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This Mexican-inspired pinto bean soup is creamy, packed with flavor, and hearty enough for a meal! Bonus: it’s super easy to make and cooks up in one pot in about 35 minutes, making it perfect for weeknight dinners.

Pinto beans don’t get nearly enough love, if you ask me. Everybody makes such a fuss over black beans and chickpeas, but I never hear anybody rave about pinto beans.

Well, you know what? As a girl whose favorite takeout growing up was Taco Bell bean burritos (and who eventually went on create a recipe for vegan 7 layer burritos), I’m here to tell you that pinto beans rule. They’re savory, smoky, and they whip up deliciously creamy.

So today I’m celebrating the humble pinto bean, with some Mexican-inspired soup. Is this stuff authentically Mexican, you ask? No, probably not. Unless that happened by accident. I basically made this soup up, with my favorite bean burrito filling as inspiration.

But this pinto bean soup is so much better than anything that comes from a takeout window. And it’s almost as easy, hearty enough for a meal, and perfect for chilly days.

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  • Ingredients You’ll Need
  • How It’s Made
  • Leftovers & Storage
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • More Bean Soup Recipes
  • Mexican Pinto Bean Soup

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Olive oil. You can substitute your favorite neutral-high heat oil if you’d like. Vegetable oil, canola oil, avocado oil and coconut oil will all work.
  • Onion.
  • Garlic.
  • Spices. You’ll need ground cumin, smoked paprika, dried oregano, and ancho chile powder, all of which are available in the spice aisle of most supermarkets.
  • Vegetable broth.
  • Canned pinto beans. We’re using canned beans since they’re precooked and allow the recipe to come together quicky and easily. If you’d like to soak and cook your beans from scratch, go right ahead. You’ll need about 5 ½ cups of beans.
  • Fire roasted tomatoes. Fire roasted tomatoes add a deliciously smoky flavor to the soup, but regular canned diced tomatoes can be substituted if that’s all that’s available.
  • Lime juice.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • Accompaniments. While not strictly required, I really love to pile the toppings on my pinto bean soup. Try hot sauce, guacamole, shredded vegan cheese, avocado slices, chopped scallions, fresh cilantro, pico de gallo, or tortilla chips or strips!

How It’s Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

  • Coat the bottom of a large pot with some oil and heat it up. Add diced onion. Sweat the onion for about 5 minutes, stirring it often until it starts to soften up.
  • Add minced garlic and your spices. Sauté everything briefly. Make sure to stir the mixture and keep an eye on it — the spices can burn quickly!
  • Stir in the broth, beans and tomatoes. Raise the heat and bring the soup to a boil, then lower the heat so it’s just simmering. It only needs to cook for about 20 minutes!
  • Take the pot off of the burner and blend about half of the soup. I’m using an immersion hand blender (a tool I LOVE!), but you could always transfer it to a food processor or blender. Always be super careful when blending hot liquids.

Tip: Feel free to adjust the amount of soup you blend to achieve your desired consistency. For creamier soup, blend the whole batch. For brothier soup, blend less than half of it.

  • Season your soup with a bit of lime juice, salt and pepper. You can also thin it with some broth or water at this point, though I like my soup nice and thick!
  • Ladle it into bowls and pile on the toppings. Enjoy!

Leftovers & Storage

Leftover pinto bean soup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about 4 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months.

The soup can be reheated in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stovetop. It may thicken up during storage. Simply thin it with some water or broth during reheating if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is this soup gluten-free?

It is!

How spicy is this pinto bean soup?

It’s spicy, but not very hot. In fact, the ancho chile powder is the only ingredient that adds heat. If you’re nervous about the heat level, add it at the end (after blending) to taste. If you’d like extra heat, add a bit of cayenne pepper or some hot sauce.

Can this recipe be made with other types of beans?

Probably, though the flavor and texture will be a bit different. Black beans, navy beans, kidney beans and cannellini beans should all work fine.

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