Mexican Pinto Bean Soup | Easy Stew Recipe - Elavegan (2024)

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4.99 from 190 votes

This Mexican-inspired pinto bean soup is creamy, hearty, nourishing, and packed with flavor! Combining pinto beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, veggies, broth, and Mexican seasonings leads to a soup that is ridiculously more-ish. Plus, this recipe can be made in just one pot, is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian (vegan), high-protein, high-fiber, low-fat, and not to mention low-cost!

Mexican Pinto Bean Soup | Easy Stew Recipe - Elavegan (1)

Simple & Delicious Mexican Bean Soup

When it comes to Mexican cuisine, legumes are everything for the meat-free eaters out there; chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, and – of course- pinto beans. The humble pinto bean isn’t quite as ‘popular’ globally as the others, yet appears in some of my favorite Mexican food; chili, Mexican spiced beans, burritos, over nachos, and for refried beans (frijoles refritos).

In comparison to kidney/black beans, pinto beans are softer, creamier, with a slightly earthier, nutty flavor. They’re perfect for blending up into a creamy soup or for stews. Even though I always have a whole variety of beans in my house (dried and canned), I don’t find myself reaching for the pinto beans as often as the others. So I thought I’d share this recipe that gives them a chance to shine!

This pinto bean soup blends Mexican-inspired flavors for a creamy, hearty soup option for the Fall/Winter months. Simmered for 20-25 minutes, this soup allows all the flavors to combine and the beans to soften into a deliciously buttery texture, packing tons of flavor with such a little amount of effort (in a way – similar to a meat-free cowboy soup).

This is comfort food at its best – thick, hearty, satisfying, and truly nourishing while somehow remaining healthy too. Serve this Southern pinto beans recipe as an appetizer or main and you’re sure to have lots of satisfied eaters. Plus, most of the recipe is made up of inexpensive pantry staples and veggies – for a low-cost midweek meal.

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Healthy Wholesome Pinto Bean Soup

Not only is this vegan soup low-cost to make, but it’s also a healthy option for the entire family.

Beans are packed with wholesome goodness for our bodies, including being one of the richest sources of plant-based protein and fiber on the planet. They have the ability to regulate blood sugar levels, reducing cholesterol, improving heart health, and even reducing the risk of certain cancers.

Pinto beans are not only a great source of protein and fiber, but they also contain antioxidants, vitamins (especially B1 / Thiamine), and minerals like iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.

Combined with the likes of carrots, onion, tomatoes, and potatoes – this Mexican bean soup really is a healthy, wholesome, and nutrient-packed meal!

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The Step-By-Step Instructions

For the full ingredients list, ingredient measurements, and nutritional information, then please read the recipe card below.

Step 1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion and sauté for about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until it begins to soften and starts going translucent.

Step 2. Stir in the roasted tomatoes, garlic, carrots, potato, and all the spices. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant, then pour in the vegetable broth (I also added 2 bay leaves for flavor).

Step 3. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and allow it to simmer, with a lid on, for between 10-15 minutes to begin softening the vegetables. Add the pinto beans, then cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the veggies are all tender- stirring occasionally.

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Step 4. Once ready, turn off the heat. Now you can decide on the texture you want for the dish. If you want it as more of a pinto bean stew, then you could leave it chunky as-is. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender to slightly puree some or all of the soup or even move 50% of the soup to a blender/different pot to completely puree before transferring back to the pot and stirring well.

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Step 5. Finally, taste the soup and adjust any of the seasonings as required. Add a little extra veggie broth/water if it’s a little too thick, then serve immediately.

How To Serve

I like to serve this pinto bean soup garnished with fresh herbs, such as cilantro or parsley, and lime wedges. You can add the lime juice directly into the large pot, but I’ve found that different people like different levels.

There are several ways to serve and garnish this wholesome soup/stew:

  • If you puree a part of the soup, then you can serve it over rice.
  • Whether served as a stew or soup, this goes wonderfully with this gluten-free bread, bread rolls, or cornbread.
  • For extra spice, you could top this soup with sliced jalapeño or some hot sauce.
  • Similarly to my tortilla soup, you could serve it along with homemade tortilla chips (or store-bought options).
  • Feel free to sprinkle with some dairy-free crumbled feta or other vegan cheese (like queso fresco).
  • You could top it with a dollop of vegan sour cream and salsa
  • Top with some fresh veggies like sliced radish, diced tomatoes, or sliced avocado.

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How To Store

Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. It may thicken slightly while chilled, so feel free to add a little extra water when reheating. It should also be freezer-friendly, though it isn’t something I’ve tried.

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Recipe Notes

  • I tend to cook the soup on the stove, though it should also work well in a crock-pot/slow cooker. I would still sauté the onion first, then add all the ingredients (including soaked but not cooked beans from dry) and cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. The exact time depends on your slow cooker. Canned beans can become a bit too soft/mushy otherwise – though this isn’t too important if you’re planning to puree the soup.
  • The Fire-Roasted Tomatoes: I use fresh sliced tomatoes roasted with a little olive oil at 450F for 30 minutes. However, you can use 1 (14oz) can of fire-roasted tomatoes instead.

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More Tipps

  • The Pinto Beans: I typically cook pinto beans from dry. However, for this recipe, I used canned beans. Check out my Instant Pot Refried Beans recipe on how to cook pinto beans from dry as they need to be cooked before adding to this recipe.
  • Feel free to adjust the spiciness to your liking. You could add ancho chili powder for sweet and smoky spice or use regular chili powder.
  • You can substitute other beans in place of the pinto though they will all affect the flavor and texture in different ways. Black beans, cannellini beans, or navy beans could work well.
  • Add a little extra oil (such as avocado oil or olive oil) or plant-based cream to add a little ‘silkiness’ to the texture of the soup.
  • If you’re short on time, then you can minimize the cooking time by using the tinned beans alongside microwaving the carrots and potatoes with a spoonful of water for 1-2 minutes, till slightly tender. This will reduce the time needed to cook them till tender. You can then add them and the beans to the soup at the same time and cook for 10-15 minutes maximum.
  • For an additional smoky flavor, you could add a little liquid smoke to the soup.

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Other Mexican-Inspired Recipes

  • Homemade Gluten-Free Tortillas
  • Lentil Enchiladas
  • Breakfast Burritos
  • Taco Cups
  • Black Bean Quesadillas
  • Loaded Nacho Fries
  • Oven Roasted Vegetable Fajitas

Make sure to also check out my Vegan White Bean Soup and this Veggie Stew if you love chunky soups/stews.

If you give this pinto bean soup recipe a try, I’d love a comment and recipe rating below. Also, don’t forget to tag me in re-creations on Instagram or Facebook with @elavegan and #elavegan – I love seeing your recreations.

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Pinto Bean Soup

Author: Michaela Vais

This Mexican-inspired pinto bean soup is creamy, hearty, nourishing, and absolutely packed with flavor! Combining pinto beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, veggies, broth, and Mexican seasonings leads to a soup that is ridiculously more-ish. Plus, this recipe can be made in just one pot, is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian (vegan), high-protein, high-fiber, low-fat, and not to mention low-cost!

4.99 from 190 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 15 minutes mins

Cook Time 30 minutes mins

Total Time 45 minutes mins

Course Side, Soup

Cuisine Mexican

Servings 6

Calories 210 kcal


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 (14 oz) can fire-roasted tomatoes (see notes)
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 small (150 g) carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 medium (135 g) potato peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp oregano dried
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 (14 oz) cans pinto beans drained and rinsed (see notes)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • You can watch the video in the post for visual instructions.

    Heat oil in a large pot over medium/high heat. Add onion and sauté for about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.

  • Stir in the roasted tomatoes, garlic, carrots, potato, and all spices. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant, then pour in the vegetable broth (I also added 2 bay leaves for flavor).

  • Bring the soup to a boil and let it simmer with a lid for about 10-15 minutes. Add in the pinto beans and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the veggies are softened, stirring from time to time. Then turn off the heat.

  • You can add more veggie broth or water if you notice that too much liquid evaporated.

  • I poured about 50% of the soup into a different pot and used an immersion blender to blend it. You can also fill about half of the soup into a blender and blend it to the desired consistency.

  • Then pour the blended soup back into the large pot and stir to combine. Taste it and add more salt/pepper/spices if needed. You can also add a little lime juice.

  • Serve in bowls and garnish with fresh herbs. Enjoy!


  • Fire-roasted tomatoes: I used fresh tomatoes (sliced) and roasted them (drizzled with olive oil) in the oven at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. However, you can use 1 (14 oz) can of fire-roasted tomatoes instead, as mentioned in the recipe.
  • Pinto beans: The weight of the drained beans is about 250 g per 14 oz can. I typically cook pinto beans from dry, however, for this recipe I used canned beans. Check out this recipe for Instant Pot Refried Beans to find out how to cook pinto beans from dry.
  • Texture: You can blend just a part of the soup, half of it, or all of it.
  • Read the blog post for serving suggestions, step-by-step photos, and helpful tips.

Nutrition Facts

Pinto Bean Soup

Amount per Serving



% Daily Value*






Saturated Fat

























* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically

Mexican Pinto Bean Soup | Easy Stew Recipe - Elavegan (12) Simple and Delicious Vegan Cookbook by ElaVeganCLICK HERE to order!

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Mexican Pinto Bean Soup | Easy Stew Recipe - Elavegan (2024)


How do you thicken pinto bean soup? ›

Once boiling, reduce the heat slightly and let the soup simmer without a lid for 15 minutes. The soup will thicken slightly and the flavors will deepen as it simmers. After simmering for 15 minutes, use the back of a large cooking spoon to mash more of the beans and thicken the soup further.

Is pinto bean broth good for you? ›

Pinto beans are highly nutritious. Packed with protein, fiber and many other essential nutrients, pinto beans may help promote bowel regularity, control your blood sugars and reduce your risk for cancer and other chronic diseases.

What to do with leftover pinto bean juice? ›

“Bean liquid has many cooking uses, including use as an instant stock or broth for soups and other dishes, as it enhances the flavor of what's being cooked by adding a deep savory, almost umami, quality,” says Joe Castelforte, Cento's Corporate Chef. ”It can also be used as a thickener for sauces and soups.”

How do you make bean stew thicker? ›

How To Thicken Bean Soup
  1. Add More Beans. One of the simplest ways to thicken bean soup is to add more beans. ...
  2. Use a Potato. A potato is a versatile ingredient that can work wonders when it comes to thickening soups. ...
  3. Make a Roux. ...
  4. Blend a Portion of the Soup. ...
  5. Use Cornstarch or Arrowroot Powder.
Feb 18, 2024

Why is my bean soup so watery? ›

Sometimes soup just needs to simmer longer to reach the perfect consistency. Check to see if the vegetables are tender, and then taste the broth. If the soup tastes a bit watery, give it more time.

How long does it take pinto beans to thicken? ›

If your beans aren't thickening the way you want, simmer them uncovered for a little while. I usually let mine simmer for about 45 minutes with the lid off. After they reduce is when you can taste and decide if you need to add any seasoning. But not before then.

Are pinto beans anti-inflammatory? ›

Pinto beans are particularly rich in kaempferol, a flavonoid associated with impressive health benefits. Many animal and test-tube studies link it to repressed cancer growth ( 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 ). Additionally, kaempferol is associated with reduced inflammation and a lower incidence of stroke ( 13 , 14 ).

Can you eat too many pinto beans? ›

However, consuming large amounts of pinto beans or other high-fiber foods may cause digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea in some people. Weight gain: Pinto beans are a healthy source of protein and carbohydrates, but they are also high in calories.

Is 2 cups of beans a day too much? ›

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommends eating about 3 cups of legumes—like pinto, kidney, or black beans—per week. If you eat about ½ cup of beans every day, you'll meet the weekly Dietary Guidelines for beans.

What can you put in pinto beans to take the gas out? ›

To degas with baking soda, add a teaspoon of baking soda to 4 quarts of water. Stir in the dried beans and bring to a boil. Then turn off the heat and let the beans soak at least four hours (I usually do this the night before I want to use them; the longer soak won't hurt them).

Why do you discard water after soaking beans? ›

Fun Fact: Discarding the soaking water and rinsing beans can help make cooked beans more digestible. Some people choose to save the soaking liquid because some nutrients are leeched from the beans into the liquid during soaking. We prefer to drain our soaking liquid but you can decide what works best for you.

Should canned pinto beans be rinsed? ›

Unless the recipe tells you to keep the canned beans in their liquid, you should drain your can and give the beans a good rinse before using. This will improve the flavor and texture of your finished dish. Open your cans of beans using a can opener. There may be sharp edges from opening the can.

Should bean soup be thick or thin? ›

The best bean soups have a thick, stew-like consistency.

What is the healthiest soup thickener? ›

Add a starchy vegetable like squash, pumpkin, sweet potato or white potato to your soup and let it simmer. The most straightforward way to thicken soup is to puree these vegetables using an immersion blender. But you do not have to do anything to them. Simply add and the starch will cook down to thicken your soup.

What thickens stew? ›

The flour helps to thicken a stew as it cooks. Whisk a teaspoon of flour in a little cold water to make a slurry, then stir into the stew as it's cooking. Don't add dry flour directly to the stew as it may clump. After adding the slurry, bring the stew to boil.

How do you fix watery beans? ›

All you have to do is continue to let the beans cook but uncover them this time. While they heat up without a lid, the water will evaporate more rapidly and you should have thickened beans in no time.

How do you make bean liquid thicker? ›

After boiling the beans, you can add water to achieve your desired consistency. One way is to boil the beans until they are soft, then remove them from heat and cover with at least an inch of cold water. The beans will soak up some of the remaining hot water while they cool and release starches which thicken them.

Does bean soup thicken on its own? ›

Rice, lentils, and beans release a lot of starch and naturally thicken soups simply from simmering, but you can also mash half the cooked rice/lentils/beans before adding to the soup for a simple way to thicken your dish. Alternatively, blend half or all of the soup for a smoother texture.

How do you make beans more liquidy? ›

After soaking the beans overnight or using the quick soak method, drain the beans and rinse them. Now put the beans in fresh water to cover the beans. Heat until boiling and turn the heat down to a simmer. If the water level falls below the top of the beans, add more water to cover the beans.


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