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How to Cook Pinto Beans the Southern Way

The perfect hearty and meaty dish for when the weather begins to cool down.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American


  • Stove
  • Colander
  • Crockpot(optional)


  • 1 Bag of Pinto Beans
  • 1 Spiral Ham
  • 8-10 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup of cornstarch or flour
  • 1/4 cup of water


  • First, I'm going to open my beans and pour them into a colander.
  • Once, my pinto beans are in the colander, I'm going to rinse them to remove any foreign items...lol.
  • Since, I'm making a large pot of beans I'm going to need about 8-10 cups of water. You'll want to make sure that your beans are completely covered with water.
  • Then, I'm going to add my beans to the water.
  • Then, bring the beans to a boil take them off  the heat. Allow them to sit for about an hour. 
  • When they have finished sitting, you will drain them again.
  • Drain and rinse your beans in your colander.
  • Add another 8-10 cups of fresh water, ham, and seasonings. I just use a little pepper,  because I want to get all the flavor from the ham. I didn't use any salt, because the ham is salty enough.
  • Be sure to taste before adding any salt. Feel free to use whatever seasonings you prefer
  • I like my juices thick with my beans, therefore in a separate bowl I added 1/4 cup of cornstarch or flour and 1/4 cup of water to make a thickening paste.
  • Then, slowly add your thickening paste to the boiling beans and ham. Be sure to stir as you add it in. Cover with lid and allow to cook on  medium heat  for about two hours. 
  • Check them periodically you should not have to add more water.
  • After cooking for two hours your beans should be tender, your ham should've cooked off the bone, and your juices should be nice and savory.


Now that you've finished cooking your delicious pinto beans with ham you can serve them with rice or  cornbread.  If you're in need of an amazing cornbread recipe, be sure to click here. This is the perfect fall dish, it's fairly easy to cook and it can stretch for days. Not to mention you can cook and freeze it for another time. You can also cook your beans and ham in a crockpot.
Keyword How to Cook Pinto Beans