Pinto beans are a staple of Southern cuisine.
This makes sense since they grow well in the South’s warm, humid climate.
They’re also very affordable and easy to prepare.
If you have some pinto beans on hand, it’s not hard at all to come up with a delicious side dish that will go nicely with them.
This blog post is a compilation of 11 side dishes that go well with pinto beans.
These ideas are perfect for dinner parties, tailgating, or just family dinners.
What To Serve With Pinto Beans – 11 BEST Side Dishes
Pinto beans are a great side dish to serve at dinner parties, tailgating events, or family dinners.
Even though they don’t need anything added to them for flavor (they are just beans, after all), some people like having options and variety when it comes to side dishes.
And if you want to serve something that complements the beans well, there are many different options.
1 – Greek Salad
The potential to serve Greek salad with pinto beans is a great option.
Greek salad typically consists of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta cheese, and an olive oil-based dressing.
This pairing will work well for those who want to serve something light and refreshing.
Paired together, these items can create a delicious Mediterranean-inspired meal that people are sure to enjoy.
The ingredients in the dish compliment each other exceptionally well because they all have similar textures: crunchy vegetables (lettuce), smooth and creamy cheeses (feta), or sauces (olive oil).
It also offers more of a salty taste than sweet, which means it pairs nicely with the savory flavor of pinto beans.
Its tangy, light and fresh flavors are perfect highlights of the heaviness of this bean-based meal.
2 – Jalapeño Cornbread
Jalapeño Cornbread is a tasty, spicy side dish that can be savored on its own or served alongside your favorite foods.
This recipe is perfect for potlucks, picnics, or a summer picnic at the beach.
It’s also an excellent idea to make this part of a Thanksgiving dinner menu.
No need to worry about being left hungry after devouring one too many helping of mashed potatoes and green beans when you have Jalapeño Cornbread is waiting in the wings.
With just 10 minutes of prep time, this sweet jalapeno cornbread will be ready to serve with your favorite pinto beans or chili.
The addition of cayenne pepper in the mix lends an added spice that sets it apart from other easy recipes for cornbread.
3 – Garlic Mashed Potatoes
It’s time for comfort food. So naturally, garlic mashed potatoes are one of the most popular sides.
But, of course, if you’re cooking pinto beans, then it’s the perfect complement.
The flavors will blend beautifully together for an unforgettable dining experience.
Garlic is so versatile that there are many ways to enjoy your favorite dishes with its delicious taste.
They’re also creamy but not too heavy on calories, so you don’t feel guilty about eating more than one.
Moreover, they can pair with many other foods.
Garlic mashed potatoes are delicious with turkey, beef roast, ham, and even a grilled steak.
4 – Vegetable Casserole
Casseroles are a great way to use up leftovers and to get vegetables into your diet.
This dish is full of healthy veggies, including zucchini, onion, and parsnips.
You can use leftover cooked vegetables or steam some fresh ones.
The flavorful cheese sauce is an excellent base for either option, and it also works well as a side dish with steamed broccoli or other green veggies.
Consider adding some chopped bell peppers, celery or carrots, and onion if they’re not there yet from other dishes, along with buttery croutons (or breadcrumbs) and shredded cheese like Cheddar or Monterey Jack.
5 – Kale Salad
You can’t miss a kale salad. It’s loaded with flavor, and just about every household has the ingredients on hand to whip up this dish in an instant.
Kale is also one of those greens that will keep you feeling full at mealtime because it contains fewer calories than other leafy lettuce like spinach or romaine lettuce.
The essential flavors are citrusy and spicy from lime juice and red pepper flakes, respectively, which complement each other nicely.
When combined with avocado chunks in place of cheese, this fresh green vegetable becomes an excellent source of healthy fats that can help regulate cholesterol levels.
6 – Dijon Asparagus
Another veggie that pairs well with beans is asparagus.
It only takes a few minutes to cook and goes beautifully on the plate next to the pinto bean dish you might be making.
The versatility doesn’t stop there, though.
The asparagus also makes a great side dish for chicken or fish, and you can use it in soups as well.
There are so many ways you can use up this versatile veggie with beans.
You can make Dijon Asparagus by cutting the asparagus into bite-sized pieces, lightly drizzling them in olive oil, sprinkling salt and pepper on top before baking at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 12 minutes total – or until they’re tender but crisp (taste one).
In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, honey, vinegar, and red wine vinegar.
Once it is thoroughly combined, pour the mixture over baked asparagus and toss to coat.
Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves before serving.
7 – Creamy Rice Pilaf
Let’s forget about the idea of plain rice.
If you want to impress your guests, you’re going to need a fresh approach.
This Creamy Rice Pilaf recipe is so simple and tastes great with just about any main dish.
It’s made by cooking rice in broth and then stirring in butter, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese at the end to make it creamy without being overly heavy.
The resulting pilaf has a nice lemony flavor that pairs well with savory dishes like grilled steak or roasted chicken and more delicate flavors like fresh green vegetables.
To make a flavorful creamier version of this pilaf, stir in an additional tablespoon of butter or cream cheese at the end.
8 – Baked Apples
A simple yet classic side dish that never disappoints is baked apples.
Baked in a tangy cinnamon-almond sauce, these apples are sure to be a hit for those who love sweet and savory dishes.
They are versatile enough to be served with any meal but are especially good when accompanying pork dishes.
The best part about serving these apples is that you can customize how much cinnamon goes into it, adding another level of personal taste.
You can also use any apple, although tart ones are best as they have a more flavorful sauce.
9 – Potato and Tomato Gratin
Potatoes are a versatile vegetable, and you can combine them with other vegetables to create a fantastic side dish.
Here potatoes are layered with fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, and thyme to make a delicious gratin dish that will go beautifully alongside any meat or vegetable.
With its creamy layers of potatoes in between crusty bread crumbs with chunks of tomatoes mixed throughout, it’s sure to be an instant family favorite.
The most common toppings include bacon bits, shredded cheddar cheese, bread crumbs mixture, and parsley.
10 – Cilantro Lime Rice
The recipe of cilantro lime rice is a hit for many dishes, and it’s easy to make.
The spices used are simple.
You can purchase cilantro leaves from any grocery store or Mexican market (although you could also grow your own).
You’ll need white long-grain rice, olive oil spray, salt & pepper, cilantro leaves, lime juice.
It makes for the perfect light lunch or dinner accompaniment because you cook this recipe in one pot, then let it sit while you prepare your main course – all that’s left to do when serving time comes around is reheat and mix.
I love how flavorful yet refreshingly cool this soothing bowl of goodness is.
Give it a try, and you’ll be back for more.
11 – Black Beans and Rice with Avocado
Whether you’re a vegetarian or just looking for an alternative to the traditional ham and Swiss, this dish is a winner.
It’s also healthy, easy to make, tastes delicious when mixed with the right ingredients.
Black beans are a great source of protein and are low in cholesterol, so they’re a fantastic meat-free option for your next meal.
It can be served as an appetizer or main course, but this dish is most commonly enjoyed alongside rice and avocado with the beans on top to maximize flavor.
Rice adds complex carbohydrates to optimize digestion, while avocados provide healthy fats which help stabilize blood sugar levels.
The mixture also includes cilantro (a herb) because it’s delicious when cooked.
Pinto beans are a great, inexpensive way to make a meal.
They are easy to prepare and can be served with any side dish you want.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the 11 best side dishes to serve with pinto beans.
If any of these recipes are new or unfamiliar, we encourage you to try them out because they might become your favorite.
So, which one will be the first dish on your menu this week?