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Pinto Bean Soup

This Pinto Bean Soup has a savory broth with a variety of vegetables and nourishing pinto beans. Sausage adds a blast of flavor to this soup along with simple flavor enhancers and seasonings.

BONUS: This makes a great freezer meal and is also Crock Pot Friendly!

A green Dutch oven filled with Pinto Bean Soup with a soup ladle in it and fresh parsley on the side.

This Pinto Bean Soup has instantly become one of my all-time favorite recipes. And that’s solely based on the taste. The bonus is that it’s a really budget-friendly recipe that is loaded with vegetables and nourishing pinto beans.

Sausage adds a ton of flavor to this soup, but ground turkey can be used for an even lighter version.

Are Pinto Beans Healthy

  • Pinto Beans are a great source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They’re also rich in various antioxidants.
  • Check out this article from Healthline for more detailed information regarding the health benefits of Pinto beans.

How to Make Pinto Bean Soup

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions. See notes section of recipe card for Crock Pot method.

Cook and crumble the sausage over medium heat. Reserve 1 Tbsp. drippings. Remove the sausage and set aside.

Sauté the onions, carrots, and celery in the drippings and butter until softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute, then add the flour and cook for 2 minutes.

Cooked ground sausage with reserved drippings next to a pot with mirepoix.

Add the Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, seasonings, and beans. Add the chicken broth in splashes, and use a silicone spatula to “clean” the bottom of the pot to add more flavor to the soup.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover partially and simmer for 20 minutes.

Adding chicken broth to a pot with mirepoix and pinto beans with seasonings.

Add the sausage back to the soup and simmer for 15 more minutes. Add the spinach and let it wilt, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in heavy cream, if using. Transfer to serving bowls and serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

Add sausage and spinach to Pinto Bean Soup and stirring to combine.

Using Dry Pinto Beans

  • I like to use canned pinto beans for this soup simply due to the convenience of it, and the fact that the flavor is so good with them!
  • To use dried pinto beans: Rinse them and soak them. You can soak them overnight or submerge them in 2 inches of water. Bring them to a boil, then remove them from heat and let them sit for 1 hour.
  • Add them to the soup as outlined and bring back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  • Simmer the soup for 90 minutes or more, until the beans are tender and the broth has thickened.
  • Add the sausage during the last 10 minutes of cooking, as outlined, followed by the spinach at the end.

Other Canned Bean Options

  • Any variety of white canned beans is delicious in this soup, including Cannellini, Great Northern Beans, Small White Beans, and even Chickpeas can be used for this soup.

What to Add to Pinto Bean Soup

  • Frozen corn, peas, green beans, and even canned tomatoes make great additions to this soup. Fresh zucchini is a great option as well as freshly chopped kale or cabbage.
  • Ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken can be used as well, (although it’s hard to beat the flavor that sausage adds). 

Pro Tips

  • The Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and mustard powder can’t be tasted outright but act as flavor enhancers in this soup. The hot sauce doesn’t make it spicy. I use Frank’s Hot Sauce for this recipe. 
  • Jimmy Dean Regular Pork Sausage is my preferred sausage for this recipe, but any variety may be used. 
  • For even more flavor, add the rind from a block of Parmesan or Romano cheese when you add the broth and let it simmer and flavor the soup. If any remains at the end of cooking, it can be discarded.
  • The best way to ensure that you are able to get drippings is to move the sausage to one side of the pot when it’s about halfway done. Tilt the pot slightly to allow drippings to run down  and use a spoon to scoop it up and transfer it to a small ramekin. 
  • To control the sodium: Look for beans that have no salt added. You can also use low or no sodium broth.
  • Be sure to try my Chickpea Soup recipe next!

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. This soup freezes very well for future meals.

A soup bowl filled with Pinto Bean Soup with a spoon on the side.

Tools For This Recipe

(Amazon affiliate links)- Check out all of my kitchen essentials here.

  • 3.5 quart Dutch oven– this is what I use for this recipe. (Le Creuset is great quality, you’ll have it forever.)
  • Food Storage Containers– These are what I use, they fit exactly 1 cup and are leak proof, microwave safe, stackable, and BPA free.
  • Measuring Spoons I have these magnetic ones which stay nice and organized in my utensil drawer.
  • Pinch Bowls for measuring out seasonings ahead of time.
  • Chefs Knife– I have this one, it’s affordable but high quality.
  • 16 oz. storage containers – I use these to store/freeze my soups. They have 8 oz. sizes as well. They’re stackable, leak proof, and dishwasher/microwave safe.

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A soup pot filled with Pinto Bean Soup with a ladle and parsley on the side.

Pinto Bean Soup

5 from 54 ratings
This Pinto Bean Soup has a savory broth with a mixture of vegetables and nourishing pinto beans. Sausage adds a blast of flavor to this soup along with simple flavor enhancers and seasonings.

Ingredients

Seasonings

  • 1 teaspoon EACH: dried basil, parsley
  • ½ teaspoon EACH: oregano, mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Soup

  • 1 pound ground sausage, regular, hot or mild. See notes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • ½ cup carrots, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 (15.5 oz.) cans Pinto Beans, drained but not rinsed
  • 3 cups spinach
  • ¼ cup heavy cream, optional

For Serving

  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Instructions

  • Note 1: See notes for Crock Pot method.
    Note 2: The mustard powder and hot sauce are so subtle in this soup but help enhance the other flavors, so although you may be hesitant to add them, I highly recommend it!
  • Remove the casings from the sausage if you purchased links. Preheat a large pot over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook and crumble to break it apart. Once cooked halfway through, reduce heat to medium-low and cover partially. (This is the best way to ensure you get drippings). Continue to heat, stirring occasionally, until cooked through. It’ll take around 10-12 minutes total.
  • Set the sausage aside on a paper towel lined plate. Reserve 1 tablespoon drippings. (Butter can be used if you don’t have drippings.)
  • Add the drippings to the pot along with 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the diced onions, celery, and carrots and cook for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes to remove the raw flour taste.
  • Add the hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, seasonings, and beans.
  • Add the chicken broth and use a silicone spatula to “clean” the bottom of the pot, this will add more flavor to the soup. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.
  • Simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes. Add the sausage back. Simmer for 10 more minutes, then add the spinach and let it wilt for 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in ¼ cup heavy cream if desired. Transfer to serving bowls and top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Notes

Pro Tips
  • See information in post above the recipe card for instructions on making this soup with dried pinto beans instead of canned
  • Jimmy Dean Regular Pork Sausage is my preferred sausage for this recipe, but any variety may be used.
  • The Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and mustard powder can't be tasted outright but act as flavor enhancers in this soup. The hot sauce doesn't make it spicy. I use Frank's Hot Sauce for this recipe.
  • For even more flavor, add the rind from a block of Parmesan or Romano cheese when you add the broth and let it simmer and flavor the soup. If any remains at the end of cooking, it can be discarded. Note that this will add salt to the soup.
  • The best way to ensure that you are able to get drippings is to move the sausage to one side of the pot when it's about halfway done. Tilt the pot slightly to allow drippings to run down  and use a spoon to scoop it up and transfer it to a small ramekin.
  • To control the sodium: Look for beans that have no salt added and use low sodium chicken broth.
  • Be sure to try my Chickpea Soup recipe next!

Storage
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. This soup freezes very well for future meals.

Crock Pot Method:
  • Note: Flour is not needed for this method. 
  • Brown the sausage in a skillet as outlined and transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
  • Reserve 1 tablespoon drippings and add it to the Crock Pot along with 2 tablespoons of butter.
  • Set heat to low or high and let butter melt. Add the diced onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Toss to coat.
  • Add the cooked sausage, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, seasonings, and chicken broth.
  • Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7. **Add the drained pinto beans during the last 45 minutes**
  • Add the spinach and let wilt, 3-5 minutes.
  • Turn heat off and slowly stir in the heavy cream, then serve!

Nutritional info below is per cup. There are approximately 9 cups of soup in this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 325kcal, Carbohydrates: 22g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 47mg, Sodium: 713mg, Potassium: 655mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 2236IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 89mg, Iron: 3mg
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132 comments on “Pinto Bean Soup”

  1. I Love this soup!! It is so savory and delicious!! I use canned beans and bulk sausage. Usually I add a little more carrots, celery, and onion. I’ve made without spinach, cuz I had none. Still great. But to me… the heavy cream and spinach set it off. So yummy! I’m going to try the cannellini soup soon, I’m sure it will be great too. Thank you so much!!! 💓

  2. We had too many pinto beans in the pantry and I wanted to use some up. I definitely didn’t expect any exciting meals to come of it. Then we found this recipe and it might be the best soup I’ve ever made in my life. Seriously. I can’t get enough of it. It is so SO good, cost effective, and easy. Thank you!

    • I am soooooo happy to hear that Lisa, I love that it came about because you had pinto beans to use up! I JUST made this last week and actually stocked up on more pinto beans at the store today, this soup is my FAV! It’s funny to think that you were trying to get rid of pinto beans, but now you just might have to go get more! 😉 Thank you so much for the review, you’re the best!! -Stephanie

  3. I did not have sausage so I added shredded chicken with homemade broth and this soup is so delicious! 
    I made it early in my dutch oven  then  put in the crockpot on warm and now I want to eat a bowl before lunch time. I will add spinach and evaporated milk since I have no cream. And parm to taste. 

  4. Has truly become my husband’s all time favorite. Think you will all love it too!!!

  5. Thank you for this excellent EXCELLENT soup!! I can absolutely see why this has been on repeat in your house. Can’t wait to make it again! 

  6. OMG! I just made a pot of this delicious soup and was totally involved in the immense flavors and textures! WOW!

    • Wahoooo! I’m so happy you enjoyed all the flavors and textures Doug! I love this one. My husband and daughter were skeptical when I said I was giving them Pinto Bean Soup but they ended up loving it. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!😃

  7. Has anyone made this with dried pinto beans, instead of canned? What was the process? 

    • Hi Marcy, there is a section on this in the blog post:

      Using Dry Pinto Beans
      -I like to use canned pinto beans for this soup simply due to the convenience of it, and the fact that the flavor is so good with them!
      -To use dried pinto beans: Rinse them and soak them. You can soak them overnight or submerge them in 2 inches of water. Bring them to a boil, then remove them from heat and let them sit for 1 hour.
      -Add them to the soup as outlined and bring back to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
      -Simmer the soup for 90 minutes or more, until the beans are tender and the broth has thickened.
      -Add the sausage during the last 10 minutes of cooking, as outlined, followed by the spinach at the end.

  8. I’ll be making this soup for a second time tomorrow for dinner. It was ABSOLUTELY delicious the first time. I have a question for this time around though. 

    My husband has a gluten intolerance. He’s is not allergic, but gluten causes him stomach issues. I’ve snuck in the few tablespoons of flour for some of the soup recipes that call for it and he’s had no issues. But recently he’s begged me not to put any flour in anything. I have some gluten free four and I’m wondering if you have any idea how that will work out? 

    • Hi Stephanie, I’m so happy that you loved this soup! It’s a huge favorite of mine as well, I love keeping it in the freezer! You can use gluten free flour instead, yes!

  9. Has anyone tried making this with ground beef? I am curious since my child likes every ingredient except the meat.

  10. Made this recipe today. I used brussels sprouts that I needed to use up, instead of the spinach. Delicious 😋

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