Take Pinto Beans to the Next Level With These Add-Ins

Pinto beans are nutrient-dense and make for a fantastic side dish for a cookout or Taco Tuesday. But without the right seasoning, your pinto beans can taste bland, causing you and your guests to miss out on all that satiating fiber!

Pinto beans soak up seasonings, so make sure you're pairing the fiber-rich legume with the right spices! (Image: fcafotodigital/iStock/GettyImages)

Luckily, Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, RD at Tracy Nutrition, has three healthy seasonings for you to try. Not only will these options give your taste buds some variety but they have some added health benefits, too!

Read more: The Side Effects of Beans

Pinto Bean Seasoning Options

  1. Scallions: Scallions will give your pinto beans some crunch in contrast to the softer bean texture, says Beckerman. Not to mention, scallions will provide the body with a dose of antioxidants.

    How to incorporate them: Finely chop up three scallions, discarding the white stems, Beckerman recommends. Mix the scallions with cooked pinto beans 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

  2. Fresh Lemon Zest: This option adds a citrus flavor to your pinto beans. Simply sprinkle some lemon zest to brighten the pinto beans up and squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top for an added bonus of immune boosting vitamin C, Beckerman says.

    How to incorporate it: Grate one tablespoon of lemon zest from a fresh lemon. Squeeze out two tablespoons of lemon juice and mix with the prepared pinto beans at least 30 minutes before serving.

  3. Turmeric: Mix your pinto beans with a few dashes of turmeric, advises Beckerman. Not only will this contribute a unique flavor but will also lend the beans some anti-inflammatory properties.

    How to incorporate it: Simply add two tablespoons of ground turmeric to your prepared pinto beans 5 to 10 minutes before you serve.

Read more: Benefits of Turmeric Powder

Serving Your Pinto Beans

Pinto beans make a great side dish at any cookout or barbecue. Beckerman advises pairing your beans with vitamin C-rich foods to enhance the absorption of iron from the beans. Go for foods like broccoli, tomato or peppers, she recommends.

You can even make your pinto beans the main attraction by adding a protein to the dish. Beckerman suggests that adding some pulled pork, shredded chicken, quinoa or edamame for a balanced meal.

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