Pintos and Cornbread… Does It Get More Southern Than This?

Tonight, we had pintos and cornbread for dinner. What can I say, it’s cheap. Really cheap!! My husband introduced me to this southern dish after we got married, and although it’s very simple I found it surprisingly good!

Here’s all you do…

First, cook your pintos. I get a bag of dried beans, wash them well, put them in a large pot with enough water to cover the beans by 2″.

Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low all day (about 7 hrs), or until the beans are tender. I don’t add any salt until they are finished cooking.

While the beans are going, make your cornbread. I don’t have a favorite recipe to share here yet… but I do like my cornbread sweet (I know, I know, I can see all you southerners rolling your eyes at sweet cornbread!).

Usually I follow the recipe on the back of the cornmeal bag, and maybe add 2-4 Tbsp sugar if the recipe doesn’t already call for it.

When the beans and cornbread are done, we like to crumble the cornbread in the bottom of a bowl, top it with salted beans and mix it all up with a couple of spoonfuls of mayo.

Besides the egg it takes to make the cornbread (and another egg for the mayo if making that from scratch) this is a great food storage recipe as well!

Try it. It’ll fill you up!

Do you make pintos & cornbread? Tell me how you do it at your house!

36 thoughts on “Pintos and Cornbread… Does It Get More Southern Than This?”

  1. I thought my dad and I were the only ones that put mayonnaise in our bowl of beans (especially red beans and large lima). Nice to see others do it too.

  2. what I like about pintos and cornbread is that it’s litterally no more than 10$ for enough food for 5 days worth of food. I use bacon, hawkbone,or ham bone to cook my beans in also I have a great recipe for cornbread

    Step 1 have ranch dressing sprinkled cheese parsley and oregano seasoning
    Step 2 mix cornbread mix one egg and half of what it normally calls for milk
    Step 3 add 1 cup sprinkled cheese, add ranch to cover the half of the milk we took off one tablespoon off oregano or parsley or add both
    Step 4 put it in a sizable pan not in muffin cups
    step 5 cook as shown on box

    I’m telling you guys it will be the flakiest cornbread you have ever had in your life

  3. I never ever heard of mayo on beans, and we ate pintos and cornbread for nearly 15 years, 3 days a week. Mom never sweetened her cornbread and will refuse to even look at a bag of yellow cornmeal even today, and she’s just shy of 90. We always had fried potatoes and pickles – beets, bread & butter, or sweet green tomato relish as sides. Growing up I didn’t know the neighbors ate any differently than we did. Come to find out we ate so many beans was because my dad and his big brother were going in halves to put their two little brothers through college, and paid for their sister’s wedding. We ate some form of soup 3 days a week and only had meat on Sundays, mostly cause that was the only day my dad didn’t ‘normally’ have to work. I still love beans and cornbread – but I usually use the sweetened recipes, shh don’t tell momma!

  4. I was introduced to this a few year ago, by a friend, and I love it! I do it with all kinds of beans, red beans, blackeyed peas, lima beans, whatever beans we have leftover. 🙂

  5. I know this is a very old post but just had to comment. I have ALWAYS had mayo on my soup beans (which is what they’re called here in east TN.) My daddy’s family always had mayo. And corn bread, of course. A meal for a king. In fact, if we’ve been traveling, the first meal I make when we get home is a big pot of soup beans. 🙂

  6. You can also used a smoked turkey wing or thigh, or smoked chicken in your beans for a smoky flavor. If you have a smoker, buy a bunch of wings or chicken leg quarters on sale. Smoke, using maple or hickory wood, and freeze. Use to flavor beans or greens. I also use liquid smoke sometimes.

  7. I know your family doesn’t eat pork, and sometimes when I don’t have any on hand (which is usually, even though we do eat it occasionally) I use liquid smoke. I used to make green beans all the time 3 or 4 cans cooked down with 5 or 6 strips of bacon. Mmmm delicious! But I very rarely have bacon on hand so i started adding maybe 1/2t liquid smoke and probably the same amount of salt. And boy it’s just as good if not better! This works the same for your pinto beans except only add your salt at the end like you know. You can also add a touch of maple syrup too, you know, reminiscent of some maple smoked bacon!
    Anyway just thought I’d toss that your way.

  8. I don’t know if you knew this already, but I saw someone comment on yellow cake…there is something called Sally Lunn bread that my husband and his family eat with beans a lot. You make it just like cornbread except you use all flour and no cornmeal and use a little more sugar than normal, and it tastes just like cake. So, yellow cake really doesn’t sound that different if you’ve had Sally Lunn bread.

  9. LOL!! Likely not too different! ;D You are also talking about men(both of those same grandfathers) who would eat bologna on wonder white bread, raw onion, and raw tomato with a little salt for lunch with watermelon to follow every single day if possible….oh and don’t forget sweet tea. LOL! …..*sigh*….just writing that makes me hungry! 😀 –S

  10. Kendra, Sounds like you got some good advice on a dear ole Southern Staple!!!! I second the motion on the PRE-SOAK the night before As you said, wash the Pintos good and the next day put plenty of water in the cook pot, and here, we always add some cooking oil at the start of cook time. I don’t think we cook them as long as you mention, as it seems like this would turn them into “mush” but I imagine you cook on a moderate to low heat, right?? Someone mentioned cooking with pork, but I know how you feel about pork, and I would never suggest this. (not healthy either) Teresa says about 4 hours cook time should do it if you PRE-SOAK, You need to check the pot often to be sure you keep enough water to cover the Pintos. Enjoy

  11. Beans, rice and cornbread is our “Poor Man’s” meal each Monday. I do fancy up the (Jiffy) cornbread, though, adding a tablespoon or so of honey as well as a can of corn. It adds a sweetness and texture that is soo good.

  12. I’m the only one that like’s beans in my house, I grew up eating them and think they are great!!

    I cook mine with a piece of country ham or if I am in a pinch some bacon grease.

    My one favorite dinners as a child was Beans, fried potatoes, greens and hot hm bread/rolls and of course green onions on the side!!

  13. I recently discovered a new method for cooking beans. I cook them the way you mention for just under an hour. Then, I put them in a casserole dish (or my roast pan) with just enough water to barely cover them. After 3-4 hours at 300 degrees, they are cooked to perfection. I love this method because I don’t have to watch the pot nearly as much. (I switch water between soaking them, boiling them, and the oven. It reduces gas quite a bit.) I made a giant pan of white beans this way on Sunday and left them in the oven while I went to church. I have been enjoying them all week. 🙂

    As a side note, if you have freezer space, it doesn’t take any more energy to double or triple a batch of beans (provided you have a large enough pot). They freeze well and make for great, quick meals that way.

  14. I grew up eating pinto beans.It’s quite a regular thing here in the south! My grandmother made them all the time in her big green “bean pot” as I called it. I now own that bean pot & I love it, but I mostly use the crockpot for beans.
    I have never heard of putting mayo on beans! I may have to try that! I like adding some of my canned green tomato relish to my bowl of beans. Yummy!
    I also make cowboy beans sometimes. It’s just pinto beans, hamburger meat, onion soup mix, & potatoes.

  15. LOL!! So funny as we are having this tonight!!…great minds my friend..great minds lol! 😀 Ok, so it actually DOES get more southern than this…I almost died when I first met my dear husband’s family. They had beans and cornbread for a lunch, but his grandpa wouldn’t use the cornbread. He said that he had to have yellow cake!!!!! SERIOUSLY…..!!! I told my grandpa who said, “well honey, thats the way to eat it!” Apparently this is something that I missed the memo on b/c it makes me want to throw up, but hey…if the old folks like it there must be something to it right?! lol! :D–S

  16. I mix Pinto beans and white beans together. I made these last night and fried some cornbread to go with them. I also cut up a small sweet onion or have green onions to sprinkle in them. My husband likes a little “kick” to his beans, so I add some white chicken chili spices and it adds great flavor. I have been trying to have a bean supper at least 3 times a month to help with the budget. If I make regular pinto beans, I mash what is left over and make bean and cheese burritos for another meal.

  17. I grew up on this! It’s one of those childhood comfort foods that I make frequently for my own family. Both of my parents are from WV, so we cook our beans with a little diced onion and some sort of pork for seasoning (ham bone, ham hock, leftover fat from a roast…). We serve it in the cooking water – though it’s thick, not soupy – over crumpled up cornbread, too.

    As for the cornbread, I don’t like it sweet. I use 2/3 white cornmeal to 1/3 flour (size of your skillet determines how much you make), mix in a little salt and baking powder and stir it all together with buttermilk. No egg required. The buttermilk makes it heavenly with no crumbling. Oh, it has to be cooked in an iron skillet that has been preheated in a 450 degree oven with just a touch of oil in the bottom. I think I’m going to have to make some for dinner now. :0)

  18. I absolutely love pintos and cornbread, real cornbread that is…not sweet ;-), and usually I serve the pintos over rice (if you have it) so it’s a good food storage meal too! My husband and his family were missionaries in South America for 12 years so he can eat beans and rice for every meal! Thanks for sharing!

  19. i’m from texas and we eat our pintos with salsa and sour cream! and cook them in their own soaking water (helps with the gas issues), a diced onion, and a tablespoon of oil – yum! keep a little of the bean broth to help soften up your leftovers for refritos – refried beans – good with toasted leftover cornbread!

  20. You really don’t need eggs to make cornbread. You are going to crumble it up anyway, right?

    All you need is one cup of cornmeal and almost one cup of buttermilk.

    I usually measure two cups of cornmeal and almost 2 cups of buttermilk. I put about 1/4 cup of oil in my pan and heat that up in the oven for a few minutes while I mix the batter. I pour the hot oil over the batter and stir well. I then pour the batter in the pan and bake at 400 for about 25 minutes or until brown on top.

    Its easy, delicious, and very frugal. Could not be any simpler either. 🙂

    BTW, just found your blog over the weekend and I am loving it!!!

  21. I’m from southern West Virginia, right where WV, KY, and VA meet. So I consider myself a Southerner. 🙂

    Where I grew up, when we make pinto (aka brown) beans, we usually use some sort of pork product for flavor. My Paw-paw used a ham steak with the bone in. We also make cornbread (preferably not sweet). We’ll almost always have fried potatoes, and maybe some fried ham or kilbosa. And in the Spring & Summer, there is NOTHING like eating your pinto beans & cornbread with Lettuce & Onions.

    Lettuce & Onions is basically that. Use a leafy lettuce (not iceburg). Tear it up into pieces. Cut a few green onions. Then, fry some bacon. Crumble it and put over the lettuce & onions and then pour the bacon greese over it all.

    I’m with someone else who has NEVER heard of putting mayo on beans. I’ve heard of sour cream, which is pretty good, but I prefer sour cream with black beans rather than pinto beans.

    Pinto Beans & the Fixin’s = WV Soul Food 🙂

  22. If you have a pressure cooker you can eliminate the 7 hours of simmering. I bring them to a boil for 2 minutes, then take them off the heat and let them sit for at least 2 hours. Then drain them, put them in the pressure cooker, cover with water and add a little oil so it doesn’t foam, put the lid on and turn it on high, when there is a steady stream of steam put the weight on top and when it starts dancing turn it down to about medium high and cook for 18 minutes. Then when that’s done I add onion and some ketchup and mustard for flavor and let it boil just enough to fuse all the flavors together. Those are yummy. The thought of Mayo on pinto beans sounds disgusting, but I might just have to try that anyway. And I always add extra sugar to my cornbread. I hate the regular “southern” cornbread. My mom always called the sweet cornbread “Johnny cake” She’s from the north. 😉

  23. Kendra,
    I soak my beans over night and then start them in the morning in a crock pot. They don’t take as long to cook and there are less gas if you rinse them after the soak, before you cook them.

    Check out Ranch Gordo’s web site. This is a local guy (Napa,CA) who was looking for something to grow for the farmer’s market and decided on heirloom beans. He is now saving endangered varieties around Mexico and South America.

    His Rio Zape beans are amazing, they have essence of chocolate and coffee. They taste great without seasoning. The link below is right to the Rio Zape page.

    Let me know what you think.

  24. We eat cornbread and beans every week at our house. I grew up on it and absolutely love it. I make it a bit more soupy (not enough that it’s like soup, just enough to moisten the cornbread with the beans). After the beans are tender, I very generously add onion powder and garlic salt — delicious!

    If you are looking for a great (and sweet) cornbread recipe, try this one

    It makes a wonderful cornbread, even using fresh ground whole wheat flour and ground popcorn (for the cornmeal).

    • Tracy,

      That’s so funny that you shared that link. I actually printed off Crystal’s cornbread recipe a week or so ago, but haven’t had a chance to try it yet as we are out of honey. It sounds really good though!! I didn’t realize you could grind popcorn for cornmeal… makes sense though. Thank you so much!

  25. we make this all the time, at least once a month. I do things a bit different. I pre-soak my beans overnight to reduce gas, i also season my beans with tons of garlic & diced onions, on occasion pork/bacon fat for seasoning. I serve it with the bean broth as not to loose nutrients too, so its more of a pinto soup to dip the cornbread in. For cornbread I use a sweet buttermilk cornbread recipe. When it comes out of the oven i melt some butter on top and sprinkle it with brown sugar.

    I’ve never heard of eating with mayo, i’m not a fan of mayo though so i’d never think to use that. We follow a TF/NT diet so beans of all kinds are a staple here & i love how cheap they are. Even cheaper if my beans take this year!

    • Heather,

      Melted butter and brown sugar sounds yummy!!! I bet the garlic and onions make a good flavor for the beans too, I’ll have to try that next time. Thanks for sharing how you do it! I figured there must be many different ways that people eat this 😉


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