Pinto Beans and Rice and Sausage

pinto beans
Photo: Diana Rattray
Ratings (6)
  • Total: 2 hrs 5 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 105 mins
  • Yield: 6 Portions (6 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
959 Calories
17g Fat
164g Carbs
37g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Dry pinto beans are cooked with spicy smoked sausage and a ham bone or ham hock, along with garlic, tomatoes, and seasonings. Serve these savory pinto beans with hot boiled rice or savory grits for a simple and satisfying meal.

The pinto beans are soaked overnight, so plan to start the recipe the night before. Or follow the package directions for a quick soak.



  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 ham hock or a meaty leftover ham bone
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound andouille smoked sausage or similar smoked sausage (sliced)
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 can (4 ounces) mild green chile peppers or a mixture of mild and jalapeno (diced)
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (crushed)
  • 4 cups of long-grain white rice or quick grits (hot boiled)

Steps to Make It

  1. The night before put the pinto beans in a large bowl or pot and cover with water to a depth of about 3 inches above the beans. Let them stand for 8 hours or overnight. Drain well.

  2. Combine the soaked and drained beans with water, ham hock, onion, and garlic in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over high heat; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to medium; cook the beans for 45 minutes, or until the beans are tender.* 

  3. Add the salt, sliced sausage, tomatoes, mild chile peppers, and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

  4. Remove ham hock and remove the meat from the bone. Shred the ham with a fork or chop. Return the ham to bean mixture.

  5. Serve the pinto beans over hot cooked rice.

The recipe makes about 6 servings.

*Acidic ingredients like tomatoes, ketchup, molasses, wine, lemon juice, or vinegar sometimes prevent dry beans from becoming tender.  Some believe salt toughens beans. If you have trouble with beans becoming tender, add these ingredients after the beans are tender. 

Tips and Variations

  • If the weather is very hot, soak the beans in the refrigerator.

  • Use a spicy chorizo sausage instead of andouille sausage, or add extra diced ham.

  • For Tex-Mex flavor, add 2 teaspoons of chili powder, about 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon of dried leaf oregano.

  • To cook the beans in the slow cooker, simmer them first with the ham hock, water, onion, and garlic until tender. Transfer them to the slow cooker with the remaining ingredients and cook on low for about 6 hours or on high for about 2 to 3 hours.

You Might Also Like