later I moved from the station I was at over to the station that was doing the Swap Shop program.  By this time, I had met Bobbys wife when they were both at an auction I attended, but I hadn’t met his mom.

Ms. Sally started having this gigantic Yard Sale about every day at her house and called into the program to promote it.  I’d talked with her a couple of times on the program, and on this particular day, she invited me to come up and visit her Yard Sale.  I asked her if she had any kitchen items for sale, and she said she did, so I told her that once the program ended, I’d head up her way.

It was such a delight to finally meet Ms. Sally.  She’s such a likeable person and has never met a stranger.  She just made me feel right at home.  I ended up purchasing a couple of kitchen gadgets, some cookbooks, and a bowl or two.  Then, we started talking about cooking.  I loved it.

When I asked her what she cooked that everyone liked the most, she didn’t hesitate.  “Pinto Beans,” she declared.  I told her about my plans for this website and asked if she’d share some recipes.  She said she would, and I asked her about her Pinto Beans.  She began telling me all about them.  Now, I haven’t actually tried any of her own pinto beans myself.  She’s promised me that the next time she cooks up a big old pot that she’ll give me a call.  I can’t wait.  In the meantime, here is the recipe that she gave me on how to cook her Pinto Beans.  I tried to cook them just the way she described it all to me that day.  I hope you might give them a try as well.  Ready?

Let’s Get Cooking!


Pinto Bean Ingredients
These are your ingredients.  Pretty simple….with excellent results.


Sorting the beans
Spread your dry pinto beans out in a large plate, pan, or on your counter top to sort through them.  The beans are harvested mechanically and haven’t been washed.  You’ll want to look through them for small stones, sticks, hard beans, or other foreign matter prior to cooking.  Remove any bad things you find and throw them away.


Rinse the beans
Place the dry beans in your colander and give them a good rinse under cool running water.  This helps to remove any dust and dirt that might be on them.  Swirl them around with your hand and rinse them good for a minute or two.


Soak the dry pinto beans
Place the washed beans in a good size pot and cover them with about 6 inches of cold water.  All dry beans require soaking for 6-8 hours or overnight to rehydrate.  I always just do this right before going to bed and let them soak overnight.  That way, they’re ready the next day for when I’m all set to start cooking.  If you need to cook them sooner, check the back of your bag for more options.  Most bags will have instructions on how to do a quick soak.  To do this, you’ll place the washed beans in water, heat them for a few minutes, and then turn off the heat.  This will speed up the re-hydration process and it works just as well.


Let dry pinto beans soak overnight
Here’s how they will look after soaking overnight.  See how they plumped up?


Drain off the water
Pour the beans back into the colander to drain them.  We’ll also need to wash them again.


Rinse the soaked pinto beans again
Place the colander back under cold running water and rinse well.  Stir them around again with your hand and rinse for another minute or two.


Pot of boiling water
I used the same pot I soaked them in to cook my pintos.  Just rinse the pot, and fill it about half way with water.  Place the pot on your stove over medium-high heat.  You’ll only need about an inch or so of water over the top of your beans.  I already know that filling this particular pot about half full with water will be perfect for cooking my beans.


Add the pinto beans to the pot of water
When the water starts to heat up, go ahead and add in the rinsed and drained beans.  You may want to raise the heat up a bit to bring the beans to a slight boil.  Just don’t forget to turn it back down once you’ve added all the ingredients.


Add a whole onion
Once the beans reach a slight boil, drop in the whole, peeled, Onion.


Add fat back to the pinto beans
Then, add about three slices of Fatback.


Add cayenne pepper to the pinto beans
Add the 1/2 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper.  It’s not enough to make it hot, just adds a little spice and flavor.


stir the pinto beans
Give it all a good stir.


place lid on the pot
LOWER the heat down to about medium-low.  Cover the pot and let the beans simmer.  They will need to cook between 1 to 2 hours until tender.  This will depend a lot on your stove and conditions in your kitchen so the time may vary either way.  You’ll want to remove the lid and stir them about every 30 minutes or so.  Watch the level of the liquid and make sure it doesn’t drop below the top of the beans.  If it’s cooking too fast, you’ll lose liquid fast.  Reduce the heat a little more if need be.  If the liquid is evaporating too quickly, just add a little hot water to bring the level back up to just a little above the top of the beans.  Cooking is all about making adjustments as you go along.


let the pinto beans simmer for awhile
After the beans have simmered for awhile, test a spoonful to see if they’re getting tender.  They will continue to cook after you turn the heat off, so don’t let them overcook or they will turn out mushy.  You’ll also be tasting them to see if they need any additional seasoning.


add additional salt if needed
Personally, I found that my beans needed a little extra salt.  Yours may not.  It’s all about personal tastes.  The pork Fatback didn’t add a lot of salty taste like hog jowl or even bacon grease might would have.  I went ahead and added 1 teaspoon salt to the pot.  Remember to always test your recipe before adding additional seasonings, especially salt.  And, always add the salt at the end of the cooking cycle.  As a note, the added salt that I used is NOT included in the printable recipe below.  If you do add salt or pepper, cover the beans and let them simmer for about 15 more minutes to absorb the seasonings.  The beans are now ready to serve in a bowl all by themselves, or as a side dish to about any of your favorite meat dishes.  Add a little fresh baked, skillet cornbread, and you’re ready to go.


Enjoy your pinto beans


Thank You Ms. Sally for sharing your recipe with everyone here at Taste of Southern. 

PS:  I’ll report back as soon as I get to try some pintos personally cooked by Ms Sally.  In the meantime, print out the easy recipe below, and give Ms. Sally’s Southern Pinto Beans Recipe a try at your house.  It’s bound to become another one of your families’ favorites, and it’s so easy.

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Ms Sally’s Southern Pinto Beans Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


Delicious additions to any meal, pinto beans are another quick and easy side dish in the classic Southern tradition. We’re featuring the recipe of our dear friend, Ms. Sally who says that this is her most requested dish from family and friends. Just a few simple ingredients are all you’ll need



  • 1 – Pound bag of dry Pinto Beans. Must be soaked 6-8 hours or overnight. Plan accordingly
  • 1 – whole Onion, peeled
  • 3 – slices of pork Fatback, (approx.4oz total weight)
  • 1/2 – teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Place dry beans in a large dish or on your countertop.
  2. Sort through the dry beans, removing any stones, twigs, hard beans or other foreign objects.
  3. Place dry beans in a colander and rinse well under cold running water.
  4. Pour rinsed beans in a pot and cover with about 6 inches of cold water. Let soak overnight.
  5. Pour beans back in colander, drain, rinse again, stirring until water runs clear.
  6. Place a large pot, filled about half full of water on your stovetop. Set to medium-high heat.
  7. Add rinsed and drained beans to pot. Bring to a slight boil.
  8. Add the whole, peeled Onion.
  9. Add the three slices of Fatback
  10. Add 1 – teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper and stir all ingredients well.
  11. Cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low or to a low simmer.
  12. Let beans simmer 1 to 2 hours until tender. Stir about every 30 minutes and watch liquid levels.
  13. Don’t allow the liquid to drop below the top of the beans while cooking. Add hot water as needed.
  14. When beans are tender, taste and add salt if needed.
  15. If you add salt, stir and simmer about 10-15 more minutes.
  16. Serve warm and Enjoy!

Keywords: Ms Sally's Southern Pinto Beans Recipe, made from scratch, homemade, old fashioned, pinto, southern recipes

Your Comments:
We’d love to know if you give Ms. Sally’s Pinto Beans a try.  Feel free to leave your comments in the section below.  We look forward to reading them, and truly appreciate your continued visits and support of our Taste of Southern website.  If you like our recipes, be sure to tell your friends about us, we’d appreciate that too.  Unless of course, you don’t want them to know what you’re reading.  In that case….we’re still glad you’re having fun in the kitchen.

Be Blessed!!!



Tags: , , ,

Category: Side Dishes

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (102)

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  1. Michelle says:

    Thanks for keeping these kinds of recipes alive for those of us who can’t ask grandma for the recipe. This is the one I grew up eating! The internet is full of recipes with ingredients my Mimi would never have included.
    Cornbread is a great accompaniment, but I grew up eating “soup beans” over plain old sliced white bread.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Michelle, It’s my pleasure to share the recipes. I didn’t want them to get lost either. Smile. Ms. Sally would be proud to know you liked her way of making Pinto Beans. And, I love my plain old white sandwich bread. I can eat it straight out of the bag. Smile. I do appreciate you taking the time to write and for your visits. I hope you know the door is always open, and I look forward to your visiting with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  2. Ray McGuire says:

    My Dad’s Mother made these back when he was a little boy . But she also added chilli powder and sugar to hers , That the only way my dad would eat them , They are so good made this way . They are not what you would call chilli beans . They are a little sweet tasting but not to much . Go by this recipe but add about 1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder and about 1 or 2 Tablespoons Sugar . Try it bet you’ll like them better , I’m from Texas and was raised there but moved to Southwest Kansas about 35 years ago . Texas is in my heart .


  3. Betty says:

    Would you double the ingredients if you have 2 lbs. of beans? i.e., 1 tsp of Cayenne and two onions? I have 2 hamhocks- which is what my Mom always used- would you use both or just one?


    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Betty, I would think just the one ham hock would work. As for the onion, maybe about half of another one. The Cayenne would depend on how spicy you might like the beans to be. You could always add it once it’s about done if you think you’d like more. I hope this helps. Thank you for the question and I hope you’ll visit with us often. Let me know how your beans turn out. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  4. I’ve been cooking dry beans for fifty years and never heard of not chopping the onion or cutting up the fat back although I often use other meats like smoked sausage.
    Anyway,I’m anxious to try Sally’s method. Leaving the onion and fat back whole I’m assuming she removes them when the beans are cooked.

  5. Linda says:

    Made these for New Years Day and they are delicious. Best beans i have made in my whole life. Husband loved them. The cayenne gives them flavor but doesnt make them spicy. Thanks for the recipe.

  6. Leon says:

    I like to add a jalapeno pepper, sliced into 1/4ths, and a small teaspoon of chili powder for a more spicy flavor….Also, 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda yields a lighter color and supposedly cuts down on gas producing capabilities of the pintos.

  7. Jimbo says:

    Got 4-cups soaking tonite. My mother’s family came here to Colo. from Arkansas back in 50’s, this was a weekly staple. My Grandad Keener would be standing in the back doorway with a cigarette & cup of strong coffee, just waiting for those beans to cook.Wife is German so we are having kraut-burgers with a bowl of beans for Easter!! What a combo eh!?!

  8. Jackie Johnson says:

    Dumb question. Do you soak the beans in the refrigerator or out of the fridge? Bought some dried pinto beans, black eyed peas, and dry lima beans down south to give them a try.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Jackie, I always just leave them out on the counter top overnight. Hope you enjoy the recipe. I’m thankful you found Taste of Southern and hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  9. Angela says:

    Hello! This recipe is spot on! I made my beans yesterday and they were delicious. Oh my goodness gracious! I didn’t expect them to be so good being as though it was my first time cooking pintos alone and not in chili. Keep those good recipes coming. I really appreciate it. I also made the banana pudding recipe a couple of years back and it was delicious as well. If I’m not mistaken, I left a reply on that recipe as well. Thanks again

  10. Hey Steve, I’m making this for the second time. It’s amazing how good this dish is, especially with so few ingredients. As the saying goes, sometimes less is more. Thanks for the recipe and best regards to Ms. Sally.

  11. Jan says:

    Hello, I am soaking my beans as we speak. I am a New England girl and we gage add lways and beans and bean doip. I am anxious to try this new recipe. I would to use my electric pressure cooker but not sure of the liquids or the times. Could you help me please.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Jan, I’ve never made these in a pressure cooker, so I’m afraid I can’t offer any advice on times or the amount of liquid needed. Perhaps another reader can help you with this one. I do hope they turn out well for you and hope you’ll share your results if you try them. Thank you for your visit, I hope you’ll stop by often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

    • Marie Porritt says:

      I used the broth left over from pressure cooker chicken. Speed soaked the beans then cooked them on low pressure for 20 mins. -came out pretty well.

    • Randy says:

      Jan, I’ve been cooking pintos and other dried beans for years using the pressure cooker. They have a slightly different texture than overnight soaked beans that my wife prefers. You can cook dry beans in an hour, if needed. I sort and wash the beans, then add 1 tsp each of garlic powder, onion powder and salt and 1 Tbls chili powder in my pressure cooker with the cleaned beans. Cover the beans with a lot of water, about 3 inches. Put the lid and petcock on the pressure cooker and bring to a good boil. After the cooker boils for 2 minutes turn the cooker off and leave it on the stove to soak for at least 30 minutes, up to several hours. After soaking but before you start to cook the beans look in the pot and make sure there is still plenty of water covering them. You want enough water so the beans don’t cook dry and scorch but not so much that your finished bean juice is too diluted. Put the lid and petcock back on the pressure cooker and bring the beans back to a good boil. Pressure the beans for 30 minutes and they are done. I usually hold my pressure cooker under cold running water in the sink to quickly release the pressure. Enjoy.

  12. Juanedda says:

    My grandmother was born and raised in the hills of KY. An actual Hillbilly and proud to tell anyone so. She made these for me at least once a week and always served them with home cut french fries and wilted lettuce and of course there had to be cornbread. She made them in a pressure cooker and I am going to use this recipe with a hamhock just like she did. )I can’t wait, my daughter just bought me an electric pressure cooker for early Christmas.) Thank you for making this available. I have missed these and green beans and potatoes outta the pressure cooker.

    Thank you.

    • Candace says:

      I am salivating just thinking about this meal! I LOVE wilted lettuce. Beans are already on and will be making a quick trip to the store for the needed items to make this! Thank you
      p.s. yes, I realize this is over two years old, but still a great meal idea!

  13. Paul says:

    Made a batch last week. Even out here in Colorado they were excellent.

  14. Lydia says:

    Hi! Thanks for this recipe! Having moved from VA to CO I was used to a certain standard of delicious food. When I moved here the food was totally different. I used to order delivery or go eat out a lot but the food here is just not good. Poor excuses for flavors. So I’ve began cooking for myself in an attempt to bring delicious food back into my life, especially good ol’ Southern food. I began soaking my beans earlier today and now I’ve gone online in order to find what to do with them. That is when I stumbled across this amazing sounding recipe. I have several ham hocks so I will be using these and a bit of bacon grease for this recipe instead of the fatback. My beans are mixed beans (great northern and pinto) I am sure this will be fine. This is perfect timing as tomorrows dinner is fried chicken, gravy collard greens, & mashed potatoes, these beans will be a fine addition to this meal. I wish I could make cornbread but I don’t have any corn meal. I will post back with my thoughts on the recipe after I make them. Wish me luck!

  15. Robert Blount says:

    I was raised on pinto beans and corn bread sometimes potatoes, im soaking beans now and cant wait till there ready to eat…

  16. julie hoff says:

    I’m making this recipe as speaking. I’m having to use bacon and chopped up onions really fine since my boyfriend doesn’t like onions that much and added cayenne pepper seasoning so hope they turn out.

  17. Alyssa says:

    I made this for the first time for my husband. And he loveeed them. I have never seen him smile from food but those beans did the trick for my country boy. delicious!

  18. Nicole says:

    I am really excited to try this recipe! I was born and raised in Hawaii, and we don’t eat much beans here. I love to try new things and with all these fancy cooking shows on TV, I can’t help but want to try everything! However, with small children and babies in the house, there isn’t much time to get too deep into a recipe that I am not familiar with, but this recipes sounds absolutely delicious and so easy to make. I loved reading all of the comments and appreciate those who shared what substitutes they used. I’m going to try these out today! Mahalo nui loa.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Nicole, Greetings to Hawaii, all the way from North Carolina. I do hope you’ll try the Pinto Beans recipe, and that you’ll let me know how you like them. Thank you for your comment and do visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  19. toni says:

    getting ready to soak my beans now!!! I’m very excited!!

  20. I just want u to know i will try this out. I have grew up on Pinto beans and just love them but do make corn bread with them i never added a onion into the beans or the cayenne pepper. I do use bacon grease if i have some and or bacon I have always added my salt when my bean are just starting to thicken up a little. I sort of like my juice a little thicker but want plenty so my corn bread soaks it up. I am making them in a few days we always have mash potatoes, pintos and cornbread and a center cut pork loin roast this is our favorite I will use my beans that are left over for chili i love them in it sometime i do add a can of kidney beans also love the to kinds of beans in there. But i am going to try this out with the onion the other think i have never soaked my beans i do wash them really good but was afraid if i soaked them it would take some of the favor away from them but this time i am going to try it maybe it will not take 4 hours to cook. Thank you so much for the hints and really can not wait to try these thank you again

  21. We love cooking this recipe. We veganize it by using a couple or teaspoons of Liquid Smoke rather than fatback and it always comes out tasting spectacular! Thanks for sharing this recipe! 🙂

    • Pastor Bev says:

      Awesome is the word! Im going to do them again for my friends. I can’t eat pork so I used smoked turkey legs; they were delicious!

    • Mark says:

      Substitute any smoked meats ingredient with ‘Smoked Paprika.’ I purchased Spanish Smoked Paprika in Sweet and another in Hot flavors, but all will work great.

      Also works great for a collard greens dish in a slow cooker. I don’t have the quantity to use yet but for 6 bushels of collard greens, use more than a 1/4 teaspoon.

      I did a search for smoked meat substitutes for a several days. Liquid smoke was a big one and then there were comments about it being a possible carcinogen, probably not though. So I kept searching. I couldn’t find ‘Smoked Paprika’ at the first grocery store so online I order some home made stuff from South America. Awesome flavor. Then I saw it at Ralph’s.

      • Michele says:

        Mark, thanks for the smoked paprika tip! What a great idea – I will definitely try it in my next batch. I’m sure the smoked pork fatback tastes great, but I’d rather not use it so I appreciate the substitution.

    • Amy says:

      Thanks for the Liquid Smoke tip!!!

  22. Sherri S says:

    Excellent recipe….my entire family loved it..super easy to follow and they were delish…

  23. TMoon says:

    Super tasty! I grew up on pinto beans, but never cooked them. This recipe was super easy! I had my beans over white rice and mixed with corn bread. What a delish trip down memory lane!

  24. Soj says:

    Amazed to see this authentic recipe and surprised that no one ever ate it as a main dish. Growing up in Oklahoma, we had “Cornbread ‘n’ Beans” as a main dish quite often. Mom used ham hocks.
    We’d take the cornbread (non-sweet Southern style), while it was still hot, slice it and butter it up and then kind of break it up on a plate or in a bowl and take a ladle of the beans and pour it all over the top, letting the juices soak into the cornbread. Then we’d take a dab of chow-chow my grandmother used to can and put it on top and then the left hand would hold a ‘nip’ of raw onion. Take a bite of the beans and cornbread and nip the onion as needed for extra flavor.
    I don’t ever recall us having a side dish to this at all. Maybe spinach or some sort of green if anything.

    • Yip says:

      As a fellow Okie I have to say pintos are often the main dish. My mother made them often and why would anyone need anything but beans and cornbread for a great meal? She often told that when times were hard during the Great Depression, they had pinto beans and cornbread every single day. If they were lucky, they might have a piece of ham to put in the pot on Sunday. If they were REALLY lucky, they might also have a hen to fry. You might think she would have hoped to never see another bean in her life, but a bowl of beans and cornbread were her favorite comfort food throughout her life. And boy!, did she make good beans! I’ve got Ms. Sally’s recipe on the stove right now, and they smell soooo good. I can hardly wait to try them. And Soj, I really wish I had some homemade chow-chow to go with them. That sounds good.

  25. Jeano says:

    Hi, great recipes. When you soak the beans overnight, is that in the fridge, or on the counter?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Jeano, Thank you for your question. I just always leave them sitting out on the counter, or in the sink until the next day.

      I do hope you’ll try Ms Sally’s Southern Pinto Beans recipe, and I hope you’ll like it. Let me know how they turn out for you. Thank you for your visit, and do be sure to stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  26. Karen says:

    Yummo ! This recipe is awesome ! Just what I was looking for. Am using my electric pressure cooker. Thank you for having this website.

  27. Ken Cory says:

    Any ideas for a substitute for a family that opts for a strict No-Pork diet? Substitute regarding the fatback or bacon.


    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Ken, Do you eat chicken? You could substitute the pork seasoning with a little chicken stock, that would probably work pretty good. I’m sure there are others, and I do hope you’ll find something that you like.

      I appreciate your question, and I do hope that you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

    • Kimberly E says:

      A smoked turkey leg (or turkey bacon) will work in most recipes that call for fat back or hog jowl, GREAT in beans and greens!

    • mia says:

      we use smoked turkey wings

    • Lady E says:

      This is quite a late reply, but I don’t eat pork either, so I will just use smoked turkey necks or smoked turkey tails in recipes that call for smoked meats.

  28. Alyce .brown says:

    What’s on top of the beans? Gravy? Or?
    Thank you5zds

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Alyce, That would be a big slice of the whole onion that was cooked in with the beans. Thank you for your question, and I do hope you’ll try our Pinto Bean recipe. I think you’ll love it. I appreciate your visit, and I do hope that you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  29. Mollie Edwards says:

    Just a follow up to report COMPLETE SUCCESS! These were awesome! I did add salt at the end (maybe 1/2 tsp). Leaving the onion whole was a great idea….I chopped a little of one and “quartered” the others. That provided plenty of flavor without having to chop! chop! chop!

    Even with 4lbs of beans, the timing was perfect. I cooked dry beans for 5 minutes and let them sit for 1 hour. Drained them, put them back in the pot with liquid, spices, onion and fatback. Brought to boil, took down to simmer/low. 1 hour and 15 minutes they were ready to eat. Not too mushy…just perfect.

    I will say the thyme, garlic powder/fresh garlic, oregano and black pepper that I added with the cayenne really made the dish. I think it would have been too plain for me otherwise.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Mollie, Thank you for coming back and sharing your success story with us regarding the Southern Pinto Beans. I’m happy they turned out well for you and that you liked them. Yes, they are simple, but that’s the way most folks cooked back in the early days. They just didn’t have all the herbs and seasonings we have these days unless they grew them. So happy that you made the recipe your own. Keep up the good work.

      I do appreciate your comments. I’m thankful you found Taste of Southern and do hope you’ll try some of our other recipes as well. Be sure to stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  30. Mollie Edwards says:

    I am making these RIGHT THIS MINUTE….I liked the idea of the whole onion…..I kind of did a “whoops” and realized because the beans were on sale that I started with 4 POUNDS of them, so I put 3 onions in and about 10 strips of fatback (I cut the strips in to 3rds). I have put in the cayenne and added some Thyme, Oregano, Cumin. I also had a container of Organic chicken broth so I added that to the water. My friend told me NEVER TO SALT until the end as the salt makes the skins of the beans tough. I will let you know how they turn out but I will say the house smells awesome as a result of the process so far! Thank you!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Mollie, I’m happy to hear that you’re trying our recipe. I do hope it turns out well for you. You should have plenty of beans if you’re cooking four pounds. (Smile) I do appreciate your comments and good luck with making the recipe your own. Can’t wait to hear a good report. Thank you for your visit and be sure to stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  31. Erin says:

    I will be making this later this week! Can’t wait to try it. I have been surfing the web to find a recipe that sounds most appealing and well…….this one is by far the most tasty looking/sounding one. I’ll be posting a follow-up comment soon to let you know how everything turned out.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Erin, I do hope the Pinto Beans recipe turned out well for you. I’m thankful you found Taste of Southern, and I’ll be waiting to hear the results once you try them. Thank you for your comment and be sure to stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  32. Lynn Brown says:

    Pardon my ignorance, I’m a transplant to the south via Minnesota. Is it possible to freeze pinto beans? I just made a batch of Miss Sally’s and I’m the only one here that will eat them. Can I freeze half to enjoy later?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Lynn, Thank you for your question. It is possible to freeze the pinto beans. You may notice a little difference in the texture of the bean after it’s been frozen, but it shouldn’t be enough to present a problem. It’s better than letting them go to waste. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

      I’m thankful you found Taste of Southern and that you tried the Pinto Bean recipe. I hope you liked them. I appreciate your question and do hope you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

    • April B. says:

      I know I’m late to this party but wanted to reply in case anyone else was wondering the same as you. I am also from NC and grew up on pintos. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to utilize my leftovers. I love to use my leftover beans for refried beans, soups, and chili. Makes the dishes better and I LOVE reheated pintos!

  33. Becky Dibling says:

    I am making these as I am typing this. My husband came in and started eating them out of the pot. He claims they are “INSANE”! I had to try them too. They are AWESOME. I didn’t have any fatback so I used bacon ends and used chicken broth in place of some of the water. These are definitely a new favorite! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Becky, WHEW! Thanks for clearing up that “Insane” part. I wasn’t sure if that meant he liked them or not. I’m thankful you’ve found Taste of Southern and it’s my pleasure to share the recipe. Ms Sally will also be glad to hear that you liked them. I do appreciate your comments and hope that you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  34. asia says:

    This is my first time making pinto beans I have been soaking them for about 3 hours now. I’m going to try this recipe. Hope they like it.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Asia, I do hope you like the Pinto Beans recipe. I’ll be waiting to hear how they turn out for you, so please come back and give us a report. I’m thankful you found Taste of Southern and hope that you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  35. Natasha says:

    Could I put bacon instead of the fatback? would it come out the same?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Natasha, Thank you for your question. You could certainly use the bacon, or just some bacon grease if you happen to have that on hand. It might add a bit more of a smokey flavor to it, but they will still be good. Southern cooks use a variety of pork for seasoning. Hog Jowl, Fatback, Ham Hock, Bacon, Side Meat, it’s all used to flavor many of our vegetable dishes.

      I do hope you’ll try the Pinto Beans recipe, and I’ll look forward to hearing how you like them. Ms Sally will be proud to know that you tried them. I’ll be looking to hear from you and I do hope you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  36. Sherry says:

    Hi Steve,

    Love your blog – I came across it today while looking for an improved way to make pinto beans. The recipe worked out great. I didn’t have any fat back on hand so used some country ham & bacon grease.

    I also upped the cayenne slightly for more bite and added some garlic, lots of black pepper & a couple bay leaves – just because I think those 3 things make everything better.

    Served with some cornbread (I like sugar in mine too) and it was awesome.

    I’ll definitely be trying a few of the other recipes you have on the site.


    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Sherry, Thank you for your compliments on our site. I’m thankful you found us and happy to know that you tried Ms Sally’s Southern Pinto Beans. I spoke with her just the other day and she’s doing well. I’m going to read all these comments to her the next time I call. She’ll get a kick out of them.

      Your changes sound pretty delicious and I’m happy that you are willing to take the chance to make a recipe your own. I do hope you get to try some of the other recipes and I’ll be looking for you to stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  37. nicole says:

    I am a southern woman gone midwestern taught to cook by my great grandmother and granny. I was never taught pinto beans so I am gonna try this tomorrow for new years because I do not like black eyed peas, never have. I am hoping that Miss Sally’s recipe will go into my personal comfort foods recipes. Thanks so much for the share of this recipe it looks and sounds wonderful.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Nicole, I do hope you enjoy the Pinto Beans and I’ll be waiting to hear if they make it into your favorite foods categories. I think you’ll like them. I just hope you’ll have some Collard Greens, Cornbread and Hog Jowl to go along with them. Please, let me know how they turn out for you.

      I’m thankful you found us and I do hope you’ll stop by for another visit… real soon. Happy New Year. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  38. Melanie says:

    I do like pinto beans. I like to add a pound of ground beef, cooked and drained. Delicious!
    Also, put it on top some shredded lettuce and add your favorite taco fixings, and have a taco salad.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Melanie, A taco salad with Pinto Beans, now that’s getting creative with Ms Sally’s recipe. She’ll get a kick out of that when I tell her. Thank you for the suggestion and for sharing your comments with us. I do hope you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  39. Lee says:

    America’s Test Kitchen recommends brine beans for 8 hours, rinse, then cook. Brine beans do impart a better taste and texture to cooked beans. Their video:

    Additionally, I use a small can of Hatch Hot Chiles (they have mild as well, or you can leave them out); 2 smoked ham hocks; 1 lb of Garlic Smoked German Sausage and 1-3 tsp of Pasilla Chile Powder. Flavor and taste are yum, yum, yum, wonderful.

    I add the garlic smoked German Sausage when the beans are almost done …. mine are precooked. And, Himalayan Pink Sea Salt at the end of cooking.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Lee, Thank You for the link to the video. I found it interesting and I’ll be trying a batch of beans tonight. Haven’t decided what type just yet, but I’ll be interested to see if I can tell any difference.

      Your version of the Pinto Beans sounds pretty awesome. Thank you for sharing your information and for making the recipe your own. I hope you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  40. Diana Waites says:

    Thank you for this recipe. My beans never turn out good. I did this recipe exactly as written and they turned out perfectly. I made them as part of a family get together dinner and EVERYONE actually commented on how great they tasted. I loved it!! Thank you, thank you for making me look like a good cook 🙂

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Diana, I’m sure you were already a good cook, but Thank You for the comments and compliments. I’m happy to hear that you tried the recipe and that it turned out well for you. I hope to talk with Ms Sally in the next day or so and I’ll be sure to share your comments with her. It’ll make her happy I’m sure. Thank you for your comments and do be sure to visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  41. Amy Warner says:

    Oh wow! These sound so good. Up in Michigan where I was raised, we never ate beans as a side dish or main course. Living in Southern Ohio now, I’m learning the ways of the South. (We are at the tip of Appalachia country and folks live in a Southern way here.)I can’t wait to try this recipe! Thanks, Steve!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Amy, Ohio is beautiful, I spent every bit of 10 minutes there once. My brother and I were in West Virginia, headed to Kentucky and HAD to cross the Ohio River long enough to say we had at least been IN Ohio. Does that count? I also have a good internet friend up in Logan.

      I thought everybody ate beans as a side dish. I’m glad you found Ms Sally’s Pinto Beans recipe and I hope you’ll let me know when and if you try them. Thank You for your comments and do visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  42. Stacey says:

    Going to a good ole southern family Christmas party today. Gonna make these & sounds like they’ll be a hit. I too have never tried the whole onion in my pintos but I really think I’ll like it because I prefer cooked onion to raw any day. Thanks Steve so much for getting Miss Sally’s recipe on here. You are being such a blessing to many by getting such awesome recipes on to the next generation of “Miss Sallys”. Thanks and have a blessed day!!!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Stacey, Thank you for your comments. It’s my pleasure to share the recipes and I hope we can add a bunch more. I’ll be sure to tell Ms Sally that you tried her Pinto Beans recipe. It will make her happy to hear about it.

      I mentioned this in my Newsletter this past week and was sad to have to report that Ms Sally just lost her son Bobby a week or so ago. He was one of my best friends and will be missed very much. He liked to joke and cutup and he always kept us laughing.

      Ms Sally has been moved to a nursing home and I hope to talk with her, or visit with her very shortly. She’s doing well though and in good spirits from what I hear, so that’s good news. I’ll tell her about your comments on the recipe.

      I do hope you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  43. Ari says:

    Hi I can’t wait to try these. I don’t have enough time tonight to soak my beans so I will be using the canned type and bacon grease. I wanted to mention however, I was listening to America’s Test Kitchen on the radio and they said when cooking dry beans the salt is needed WHILE COOKING to soften the hard shell (yes, even if soaked the proper time). Curious to know if anyone else has found this to be true?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Ari, Thanks for the suggestion about adding the salt during the cooking of the beans. I guess I need to give it a try, but I don’t seem to be coming up with too many hard shells on the one’s I’ve been cooking. Then again, I’m always willing to try a new idea. Thank you for sharing.

      I hope yours turn out really good and I do hope you’ll stop by for another visit… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • Ari says:

        Hi Steve,

        The beans turned out great, I really loved them. I couldn’t find my bacon grease, must of used it all, so in a pinch I tried slicing the fat (and a bit of ham) off of our deli sliced ham, it worked pretty well. I can’t wait to try it the way the recipe was written however, I’m sure it would taste much better. I put some raw onions on top and mmm mmm mmm delicious!! Gosh I’d really wish we didn’t polish them off last night because I’m getting a craving for more!

        Thanks again for posting!

        • Steve Gordon says:

          Hi Ari, I’m happy to hear the Southern Pinto Beans recipe turned out good for you. Yep, they’ll be even better with some bacon grease, but we have to do what we have to do. Right?

          Now, you’ve got me wanting some too. Smile!

          I appreciate your comments and that you came back to share your results. I hope you’ll continue to visit with us often and try some of our other recipes. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

    • maureen says:

      I made these have today. Going to make the corn bread, but what else do I serve with them?

      • Steve Gordon says:

        Hi Maureen, Thank you for trying the Southern Pinto Beans recipe, I hope you like them. Pintos are a great side dish with about any meat. Fried Chicken, Meatloaf, Pork Chops, whatever you really like. And, they’re just good on a cold evening with a hunk of that Cornbread and some chopped onions across the top of the bowl. Makes a meal all by itself.

        Thank you for stopping by and I appreciate your comments. I do hope you’ll stop by for another visit… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

        • Valarie says:

          I always love beans with salmon patties, fried potatoes, cornbread. (Coal miners daughter from VA. KY. line) That’s what’s for supper tonight. Love idea of cayenne will try this today!

          • Steve Gordon says:

            Hi Valerie, I do hope you’ll enjoy the Pinto Beans recipe. It will make Ms Sally proud to know that you gave them a try.

            I’m thankful you’ve found Taste of Southern, and do hope you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

    • Leon says:

      I never soak my beans overnight…Just sort, wash and rinse very thoroughly in a colander….I put all seasonings, including salt, in at the start of cook and adjust at any time as needed by taste…It usually takes about 2 1/2 hours of covered low simmering and they are ready to eat….Right now I’m using a smoked rib (Did them yesterday) instead of ham hock….It is doing a great job…..

  44. Amber Reynolds says:

    Made these today!!! Best beans I’ve ever made. Pintos are one of my husbands favorite meals…I can’t wait for him to come home tonight these are going to be a big hit!! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Amber, Did your husband like the beans? I certainly hope so, and I’m glad you were willing to try them.

      Thank you for your visit and do visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  45. Meghan says:

    Pintos are a staple at all our family dinners! As far as I know, we don’t use the cayenne pepper or onion cooked in it but I’d like to try it. We always serve chopped onion on the side to put on top of the beans after they’re served, but I think I’d like the flavor built in better (don’t much like the texture of fresh onion).

    Had to grin at your sentence about the fatback not adding as much of a salty taste because you said “might could” 🙂 I study linguistics and was shocked to find out in grad school that combos like that (called double modals – other examples are might oughta, used to could, etc.) are a uniquely Southern thing, and I use them all the time!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Meghan, I do hope you’ll try cooking the onions IN the Pinto Beans Recipe at least once. I think you’ll like them that way because onion adds a lot of flavor in my opinion. You “might could” learn to enjoy them that way. (Smile) Double modals… who knew?

      I appreciate your visit and that you took the time to share your comments. I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  46. Kamelia says:

    Soaking my beans now to try this recipe tomorrow *fingers crossed*

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Kamelia, How did the beans turn out? Ms Sally would be proud to know that you tried them. I’ll tell her when I get the chance to talk with her again. Thank you for trying our recipe and I do hope you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  47. aiza says:

    My aunt bought us pinto beans and I dont know what to do about it.. But with this recipe maybe i could try cooking!! thank you

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Aiza, I do hope you’ll give the recipe a try, I think you’ll like them a lot. It’s pretty easy to do and I hope you enjoy them. Thank you for your comments and I hope you’ll stop by for a visit again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! –Steve

      • shelia lay says:

        The best beans recipe we have ever tried. We love them and will make often. Thanks for sharing!

        • Steve Gordon says:

          Hi Shelia, Thank you for your comments. I’ll be sure to tell Ms Sally the next time I speak with her that you gave her recipe a try and that you liked them. It will make her day, I promise… just like you’ve made mine with your compliments. Thanks again and I do hope you’ll stop by for another visit real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  48. This is a wonderful website for these Southern dishes that I was raised on, but fix seldom. I was excited to find the pinto red bean recipe. Thanks. so much!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Thank you Camille. I’m glad you found Taste of Southern and Ms Sally’s Pinto Beans Recipe. I hope you give it a try and that it turns out well for you. Your “but seldom fix” comment is something we hope to change with our website. Sadly, too many families have gotten away from cooking at home and sitting around the table long enough to enjoy a good meal. We hope to at least get you thinking about it. I appreciate your comments and I hope you’ll stop by for a visit again real soon. Be Blessed!!! –Steve

  49. Lisa says:

    Thanks so much! My mother didn’t own a crock pot, or make beans, but I have always enjoyed them at other people’s dinners. I was given a big bag of pinto beans, and now have a bbq pot luck to do, and I appreciate all the great tips!

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Lisa, Thank you for stopping by. I hope those Pinto Beans turn out really great for the pot luck. Let me know how it goes and, thank you for sharing your comments. I hope you’ll stop by for a visit again real soon. Be Blessed!!! –Steve

  50. jacque bell says:

    i am soaking my beans tonight and im trying this tomorrow! i cant wait!i will let you know how i do….

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Jacque, Miss Sally will be delighted to know that you’re trying her Pinto Beans Recipe. I’ll be sure to tell her. I do hope they turn out great for you and, we’ll be waiting for your report. Thank you for your comments and we hope you’ll stop by for a visit again real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

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