What Goes Well with Pinto Beans (10 Delicious Sides to try))

Finding the perfect side dish to compliment your pinto beans can be a daunting task. It seems like every time you search for ideas online, you get a million different results with no clear consensus on what is the best thing to serve.

I know just how you feel. I’ve been trying to come up with a good side dish pairing for pinto beans for months now, and I’ve had no luck. Every option I’ve tried has either been too bland or too overpowering.

But don’t worry, I’m here to help. In this article, I list some of my favorite things to serve with pinto beans and explain what flavors pair well with this hearty dish. So whether you’re looking for something simple or something a little more complex, these should do.

Side dishes for pinto beans

  1. Fried chicken
  2. Cornbread
  3. Meatloaf
  4. Ham
  5. Mac and cheese
  6. Mashed potatoes
  7. Fried okra
  8. Fried apples
  9. Quesadillas
  10. Sweet tea

Fried chicken

Fried chicken is a classic crowd-pleaser, and for good reason. The tender, juicy meat pairs perfectly with the crunchy exterior, making it a delicious and satisfying dish.

However, fried chicken also happens to be an excellent side dish for pinto beans. The two dishes complement each other perfectly, with the fried chicken providing a nice contrast to the more hearty beans. Additionally, the beans help to round out the meal, making it a more balanced and nutritious option.


Cornbread is a delicious southern classic that goes great as a side dish for pinto beans. It is moist and slightly sweet, with a dense texture that makes it filling and satisfying. The corn kernels in the bread add a pleasant crunch, while the buttery flavor complements the earthiness of the beans.

When served warm, cornbread and pinto beans make a perfect pairing that is sure to please any appetite. So next time you’re looking for a delicious side dish, reach for some cornbread and enjoy a classic southern favorite.


Meatloaf is one of those classic American comfort foods that just seem to hit the spot. It’s hearty and filling, but can also be light and flavorful. And when paired with a simple side dish like pinto beans, it makes for a perfect meal.

The key to making a great meatloaf is to use fresh ingredients and to get the ratio of beef to breadcrumbs just right. I like to add a little bit of ketchup and Worcestershire sauce for extra flavor, and then bake it until it’s nice and crusty on the outside but still moist in the center.

Meatloaf is best served hot out of the oven, so make sure your pinto beans are ready to go when the meatloaf comes out of the oven!


Ham goes well as a side dish for pinto beans because the flavors complement each other nicely. The saltiness of the ham pairs well with the earthiness of the beans, and the two dishes together create a well-rounded meal.

Ham is also a versatile side dish, as it can be served hot or cold. If you’re short on time, you can simply slice some ham and serve it alongside your pinto beans. However, if you have a little bit more time, you can cook the ham in the oven or on the stovetop until it’s nice and crispy.

Mac and cheese

There’s nothing quite like a big bowl of mac and cheese, and it just so happens to be an excellent side dish for pinto beans. The creamy pasta pairs perfectly with the earthy beans, and the cheese adds a nice richness to the dish.

For an extra-special mac and cheese, I like to add a little bit of bacon or sausage. The meat helps to balance out the flavors and makes for a heartier meal. If you’re looking for a truly indulgent side dish, this is it.

Mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a great side dish for pinto beans. They are simple to make, and the combination of mashed potatoes and beans is a great way to get your protein and carbohydrates in one meal. The cheese and corn add flavor and texture to the mashed potatoes, and the bread crumbs give them a little bit of crunch. Mashed potatoes are also a good source of fiber, which can help to regulate digestion.

Fried okra

Fried okra is a popular side dish in the South, and it goes especially well with pinto beans. The okra is usually cut into bite-sized chunks and then coated with a batter before being fried. This gives the okra a crunchy exterior that contrasts well with the soft interior.

Fried okra can be served as is or with a dip such as a ranch dressing or barbecue sauce. Regardless of how it is enjoyed, fried okra is a delicious way to round out a meal.

Fried apples

Fried apples are the perfect side dish for pinto beans. These sweet treats complement the savory beans, and they’re super easy to make. Just slice up some apples, add a little butter, sugar, and cinnamon, and fry them in a hot skillet.

The result is a deliciously sweet and savory combo that goes great with pinto beans. So next time you’re looking for a side dish, try out fried apples.


Quesadillas make a great side dish for pinto beans because they are quick and easy to make, and they can be customized to include a variety of different ingredients. They can be made with beef, chicken, shrimp, or vegetables, and they are often served with salsa, sour cream, or guacamole.

Quesadillas are a delicious and versatile option that is sure to please everyone at the table.

Sweet tea

Sweet tea is a classic Southern drink made with black tea, sugar, and mint. Ice is typically added to chill the drink so that you have a refreshing side to wash down the beans.

Sweet tea goes well as a side dish for pinto beans because the sugar in the drink helps to balance out the savory flavor of the beans. The mint in sweet tea also helps to freshen the palate and makes it an ideal accompaniment for a hearty dish like pinto beans. Sweet tea is a refreshing and flavorful drink that can make any meal more enjoyable.

Frequently Asked Questions

What meat goes great with pinto beans?

Pinto beans are a versatile dish, and they can be paired with a variety of different meats. Ham is a popular choice, as it pairs well with the earthy flavor of the beans. Other good options include sausage, bacon, and chicken.

How can you spice up pinto beans?

One way to spice up pinto beans is to add a variety of different seasonings. Chili powder, cumin, and garlic are all great options that will give the beans a flavorful kick.

Another way to add flavor is by using different types of meat. Ham, bacon, and sausage are all good choices that will add smoky and salty flavors to the beans.

How can I make pinto beans?

The easiest way to make pinto beans is to simply simmer them in a pot of water until they are soft. You can add salt, pepper, and other seasonings to enhance the flavor.

If you want to add a bit more flavor to the beans, you can also cook them in a saucepan with some olive oil or bacon grease. This will give the beans a richer flavor that is perfect for a hearty meal.


By this point, you should’ve already have a good idea what goes well with pinto beans. These are just some of the delicious options that you can serve alongside this fantastic dish. So next time you’re looking for a side, remember to consider these delectable choices. Thanks for reading! I hope this has been helpful.

What Goes Well with Pinto Beans (10 Delicious Sides to try)

We have 10 versatile recipe recommendations that pair perfectly with your meal.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 390 kcal


  • Fried chicken
  • Cornbread
  • Meatloaf
  • Ham
  • Mac and cheese
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Fried okra
  • Fried apples
  • Quesadillas
  • Sweet tea


  • Choose your preferred recipe
  • Prepare the ingredients needed to complete the recipe
  • Prepare your side dish
Keyword Pinto Bean, Refried Pinto bean