How to Thicken Pinto Beans

Have you ever cooked a pot of pinto beans only to find them thin and watery? If so, then your dish might not be worth serving. That’s because thick, flavorful pinto beans are essential to the perfect ethnic meal!

Luckily, there are a few different ways to thicken those pinto beans so you can create the perfect dish every single time. (See how many pinto beans per person)

Whether your recipe calls for traditional or modern cooking techniques, I’ll show you how it’s done in this article.

How Do You Thicken Pinto Beans?

Unless the instructions don’t allow it, I would concentrate on the top three of the six most successful strategies.

These tips can be used for almost any dish made with beans. All of the following methods will work to thicken any type of bean, be it navy beans, cannellini beans, red beans, or pinto beans.

Simmer Longer To Thicken Pinto Beans
Simmer Longer To Thicken Pinto Beans

Let The Beans Gently Simmer Longer

The second way to thicken your pinto beans is to let them simmer longer. This is the easiest and least labor-intensive option.

If you want your beans to be thicker, turn down the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for up to 20 minutes, watching them so they do not become dry. The longer they cook, the thicker they will become as the water evaporates and more starch gets released from the beans.

Keep stirring occasionally and add a bit of extra liquid if it starts looking too dry during cooking. Once you’re happy with how thick your beans are, season them with spices as desired or serve them in tacos or chili!

By letting your beans simmer longer you can easily achieve a rich and creamy texture without having to do any complicated steps.

2  Mash or Squash The Beans

A great way to get your pinto beans to the perfect thickness is to mash them. All you have to do is scoop a few spoonfuls of cooked beans out of the pot and place them on a plate.

Using the back of a spoon or fork, mash those beans until they reach the consistency you’re looking for. Once mashed, add them back into the pot and stir with other ingredients.

You can also use a potato masher to squash a cup of beans, or even a pot of beans.

This method works especially well if your recipe calls for dry pinto beans. Cook them like normal, then begin mashing when you feel there are enough that have softened up enough for desired thickness.

With each addition of mashed beans, continue stirring until all ingredients have been fully incorporated and your dish has reached its perfect texture – tasty and thick!

3. Use A Little Less Liquid

The third method to thicken pinto beans is to use less liquid. Start by reducing the amount of liquid used when you cook the beans. You may need to reduce the cooking time slightly so you do not get dry beans.

For example, instead of using six cups of broth or water, you could use four cups and still finish with a delicious meal. By cutting down on the liquid, the mixture will naturally become thicker as it simmers.

In addition to using less liquid in your recipe, make sure you simmer the beans uncovered on medium-low heat. This will reduce condensation and help move some of the excess moisture out of the pot so that it will become more concentrated and thickened over time.

By following these tips, you’ll have deliciously thickened pinto beans in no time!

4. Use Thick Sauces

Adding thick sauces like tomato sauce, salsa or crema is an easy way to thicken your pinto beans. All you have to do is mix it into the pot and simmer for a few minutes until the desired texture is achieved.

Add Thicken Sauces To Fix Runny Pinto Beans
Add Thicken Sauces To Fix Runny Pinto Beans

Thick sauces are not just great for adding texture but they can also add flavor and fat content to the dish. You can experiment with different types of sauces such as hot sauce, chipotle peppers, pesto or even cream cheese.

Remember to play around with the flavors and don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations!. Remember that when using these sauces you’re actually creating an entirely unique flavor!

For example, a creamy enchilada style pinto beans dish would be amazing when loaded with sour cream and cilantro while a classic pinto bean soup might require something less spicy like marinara sauce and parmesan cheese. Get creative with it!

5. Make A Cornstarch Slurry

Making a cornstarch slurry is an easy way to thicken pinto beans. Just mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water and whisk it together until it’s fully combined.

Once your slurry is ready, add it to the beans and stir to combine. Simmer the beans over low heat while stirring occasionally.

You’ll notice that the mixture will begin to thicken quickly as it cooks. Once you are happy with the consistency, remove it from the heat and season with salt and pepper or other spices to taste.

Keep in mind that this method produces a nice thick texture but also can give your beans a slightly starchy flavor. If you don’t like this style of texture, you may want to try one of the other methods for thickening pinto beans instead! 

6. Use Strong Thickening Agents

Thickening agents are an easy way to thicken pinto beans. There are a variety of agent types you can use to make the beans thicker, so you need to find the right one for your recipe.

Possible agents include cornstarch, arrowroot starch, potato starch and rice flour. You mix these ingredients with some of the bean liquid before adding them back into the pot, as this helps prevent clumping.

Another option is using butter or cream cheese mixed with some bean liquid if you want a creamier taste. You can also use pureed vegetables or mashed potatoes as thickening agents – all you need to do is add it in small increments until the desired consistency is achieved!

Finally, be sure not to add too much thickening agents at once; a little goes a long way!

7. Make A Pinto Bean Thickening Roux From Flour And Butter

Adding flour and butter to your pinto beans is a classic trick for making them super thick and creamy. This technique is called making a roux, which simply means to combine butter and flour until it forms a thick paste.

The steps for adding a roux are simple: take about 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk it with 2 tablespoons of melted butter in a small bowl until it forms a paste. Then, add the mixture to your pinto beans and stir well.

The hot liquids in the pan will activate the roux, causing the mixture to thicken and enrich your beans with flavor! The amount of flour and butter you use depends on how thick you want your pinto beans—you can adjust as needed.

Continue cooking your beans according to their recipe after adding the roux. Enjoy!