Difference Between Black Beans and Pinto Beans

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 05, 2023


Difference Between Black Beans and Pinto Beans

Why read @ Diffzy

Our articles are well-researched

We make unbiased comparisons

Our content is free to access

We are a one-stop platform for finding differences and comparisons

We compare similar terms in both tabular forms as well as in points


Black and Pinto beans are healthy, almost fat-free, and delicious. No wonder people love them so much. Some people plan their daily diets meticulously, which means they need to know what each item they eat offers. Deciding between black and pinto beans can be daunting, as both offer nearly the same nutrition. Therefore, the choice usually depends on the dishes people want to include in their diet.

Pinto beans and black beans are varieties of the common bean. However, the former is known as frijoles pintos in Spanish and poroto fruitilla in South America, whereas the latter is known as frijoles negros in Spanish feijão preto in Portuguese, and karuppu kaaramani in Tamil. Black beans are preferred in vegetable dishes, as they gain a meaty flavor without having to add meat. How cool is it to not be able to eat meat but still experience its taste? Pinto beans were a staple food in Southern America, especially in winter.

Black Beans Vs. Pinto Beans

The significant difference between black and pinto beans is their texture. Black beans have a firm, dense structure that can hold up at high temperatures where other beans would become mushy. Pinto beans have a thin, tender, and creamy texture. A black bean's texture is likened to a mushroom’s, whereas a pinto bean’s texture is similar to a boiled potato's (as it has a soft consistency).

Difference Between Black Beans And Pinto Beans In Tabular Form

Parameters of ComparisonBlack BeansPinto Beans
Appearance and SizeBlack beans are small, sturdy, and oval-shaped. They are glossy black with white interiors. Their average length is 18 inch.Pinto beans are larger than black beans and have distinctive light brown spots. These beans turn pinkish when cooked, and their average length is 14 inch.
TasteThey have a dense, rich, meaty, and slightly sweet flavor. The black beans’ flavor/taste is more intense than the pinto beans.They have a creamy, nutty, and earthy flavor. Pinto beans have a comparatively milder flavor.
NutritionBlack beans are high in fiber and plant-based protein that help reduce the chances of acquiring chronic disease. Moreover, their magnesium content is slightly higher than in the pinto beans.Pinto beans contain thiamine (vitamin B1), which aids in converting food into energy. Moreover, they contain phytoestrogen coumestrol, which provides a variety of health benefits.
CuisineThese beans form an integral part of Latin American cuisine and are also predominantly used in Cajun, Creole, and Indian (especially Tamil) cuisines.These beans are used in Mexican, American continental, and Brazilian cuisines.
DishesBlack beans are used to make soups, feijoada, stews, gallo pinto, pabellon criollo, and dips.Pinto beans are used to make spreads, burrito fillings, re-fried beans, wraps, chili, and tacos.

What Are Black Beans?

People have been eating black beans since 7000 years ago. Black turtle beans (named so because of their hard outer shell) are the most popular among the black bean varieties. The other types are Domino, Black Magic, Blackhawk, Raven, and Condor. Black beans are sold in dry or canned form at the grocery stores. People using dried beans need to soak them overnight or about 6 – 8 hours before using them to cook.

Canned black beans only need to be rinsed and heated before use; they do not have to soak overnight. Black beans may be cooked the traditional way, that is, be boiled (takes about one to two hours), or they may be pureed or baked. Baked beans pair well with barbequed ribs and hot dogs. Some prefer to pressure-cook black beans, while others prefer to slow-cook them. Both processes involve covering the beans with water for about one inch. However, the speed of cooking differs. Pressure cooking takes about 45 minutes, whereas the slow cooking method involves cooking the beans (with seasonings if required) for 6 – 8 hours on low heat in the slow cooker.

The dried black beans must always be stored in an airtight container, and the storage area must have a temperature below 75 degrees Celsius. This method will help them have a long shelf life without any deterioration in their quality. On the other hand, cooked beans will not last more than 3 – 4 days even if refrigerated in airtight containers.

However, they last up to three (after that, their texture changes) to six months when stored in freezers. So, it would be for the best if people buy large quantities of black beans only if they are not prone to forgetting about their existence for months (it is shocking how many long-forgotten groceries can be found when one digs into the storage cupboard or pantry’s back). People may try adding 1 - 112 tablespoon of white vinegar (for one pound) to the frozen whole beans to keep them from splitting.

Various Dishes In Which Black Beans Can Be Used

Black beans can be used as an ingredient in many dishes, as it improves the flavor and texture. The following are the dishes that increase in deliciousness when black beans are added:

  • The simplest way to incorporate black beans into one’s diet is to mix them with rice. Other ingredients like vegetables, spices, or meat may be added to experiment with the flavor.
  • It is a common practice to mix cooked black beans with egg and serve for breakfast. Alternatively, they may be served alongside tortillas, eggs, and rice.
  • Burger patties taste even better when the black bean is an ingredient. Even meat lovers who look down their noses at vegetable burgers will have a hard time resisting them (however, Dean Winchester may prove to be an exception).
  • Black bean soups are not only healthy but also filling. They are even more flavorful when additional ingredients like meat or vegetables, herbs, and spices are added.
  • Gallo pinto (means spotted rooster in Spanish) is a delicious traditional dish prepared with black beans and rice as the base. Bell pepper, coriander, garlic, and chopped onions are added to the base and cooked. A variation of this dish called Valle Central is available in Costa Rica. Valle Central is moister, less greasy, and includes chili and Lizano sauce in addition to the traditional seasonings.
  • These beans are also a popular choice when making salads, casseroles, enchiladas, dips, and quesadillas.

Health Benefits Of Black Beans

Type 2 diabetes patients may potentially benefit from eating black beans because a considerable amount of polyphenols, one of which is anthocyanins. They help improve cell response to insulin. These anthocyanins are present in the beans’ seed coats and are responsible for their color. The flavonoids present in black beans, such as quercetin, catechin, and myricetin help protect the heart. Moreover, the saponin compounds present in black beans aid in lowering cholesterol.

Intake of black beans as part of one’s diet leads to muscle relaxation within blood vessels. However, there is a drawback to eating black beans. As in most legumes, black beans contain antinutrients that impair digestion. But here is the thing, people can significantly reduce the effects of these antinutrients by soaking and boiling the beans.

How To Grow Black Beans?

Black beans grow well in warm weather; therefore, it is recommended to plant the seeds in spring. That way, they will be ready for harvest in late summer (these beans take around three to four months to mature). Planting black beans in garden beds that get a lot of sunshine helps them thrive.

Fortunately, these beans do not require much maintenance as long as people remember to water them. People could try threatening the plants like Crowley in The Good Omens; however, that will not prevent the beans from dying off when not tended to. After three months, it is time to check the bean pods. If they rattle when shaken, the beans are ready for harvest.

What Are Pinto Beans?

Pinto beans are nicknamed painted beans due to their color. They are the most sought-after bean variety in Mexico, as they are the most popular filling for tacos and burritos (yummy!). The Brazilian name of pinto beans is feijão carioca; they were named after a pig breed that resembles their color (it is weird how names come to be).

Types Of Pinto Beans

Burke, Hidatsa, and Othello are some well-known pinto bean varieties. However, there are other types of pinto beans, and they are as follows:

Quincy – This variety emerged in the mid-2000s. Quincy grows well in compact soil with minimal nutrients and requires occasional watering. They yield better than Burke and Othello varieties.

Santa Fe – Michigan University developed this variety (they created a new variety, cool!). Santa Fe is one of the high-yield varieties and is better at avoiding diseases that attack most beans. The reason for its resilience is its upright, short vines.

Kodiak – Another variety created by Michigan University. Kodiaks are low-maintenance, disease-resistant beans that look similar to the Othello variety.

Maverick – This bean variety (yes, maverick is a bean variety; stop thinking about Tom Cruise.) is found in the Northern Great Plains (part of the US). Mavericks mature quickly similar to Santa Fe, and yield better than the Othello bean variety.

Alava – They are referred to as red pinto beans. Their origin can be traced to Basque, Spain; they spread to other parts of the world later on.

Grand Mesa – The Colorado State University created this variety (looks like Michigan University has tough competition). Grand Mesa is mold-resistant; therefore, these beans can be grown even in regions with mold problems.

Othello is the most widely cultivated pinto bean variety. It has given rise to many hybrid varieties. Burke is a variety developed from Othello with higher virus resistance, a stronger root system, and better yield.

Popular Dishes Featuring Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are used in multiple cuisines; therefore, they feature as an ingredient in numerous dishes. Some of the popular ones are as follows:

  • Smoky Chicken Stew with Kale and Pinto Beans – skinless chicken breast, chicken broth, pinto beans, kale, lime juice, chopped cilantro, onion, virgin olive oil, and seasonings come together to form this amazing dish.
  • Chicken Chili Verde – pinto beans, skinless chicken thighs, yellow onion, poblano peppers, garlic, spinach, salsa verde, corn kernels, cilantro, and sour cream are used in this recipe.
  • Bean Burgers with Spicy Guacamole – These bean burgers have a pleasant crunch and an intense, delicious flavor due to the addition of smoked paprika, cumin, and guacamole.
  • Bean and Beef Taco Soup – This soup’s toppings are the best thing about it. What’s more, it is easy to prepare, and leftovers may be frozen (does one need another reason to love this soup?).
  • Sweet Potato Fritters with Smoky Pinto Beans – These potato fritters have a tender and chewy inside and a crispy crust. The pinto beans are seasoned using smoked paprika or chili powder.

Health Benefits Of Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are free of cholesterol and have low-fat content. Moreover, they contain carbs, fiber, protein, vitamins, and several minerals that make them extremely nutritious. The following are the health benefits of eating pinto beans:

  • Pinto beans help make good bacteria in people’s bodies stronger. A fiber-rich diet will aid proper digestion, sugar control, and better functioning of the heart.
  • These beans are rich in kaempferol, a flavonoid that lowers the chances of strokes.
  • Magnesium and potassium – minerals these beans contain – help prevent high blood pressure, which in turn reduces the chances of heart disease.
  • Pinto beans are rich in fiber and protein. That means people will feel fuller for longer and reduce their food intake (looks like eating these beans makes it possible to lose weight healthy without experiencing any of those nasty side effects most other solutions cause).

Main Difference Between Black Beans And Pinto Beans (In Points)

  • Black beans need to be cooked for a longer time than pinto beans. Frankly, most people who seem to set fire to the kitchen anytime they enter it will be better off with pinto beans. The lesser the time one has to spend time in the kitchen, the lesser the scale of the disaster, right?
  • Pinto beans do not lose their color when cooked; they only take on a pinkish sheen. On the other hand, black beans lose some of their color when cooked.
  • Black beans originated in Central America and spread to other countries in the 15th century, whereas pinto beans originated in Peru.
  • Pinto beans are a much more popular ingredient than black beans in chili corn carne.
  • Black beans are suitable for recipes that require the beans to retain their texture and shape, whereas pinto beans are suitable for recipes that need creamy, easy-to-spread beans.


Put briefly, black and pinto beans are extremely healthy and have nearly the same amount of nutrients. However, their texture and taste make them suitable for making different dishes. Therefore, people may pick one based on what they are in the mood for – soups taste better with black beans, whereas burritos are exceptionally tasty with pinto bean fillings.

Sometimes, people may find themselves tempted to switch black beans with pinto beans or vice versa. Know what they must do at those times? Resist, because the taste will differ and the dish won’t look enticing enough to make one’s mouth water. As most people require their food to look appetizing, it is best to stick to the type of beans the recipe calls for.


  • https://www.keepingthepeas.com/black-beans-vs-pinto-beans/#texture-of-black-beans-vs-pinto-beans
  • https://www.lacademie.com/black-beans-vs-pinto-beans/
  • https://www.savorysuitcase.com/black-beans-vs-pinto-beans/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinto_bean
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_turtle_bean
  • https://www.thespruceeats.com/black-bean-history-1807569
  • https://www.instacart.com/company/ideas/black-beans-all-you-need-to-know/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallo_pinto
  • https://minnetonkaorchards.com/pinto-beans/
  • https://www.eatingwell.com/gallery/8029648/pinto-bean-recipes/
  • https://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/275729/bean-beef-taco-soup/
  • https://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/252465/bean-burgers-with-spicy-guacamole/
  • https://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/269830/chicken-chili-verde/
  • https://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/7887013/smoky-chicken-stew-with-kale-pinto-beans/


Cite this article

Use the citation below to add this article to your bibliography:



MLA Style Citation

"Difference Between Black Beans and Pinto Beans." Diffzy.com, 2024. Fri. 19 Jul. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-black-beans-and-pinto-beans>.

Edited by

Share this article