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Pinto Bean Cakes

This easy Pinto Bean Cakes recipe elevates simple brown beans into something special. It’s an impressive way to stretch leftovers into a delicious round two meal.



Easy Pinto Bean Cakes Recipe

Pinto beans are standard fare in the South. They’re affordable and filling which is incredibly important to keeping the family satisfied and your grocery budget in check. To make this recipe for bean cakes you’ll need a colander to rinse the beans, a large skillet for frying, measuring cups and spoons, a sharp knife and chopping board, a potato masher, mixing bowls and a large plate of shallow dish for the panko breadcrumbs.



How to Make the Best Pinto Bean Cakes Recipe

Thee pinto bean cakes can be served as a side dish, as an entrée or on toasted buns as a sandwich. I like to top them with Southern Chow Chow and sour cream just before serving. You may also like to top them with salsa.

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Pinto Bean Cakes: Cooked pinto beans, crumbled bacon, Creole or Cajun seasoning, butter, chopped red bell pepper and green onions, panko breadcrumbs, all purpose flour, granulated garlic, garlic salt, cayenne pepper or paprika, one large egg and peanut oil or vegetable oil for frying. You can also fry these brown bean cakes in bacon drippings.
  • How do you make fried Pinto Bean Cakes? To make these cakes you begin by rinsing the beans in a colander. Then, cook the red bell pepper and green onions in a large skillet with butter until they begin to soften. Add the drained pintos to the pan cooking just until heated through. Remove from the heat and use a potato masher or a fork to mash the beans, adding the seasonings, egg, flour and half of the breadcrumbs to the mixture stirring until fully combined. Add the bacon if using and mix it all together.
  • Shape the pinto bean mixture into even size cakes and coat on all sides with panko breadcrumbs. Fry them over medium high heat for round 2 minutes per side, adjusting the time according to the thickness.
  • Different Creole and Cajun seasoning blends have varying amounts of sodium. Adjust the amount of salt used in the recipe depending on the brand you use.
  • It’s also important to take into consideration how the pinto beans were seasoned. If they were heavily salted, you may want to omit salt or taste and adjust to your personal preference.
  • You can make the pinto bean mixture ahead of time and chill in the refrigerator up to one day in advance. Shape into cakes and coat with breadcrumbs just before frying.
  • Store leftover pinto bean cakes in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave. Please note, the panko breadcrumb coating will soften once chilled.


Other Southern Style Recipes Using Beans to Make

Beans are a regular rotation in my kitchen in various forms and flavors.  More recipes using beans you may like to try:




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5 from 3 votes

Pinto Bean Cakes

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time8 minutes
Total Time18 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy-pinto-beans-recipe, pinto-bean-cakes-recipe
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 136kcal


  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 2 15 oz cans pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp Cajun or Creole seasoning
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt adjust to taste
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne or paprika
  • 1 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs OR fresh breadcrumbs divided use
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled (optional)
  • peanut or vegetable oil for frying


  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt butter with red bell pepper and green onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes or just until the bell pepper has softened.
  • To the skillet add beans, Creole seasoning, granulated garlic, garlic salt and onion powder.. Cook for 2-4 minutes just until the beans are heated through.
  • Remove from heat and mash together using a potato masher or fork. Let cool slightly.
  • Next, add 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs, flour, egg and bacon. Mix well
  • Form into 8-10 even bean cakes about 1/2 inch thick. Coat on all sides with reserved bread crumbs.
  • Drizzle a large skillet with oil. Cook beans cakes over medium-high heat for 2 minutes per side or until golden. If frying in batches, wipe skillet clean between each batch.
  • Serve warm with topped with sour cream and Southern Chow Chow.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 136kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 334mg | Potassium: 97mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 505IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!



  1. 5 stars
    I’m a little confused. In the heading for the recipe you show 8 servings. In the recipe you instruct to make 10 bean cakes. The nutrition values are estimated per serving. Did you just toss the other two or is the nutrition based on 10 instead of 8?

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