Country-Style Pinto Bean Bake

Country baked pinto beans recipe

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 10 mins
Soaking Time24: 12 hrs
Total: 14 hrs 25 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
271 Calories
8g Fat
37g Carbs
16g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 271
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 10%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 29mg 10%
Sodium 858mg 37%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Total Sugars 18g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 18mg 88%
Calcium 81mg 6%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 776mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These country-style pinto beans start with dry pinto beans, making them a great budget meal choice. The simmered pinto beans are finished in the oven with the addition of diced leftover ham, chopped vegetables, and a barbecue sauce that is boldly flavored with molasses and ketchup. Bell peppers, bacon drippings, and onions add even more flavor and richness to the simple dish.

Feel free to use leftover pulled pork or beef brisket in these beans in place of the ham. For a vegetarian version, use vegetable oil instead of the bacon drippings and omit the ham.

Enjoy these beans with some fresh homemade cornbread.


  • 1 pound dried pinto beans, about 2 cups

  • 1 1/2 quarts water

  • 1 cup diced onion

  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings, or vegetable oil

  • 1/2 pepper green bell pepper, diced

  • 2 cups cooked diced ham

  • 1/2 cup ketchup

  • 1/4 cup molasses

  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried mustard

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Rinse the beans and pick them over, checking them for bits of gravel or small stones. Discard any malformed or damaged beans.

  3. Pour 1 1/2 quarts of water into a large saucepan or Dutch oven and place it over high heat. Bring the water to a boil.

  4. Remove the pan from the heat and add the beans. Cover the pan and let the beans stand overnight.

  5. The next day, place the beans over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the beans for about 1 hour, or until they are tender.

  6. Heat the oven to 325 F. Drain beans, reserving 1/2 cup of the liquid.

  7. Peel the onion and dice it.

  8. Add the bacon drippings to a skillet or sauté pan over medium heat; add the diced onion and diced green pepper and cook for 5 minutes.

  9. In a 2-quart casserole or Dutch oven, layer the cooked, drained beans with the cooked onions and peppers and the diced ham.

  10. Combine the reserved liquid with the remaining ingredients and pour over the bean mixture.

  11. Cover the pan and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.

  12. Uncover and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes.

  13. Serve and enjoy.


  • Try to keep the beans at a gentle simmer, which is below the boiling point. The temperature of the simmer should be about 180 F 190 F as opposed to the boiling point of 212 F. The liquid will be nearly still with a few bubbles now and then.
  • If you are short on time, replace the sauce ingredients with your favorite barbecue sauce.

Recipe Variations

  • An 8-ounce can of tomato sauce makes a good replacement for the ketchup.
  • Add about 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke or a smoke-flavored seasoning blend to the beans.
  • Add some heat to the beans with 1/4 teaspoon (or more) of cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Instead of molasses, add 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar or honey.
  • Increase the bell pepper to 1/2 cup, and use part red or orange for a more colorful dish.
  • Replace the salt with Cajun or Creole seasoning (to taste).
  • Instead of diced ham, add a leftover meaty ham bone or ham hocks to the beans. When the beans are almost ready, remove the meat from the bones, chop it, and add it back to the beans.

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