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A big bowl of pinto beans with a spoon ready to eat
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4.21 from 151 votes

The BEST Southern Pinto Beans

This Pinto Beans Recipe with Ham Hocks is a true Southern Comfort Food delicacy. Dried pinto beans are soaked then simmered with meaty ham hocks and flavors galore reaching tender thick perfection. This is truly the best country meal you will ever have!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: soul food, south, Southern
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 79kcal


  • 1 (11 ounce) package pinto beans picked through and soaked in lots of water overnight
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 onion  halved or roughly chopped
  • 2 halves smoked ham hock (about ¾ pound total)
  • 2 bay leaves optional
  • 1 tsp black pepper plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder plus more to taste
  • Salt to taste


  • Add the soaked beans, chicken stock, water, onion, ham hocks, and bay leaves (if using) to a large stock pot.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are nice and tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • Season with pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Serve.


This recipe used the entire package of beans I purchased and makes a large quantity, but can be scaled for smaller amounts.
Also you can replace the ham hocks in this recipe with smoked turkey instead.


Calories: 79kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 20mg | Sodium: 129mg | Potassium: 135mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg