Simple Jalapeño Pinto Beans and Cornbread

I use to always love talking to my grandmother about food.  We would talk about all the new recipes we’ve tried and others we wanted to still make.  I vividly remember one day telling her about how I had just made Chicken and Rice casserole but with my own homemade condensed soups.  She looked at me like I had lost my mind and said, “Melody, WHY would you ever do that?  Don’t you ever just make anything simple?”

I laughed and said, “Well of course Mayme I make Pinto Beans and Cornbread all the time.”


She tossed her hands up in the air and said, “Aw Foot!”

My grandpa then chimed in from the living room and said, “I like Pinto Beans and Cornbread!”

To me Pinto Beans and Cornbread is simple food at its finest and truly is one of my favorite meals to eat. In fact I eat this so often that I almost always double the recipe for the beans and freeze the leftovers which make the perfect refried beans!

This recipe is my simplest recipe for Pinto Beans and can be made with as much spice and garlic as you like.  The pictures you see are a doubled recipe (for the beans) but I supplied the recipe for a single batch followed by my Great Grandmothers Cornbread Recipe.


And Cheers to the Simple Things in Life!


Jalapeño Pinto Beans


1 Pound Dried Pinto Beans

1 Ham Hock (if you can find it get a smoked ham hock)

2 Jalapeños, split lengthwise

1 Onion, peeled and left whole

Garlic, as much as you like 🙂

Black Pepper, to taste

Salt, to taste



6-8 hours before cooking (or overnight) sort through the beans and remove any discolored beans or pebbles. Soak the beans in about 8 cups of water for 6-8 hours.

After the beans have soaked drain and rinse the beans.  In a large pot bring 8 cups of water, ham hock, jalapeños, garlic, the onion, and black pepper to a rolling boil (DO NOT ADD THE SALT YET).  Add in the soaked pinto beans, and reduce heat to low and simmer with the lid ajar for 1 hour.  Occasionally stir and check to see if more water is needed, you want the beans to have plenty of liquid.  After one hour taste the beans to see if they are tender if so add salt to taste, (I usually add about a Tablespoon of Kosher Salt) and simmer for another 15 minutes.

If the beans still have a bit of a bite to them cook them for another 15 minutes then add the salt and simmer for another 15 minutes.


Serve the beans sprinkled with a little cheddar cheese and top with a little fresh pico de gallo along with a big hunk of cornbread.


Great-Grandmother Longs Cornbread


3/4 Cup White Cornmeal

1-1/2 Tablespoons Flour

1/2 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda

1 Cup Buttermilk

2 Tablespoons Bacon drippings (or shortening )


Preheat oven to 450 degree along with a 8 inch heavy cast-iron skillet.

Sift dry ingredients into a bowl.  Stir in the buttermilk.  Add the drippings into a VERY hot skillet and then pour in the batter.  Bake at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes until browned.

**Note: The “Egg” Debate

My Great Grandmother Longs cornbread recipe originally doesn’t call for an egg.  But when my Grandmother would make this she would sometimes whisk 1 egg in with the buttermilk… So whisk in 1 egg if you like.

Posted by

My name is Melody and I am the cook and blogger behind Meals With Mel. I have a love for traveling, I share a joy for gardening, and I have a passion for cooking. Although I do some baking, I don't consider myself a baker as I can't stand having to measure. When it comes to cooking my philosophy is add a bit of this, a dash of that, a splash of something doesn't hurt, never forget some type of pepper and always add at least one clove of garlic. Thanks for stopping by my Spicy Texas Kitchen and I hope to see you again!!! Melody

29 thoughts on “Simple Jalapeño Pinto Beans and Cornbread

    1. Thanks Tonya!!
      I agree it really is a hard combination to beat. Plus you can feed yourself for day at a cost of practically nothing. Got to love it! Hope all is going well on the farm and everyone is staying nice and cool!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad everyone is doing well on the farm I can only imagine what it’s like trying to stay cool out there with a fur coat on…. Or feathers for that matter 🙂 Its very hot here but that’s just August in Texas. I’m ready for winter ❄️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I can totally picture the chickens playing in the sprinkler!! After record setting heat the on Friday (it reached 108 at DFW Airport) a cold front blew through and now we are in the 80’s! Which never happens in Texas in August 🙂 Fall isn’t too far away now!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Reblogged this on fourth generation farmgirl and commented:
    I hope you will read and try this wonderful recipe from my friend and blogger, Melody. She is the fantastic cook behind the blog, Meals With Mel. Melody creates the most beautiful and delicious dishes; however, she also treasures the simply tastes and heirloom recipes that she grew up with as a child. That’s one of the things I love about Melody and her blog.

    As Southerns, Melody and I have similar memories of enjoying time spent with grandparents and family as well as an appreciation for Southern cuisine. That’s why I wanted to share her latest gem: a lovely twist on the delicious and comforting combination of pinto beans and cornbread. A dish that’s immensely satisfying and always good! I hope you enjoy Melody’s post and be sure to visit her at Meals With Meal.

    Have a great day! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aww Mel, we are sisters from another mother! I made pretty much the same recipe for my parents while they were here visiting, they left this morning, whew! The only difference this time is I used some fresh black-peppered bacon I had on hand since I didn’t have a ham hock, which I usually use, and pressure cooked the beans. (They take FOREVER at our high-altitude!) I make my own home-made cream-of sauces too, I can’t stand the canned stuff anymore even though I was raised on it. xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I always kinda thought we were like sisters too Kathryn 🙂 I love beans and sometimes use bacon instead of a ham hock too. Cooking beans to me is always about what I have on hand. I cooked beans in a pressure cooker once and it scared the daylights out of me…. I was constantly afraid it was going to explode or something. It didn’t. Hope you had a great time with your parents!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. These beans looks scrumptious Melody!! I used to do refried pintos from scratch when we lived in Spain (no Mexican food there in those days!)– but haven’t done it since. But your beans looks worth the time it takes! Your grandparents sound like they were so dear. Happy end of summer… xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always enjoy hearing about your time in Spain Rhonda. I would love to see Spain someday soon 🙂 Beans take a little time but they are totally worth it. Happy end of summer to you too!!!


      1. I think you’d love Spain Melody (except for the lack of Mexican food!)– So beautiful and history all around. And all those lovely tapas and things to drink… hugs.


  4. A lovely story in this cool post. Because I am not an American & I,am not used in eating cornbread & still don’t really like it it still all looks really Yummy.


    1. Hahaha!! Yeah I guess we just are use to the heat here in Texas and have VERY good AC 🙂 WE actually just had a cold front blow through and it’s going to be in the 80’s for the next week…. I think I’ll turn on the fire place tonight. Good to hear form you Teresa 🙂 stay cool!!


    1. Thanks for the little note Rhonda 🙂
      Yeah things have been super busy here in Texas. I’ve been meaning to work on some new recipes but I’ve been a little sick (just allergies really) and can’t smell or taste anything which makes cooking a bit of a challenge. Ah well life will be back to normal soon and I’ll be back too 🙂
      Hope all is going well in California and with all of your family!!


      1. Thanks Melody– just been thinking about you, sorry to hear about the allergies. Hope you’re on the mend by the time you ready this… I’ll just keep checking in to see what comes up next on your blog! Take care friend. xo


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