This Pinto Bean Soup is a healthy and flavorful soup made from pinto beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, onions, garlic, chili powder, smoked paprika and vegetable broth. It’s an easy Mexican-inspired dish that comes together quickly and makes a delicious weeknight meal!
Hearty, satisfying and packed with delicious flavor, this Pinto Bean Soup recipe is one of my favorites to make on busy weeknights. It’s ready to eat in only 40 minutes and makes the best leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day.
Made with inexpensive pantry staples like canned or dried beans, diced tomatoes, and spices, this one-pot soup makes the creamiest spoonful of pinto beans ever!
Let’s make Pinto Bean Soup!
First, saute some diced onions in a large pot or Dutch oven until they’ve softened and become translucent. That should take about 5 minutes over medium-high heat.
Next, add in some minced garlic and the spices and seasonings. Mix everything together and cook for about 30 seconds to toast the spices just a bit.
Then, add in the pinto beans, diced tomatoes and vegetable broth. Stir everything together and bring it to a boil.
Once the soup is boiling, lower the heat to simmer and cover the pot with a lid.
Let the soup simmer for 20 minutes to bring together all those wonderful smoky and delicious flavors.
Last but not least, blend the soup until it’s to your preferred consistency.
I used an immersion blender and blended about half of the soup to create a rich and creamy texture while still leaving some whole beans throughout.
If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular stand blender. Just be very careful since the soup will be hot! Only blend a little at a time and then mix it into the pot.
Finish it off by mixing in some lime juice and seasoning it with salt and black pepper.
When serving this soup as the main dish, I like going all out and topping my bowl with:
- chopped cilantro
- cotija cheese or queso fresco
- sliced radishes
- crushed tortilla chips
- diced avocados
If I serve this soup as a side, I usually stick with minimal toppings like some simple chopped cilantro and some cheese.
Substitutions and Variations
Pinto Beans: I used canned pinto beans to save some time, but you could also used dried beans if you have some in your pantry. Here’s how to cook dried pinto beans on the stove and how to make Instant Pot pinto beans.
Diced Tomatoes: I used a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, but you can use regular diced tomatoes or any flavor variety that you have in your pantry.
Onions: You can use yellow or white onions in this recipe. I haven’t tried it using red onions, but they could work as well. The flavor would change some, but it should still be delicious. Just make sure to cook them until they’ve softened and become translucent.
Spices and seasonings: Ancho chili powder is used in this recipe to give the soup a sweet and smoky flavor, but if you don’t have any, you can use regular chili powder. Don’t have ground coriander? You can just omit it from the recipe.
Broth: I used vegetable broth to keep this recipe vegetarian and vegan, but you can also use chicken broth or beef broth. If you don’t have any broth at all, you can use water.
To make this soup heartier: Add in some chopped bacon when cooking the onions.
To make it spicy: Add in a chopped serrano pepper or jalapeno pepper.
More bean recipes to try
- Borracho Beans (Frijoles Borrachos)
- How to Cook Canned Black Beans
- Easy Refried Beans
- Easy Black Bean Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced (yellow or white)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
- 3 15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed (about 4 ½ cups cooked pinto beans)
- 1 15-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- optional garnish: chopped cilantro, cotija cheese, sliced radishes,
- Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Add onions and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until translucent and beginning to caramelize.
- Add in garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander and oregano. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the broth, pinto beans and diced tomatoes. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
- Lower heat to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the pot from the heat. Using an immersion blender or regular stand blender, carefully blend the soup until it reaches the consistency you want. (I prefer to blend about half of the soup so there's a mix of smooth and chunky.)
- Add the lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro, cotija cheese and sliced radishes. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!
- Ancho chili powder is used in this recipe to give the soup a sweet and smoky flavor, but if you don’t have any, you can use regular chili powder.
- If you don’t have fire-roasted diced tomatoes, you can use regular diced tomatoes or any flavor variety that you have in your pantry.
- To make this soup heartier, add in some chopped bacon when cooking the onions.
- To make it spicy, add in a chopped serrano pepper or jalapeno pepper.