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Hello! I’m Anjali. I’m a board certified health coach, author, wife, mom and food lover from the SF Bay area (now living in Seattle, WA!); with a passion for delicious food and a desire to make healthy eating easy, tasty and fun! Learn more about me here and stay for a while!

Anjali Shah

Pinto Bean Soup Recipe (Easy, Hearty)

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This chunky and hearty pinto bean soup is made with loads of veggies and pasta shells making it a nutritious and filling one-pot meal. This soup has tons of flavor, and is vegetarian comfort food at its best!

Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese and pasta shells top view

Beans are nutritional powerhouses.

Not only are they a great, lean source of vegetarian protein, but they provide a myriad of health benefits, and they fit into several different food groups.

  • They’re rich in complex carbs like whole grains.
  • They’re full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants like veggies.
  • They’re a great source of protein like meat.

This Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup is the perfect opportunity to sneak some beans into your diet. It’s rich and super flavorful: thick and chunky, with oozing cheese and al dente pasta on top. It requires little effort to make, and is made in one pot for easy cleanup! My whole family couldn’t get enough of it!

Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese and pasta shells

Beans come canned, frozen, or dry – so they are a breeze to purchase, prepare and store. They’re also the least expensive source of protein out there (especially when compared to fresh meat!). Lastly, they can be used in just about any dish. They can be incorporated into a main (soups, chili), a side (salads), an appetizer (bean dip), or a snack (roasted chickpeas). And there are so many varieties: kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans, split peas and lentils to name a few. If you don’t have pinto beans, white beans are a great substitute for pinto beans in this recipe!

Why You’ll Love This Easy Recipe …

  • Simple to make with inexpensive pantry staples
  • Packed with flavor
  • Vegetarian friendly
  • Easily made vegan and gluten-free
  • Kid-friendly
  • A one-pot meal!

How To Make The Best Pinto Bean Soup

Ingredients and Notes

ingredients for Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup

Pinto Beans: The humble pinto bean is the star of this recipe! If you don’t have pinto beans, white beans will also work well.

Extra virgin olive oil: For sauteeing and for adding healthy fats.

Herbs and spices: I used Garlic, Parsley, Rosemary, Sea Salt and Black Pepper to give this vegetarian soup its rich flavor. If you don’t have fresh garlic, you can use garlic powder. Feel free to add a touch of cayenne pepper or hot sauce for an additional kick!

Red Onion, Tomatoes, Carrots and Celery: Makes a great base of veggies for this tasty soup! You can also use yellow onion if you don’t have red onion.

Vegetable Broth: Many soup recipes will use chicken broth or beef broth to add flavor, but that makes the entire soup not veggie-friendly! Vegetable broth works well in this recipe to give it great flavor and keep it plant-based.

Pasta: Optional, but adds a nice textural component and additional whole grains and fiber. You could also use a lentil or chickpea pasta for more protein.

Cheese: Optional, but makes a great topping for this flavorful soup!

Tools and Equipment

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Chop all of your ingredients (onions, carrots, celery, herbs). Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, rosemary, and garlic, cook for about 2-3 minutes, then lower the heat to medium and cook the onion mixture for another 7-8 minutes, or until the onion is softened and begins to caramelize.

veggies sauteed in a large pot

Step 2: Add the parsley, beans, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes, until the beans soften.

broth added to pot of soup

Step 3: While the soup is simmering, cook your pasta until it is al dente. Drain and set aside.

soup simmering on the stove

Step 4: Blend the soup partially with an immersion blender until the soup is chunky but not completely pureed. You can also transfer a half of the soup to a regular blender or food processor and blend it that way. If you do use a regular blender, but be sure to let the soup cool slightly before pureeing it – otherwise it will explode out of the blender when you turn it on!

soup being blended with immersion blender

Step 5: Divide the soup into bowls and add 1-2 tbsp of cooked pasta and 1-2 tbsp of parmesan cheese to each. Eat and enjoy!

Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese and pasta shells top view, with pot of soup in the background

What Makes This Pinto Bean Stew Healthy?

  • High in Fiber and Protein: Each serving of this soup has 12 grams of heart healthy fiber and 14 grams of filling protein! Beans are a great source of plant protein — they have only 2-3% fat (lower than meat), but 7g protein for every 1/2 cup serving (the same amount as 1oz of meat).
  • Balance Blood Sugar: Thanks to their low glycemic index (because of their complex carbs + protein), beans are digested slowly which helps keep blood glucose stable. They also help you feel fuller longer without being super high in calories!
  • High in Vitamins and Minerals: The carrots, tomatoes and celery added to this soup add a healthy dose of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants!

Recipe FAQs

Is This Pinto Bean Soup Kid-Friendly?

Kids will love this pinto bean soup. My kids are huge fans of pasta, which is one reason they enjoy this hearty soup. The added pasta combined with the protein of the beans, and the nutrients from the veggies makes all of us happy. The spices in this soup aren’t overpowering, and the gooey cheese makes it approachable.

What Are Other Uses for Pinto Beans?

There are numerous uses for pinto beans. You can use them whole in soups and chilis. You can mash them and use them as a dip or spread. They taste great as a side with Mexican dishes like tacos or enchiladas. You can even spread them on toast for breakfast.

How Do You Serve This Soup?

This soup is a one-pot meal. It’s got protein from the beans, whole grains from the pasta, and vitamins and nutrients from the veggies. But sometimes you want a little something more. This soup pairs well with light side salad to balance the heartiness of the soup. You can also serve this dish with some crusty, whole grain bread which is great for dipping and scooping up the last bits left in the bowl!

Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese and pasta shells top view

How Do You Cook Dry Pinto Beans?

You can cook pinto beans on the stove top, in the instant pot, or in a slow cooker. I recommend an instant pot because it’s the easiest way to cook pinto beans with the fastest cooking time!

To cook on the stove top

  • Step 1: Rinse beans. Remove any beans that don’t look good.
  • Step 2: Soak the beans overnight in a large bowl covered with 2 inches of water.
  • Step 3: Drain and rinse the beans.
  • Step 4: In a saucepan cover the pinto beans with 2 inches of water or stock. Simmer over medium heat for 2-3 hour or until tender.

To cook in the Instant Pot

  • Step 1: Rinse your beans and remove any debris. Soaking your beans is optional – if you soak your beans this just reduces the cook time. These instructions are for unsoaked beans.
  • Step 2: Put 5 cups of water with 1 pound of dry unsoaked beans into your Instant Pot.
  • Step 3: Close the Instant Pot lid and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position.
  • Step 4: Pressure cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Natural release for 15 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure. Open the Instant Pot and enjoy!

How to Store and Keep

To Store in the Fridge: Let the soup cool completely. Then transfer to an airtight container and place in the fridge. It will keep for up to 4 days. And honestly this soup just tastes even better the next day because it allows the flavors to blend together even more!

To Store in the Freezer: Let the soup cool, transfer to an airtight freezer safe container and place in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight, then heat on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through.

Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese and pasta shells with spoon

Recipe Variations

Make a Mexican Pinto Bean Soup: To make this a Mexican-inspired pinto bean soup, switch out the rosemary and parsley for mild chili powder, taco seasoning, and dried oregano to taste. You can also add in some diced green chiles and diced bell peppers instead of the celery!

Make a Vegan Pinto Bean Soup: Just omit the cheese, or use a vegan shredded cheese!

Switch out the beans: Make a white bean or black bean soup!

Expert Tips

  • To save time use canned pinto beans. Look for BPA free packaging. If you can’t find pinto beans or want to switch things up, white beans or navy beans also work great in this recipe.
  • Use whole grain pasta. For even more protein, or to make this gluten-free, you can use lentil or chickpea based pasta.
  • Use an immersion blender to partially blend the beans. This will give it a natural creaminess without the need to add cream.
  • Don’t blend completely as the whole pinto beans give it a nice texture.
  • Use fresh rosemary for a richer and fresher flavor. If you don’t have fresh herbs use dried herbs but reduce the amount to 1/3 of the amount of the fresh herbs, as dried herbs have a stronger flavor.
  • To make this vegan, just omit the cheese!
Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese and pasta shells with blue pot in the background

More Soup Recipes To Try!

If you have tried this Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup Recipe, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more delicious, healthy, family friendly food!

Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup in a white bowl, topped with parmesan cheese and pasta shells top view
Print Recipe
5 from 10 votes

Chunky and Hearty Pinto Bean Soup

This chunky and hearty pinto bean soup is made with loads of veggies and pasta shells making it a nutritious and filling one-pot meal.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 245.6kcal
Author: Anjali Shah

Ingredients

  • 45 oz pinto or navy beans 3 cans
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
  • 1 medium red onion finely chopped
  • 2 carrots diced
  • 2 celery ribs diced
  • 5 garlic cloves sliced
  • 1/4 cup parsley chopped
  • 15 oz diced tomatoes 1 can
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 3/4 tsp salt or 1 tsp if you need a little more salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper more to taste if needed
  • 1/2 cup dried small pasta shells
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese 2 tbsp per serving, about 1 cup total

Instructions

  • Chop all of your ingredients (onions, carrots, celery, herbs)
  • Warm the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, celery, rosemary, and garlic, cook for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is softened and begins to caramelize.
  • Add the parsley, beans, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the beans soften.
  • While the soup is simmering, cook your pasta until it is al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • Blend the soup partially with an immersion blender until the soup is chunky but not completely pureed.
  • Divide the soup into bowls and add 1-2 tbsp of cooked pasta and 1-2 tbsp of parmesan cheese to each.

Notes

Top Tips to Make Pinto Bean Soup
  • To save time use canned pinto beans. Look for BPA free packaging. If you can’t find pinto beans or want to switch things up, white beans or navy beans also work great in this recipe.
  • Use whole grain pasta. For even more protein, or to make this gluten-free, you can use lentil or chickpea based pasta.
  • Use an immersion blender to partially blend the beans. This will give it a natural creaminess without the need to add cream.
  • Don’t blend completely as the whole pinto beans give it a nice texture.
  • Use fresh rosemary for a richer and fresher flavor. If you don’t have fresh herbs use dried herbs but reduce the amount to 1/3 of the amount of the fresh herbs. as dried herbs have a stronger flavor.
  • To make this vegan, just omit the cheese!
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Nutrition

Calories: 245.6kcal | Carbohydrates: 35.3g | Protein: 14.4g | Fat: 5.3g | Sodium: 500mg | Fiber: 12.4g | Sugar: 3.3g

Posted In…

Soups ·

Soups can be hearty enough for a cozy winter meal, or fresh and light like my summery cucumber gazpacho. My family’s favorite option is the best vegetarian chili ever!

Whether you like your soups smooth or full of healthy chunks, my recipes will help you combine fresh, flavorful ingredients into a filling, balanced meal.

22 responses to “Pinto Bean Soup Recipe (Easy, Hearty)”

  1. Yummy! My family is going to devour this soup! Looks so delicious and very tasty! Perfect for easy dinner nights. Excited to make this tonight for dinner!5 stars

  2. I made this soup in my Instant Pot and it was really good, hearty and easy to make. Will make again for sure!5 stars

  3. This bean soup is so delicious and perfect for dinner! Love how easy it is to make. Will make again soon! 🙂5 stars

  4. Love soup season for recipes just like this one! Can’t wait to warm up with this for dinner tomorrow night; looks amazing!5 stars

  5. This is definitely a healthy, flavorful and delicious Dinner option for this super filling soup. Creamy and easy to make too.5 stars

  6. This is a nice and easy bean soup recipe. With pasta in it, this is a complete and filling meal on its own. Perfect for lunch. 🙂5 stars

  7. I always look for comfort food recipes, especially soup recipes. I love your recipe that will warm us up during the upcoming cold winter months. AMAZING!5 stars

  8. Anjali I think this is my new favorite food blog! My husband used to be a fast food lover too until I showed him the light 😉 .. I love bean soups so my heart did a little flip flop when I saw this

    • Hi Kristina!! Aww thank you so much! Sounds like we are two peas in a pod 🙂 haha. So wonderful to “meet” you! You’ll have to let me know how this recipe turns out for you – I’m sure you will absolutely love it!

  9. This sounds so good! I love to make big batches of soup and freezing them in pints to bring to work. I’ve never tried freezing a soup with beans though, have you ever tried freezing this one?

    • Thanks so much! And yes I love making huge batches of soup and freezing them as well 🙂 This soup freezes great (as do most soups with beans or lentils in them!)

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