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2-Quart Slow Cooker Recipe for Spicy Canned Pinto Beans

I love canned beans because they are so easy to make into something really special. If you are like me you love to cook but don’t always have time to wait for dried beans to soak, rinse, and cook, in steps the often overlooked canned bean. Just rinse the beans, add some aromatics, and liquid and set the slow cooker for 2-3 hours then come back to a tasty meal.

Looking for more slow cooker recipe ideas? Check out more great recipes for a small slow cooker.

bowlof pinto beans topped with onions and fresh cilantro.

What to serve with Pinto Beans?

A classic cornbread or my cilantro lime rice is the perfect complement to your pinto beans or try with my tasty slow cooker cabbage. These canned pinto beans are also great inside a warm tortilla and mixed with cilantro lime rice.

Ingredients and Substitution Notes

ingredients to make slow cooker spicy pinto beans.
  • Fire-roasted green Chiles in the can give just enough heat to the pinto beans. Adjust the amount up or down to satisfy your taste.
  • I use Better than Bouillon chicken base to make the exact amount of broth needed. The chicken broth will give the canned beans a depth of flavor. Vegetable broth can be substituted.
  • Brown sugar gives the beans a hint of good ole sweetness.
  • Top the pinto beans with fresh cilantro and diced onion before serving.

See recipe card for quantities.

Seasoning Variations

I always start with a little pepper, I never add salt to canned pinto beans because they usually have enough, even after rinsing.  When the beans are close to being ready give it a taste and if needed add a little kosher salt.

To add a little heat, try a pinch of cayenne pepper, a few diced jalapenos, or my personal favorite, garlic chile sauce.

This recipe is also great with black beans.

Recipe Directions

Set a 2-quart slow cooker on low and preheat while you gather the ingredients.

Add the chicken broth, green chiles, and pinto beans to the slow cooker. Top with brown sugar.

pinto bean ingredients in slow cooker.

Stir the brown sugar into the pinto beans. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.

spicy pinto beans stirred and ready to cook.


I use my 2-quart Crock Pot so much that I own two. No bells or whistles, just a simple slow cooker.

Every kitchen should have a good quality Chefs knife, and that doesn’t mean expensive. This Victronox is about $40. I’ve had mine for years.


Store leftover pinto beans in a covered container and will stay fresh for 2-3 days.

Since you making a small batch, I would not recommend freezing, the beans become a little too mushy for my taste.

Top tip

Drain and rinse the beans for the best flavor. This will remove excess salt and also help to remove that canned flavor.


Are canned pinto beans fully cooked?

They are fully cooked and can be eaten right out of the can.

Should you rinse canned pinto beans?

Not technically necessary but rinsing helps to remove excess salt. When cooking in the slow cooker you will be adding your own liquid and think the beans taste better if rinsed.

Can you use Black Beans instead of Pinto beans?

Yes, are they both are great cooked cilantro and chiles. Black beans are heartier and have a richer flavor while pinto beans tend to be creamier.

More recipes for your small slow cooker

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bowl of pinto beans topped with onions and fresh cilantro.

Slow Cooker Spicy Pinto Beans

Canned beans never tasted so good! An extra easy pinto bean recipe with fresh cilantro, onion and chopped green chilis.
4.60 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 3 cups
Calories: 127kcal
Author:Sydney Dawes


  • 2 15 ounces can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons green chiles
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar


  • ½ onion diced
  • Fresh cilantro


  • Set the slow cooker on low and preheat while you chop the vegetables.
  • Dissolve the chicken concentrate in the water and add to the slow cooker.
  • Melt the butter in a small skillet and sauté the green pepper an onion until soft.
  • Add the sautéed veggies to the slow cooker.
  • Add the pinto beans and brown sugar.
  • Cook on low for 3 hours.


  • drain and rinse the beans
  • substitute vegetable broth


Serving: 3/4 cup | Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 169mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g
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