Beans for burritos

September 21, 2016 Published by Dina

My sister-in-law Barbara gave me this bean recipe for burritos she makes weekly for her family. She in turn received the recipe from another close friend, Nadine, and the two of them have been making it for years. I am not sure where the recipe originated, but I heard that someone’s mother passed it along.

Both gals make this in a pressure cooker and I have been following their method, but I have also tried it on the stover top and it works just as well.

The idea is to make batch, freeze portions in plastic containers and pull out a container when you want to make burritos for dinner. Works like a charm.

I was out shopping with my friend Val of More than Burnt Toast one day and she showed me a German made stove top Fissler stainless steel pressure cooker that was so slick and chic I had to have it right than and there. I bought it, but I am embarrassed to say, it sat on the shelve in my pantry for two years before I pulled it out to look at it. Truthfully, I was scared of it. I was sure it was complicated to use, will explode in my kitchen and if not kill or injure me, at the very least will cause a big mess in my kitchen. So there it sat unattended until a few weeks ago.

Beans for burritos

Beans for burritos

We were visiting the in-laws and had the famed bean burritos for dinner and I liked them so much that I decided to get over the silly fear and learn how to work with the pressure cooker.

As you can imagine, it is very simple to use, fool proof really and cooks the beans beautifully and fast.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker or scared of it, cook it on the stove top in a heavy dutch oven type pot, it will cook fine, only take longer.


  • I soak the beans overnight. My sister in law boils them and let sit for an hour before draining and proceeding with the recipe.
  • The recipe calls for adding tomato paste and cumin after the cooking. I am leaving the recipe as it was given to me but it makes more sense to add the tomato paste and cumin before the     cooking than after. Suite yourself.
  • Traditionally you do not add salt before the beans are cooked as it may toughen their skin and they won’t cook properly. In this recipe you add the salt before cooking. Just sayin’.

To serve burritos, heat up the beans, chop lettuce, tomatoes, onion, green onion and other optional ingredients that usually go into burritos like salsa and let everyone fill and roll their own. This is also good in tacos, over rice, in Mexican dishes or on its own.

Let me know what you think.


2 lbs. of dried pinto beans, picked over and rinsed

3 -4 large onions chopped coarsely

1 whole head of garlic, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons. olive oil

3 teaspoons coarse sea salt

2 -5oz. cans tomato paste

cumin to taste


Soak beans overnight or alternatively, boil them in plenty of water for 5 minutes, remove from heat and let soak for an hour.  Drain.

Place the beans in a pressure cooker and add water to just cover the beans.

Add the onions, garlic, olive oil, and salt.

Pressure cook on high until steam spurts, then turn down to low medium heat and cook for 45 minutes.  You want the pressure cooker to just give a gentle regular cadence of spurts from the release valve, so adjust the temperature to reflect that.

When the time is up, let sit until the pressure is released released.

Add 2 cans of tomato paste and about 3 tsp. of cumin seasoning or to taste.

Mix everything well partially mashing the beans if you wish.

Let cool, then spoon into containers and freeze until needed.

Beans for burritos


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