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Like other types of beans, pinto beans are an incredibly cheap yet all-too commonly forgotten source of protein. They are also rich in countless health-promoting micronutrients including B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and iron. In addition to their unique nutritional composition, pinto beans contain over 60% of a day’s worth of dietary fiber in a single cup.

Dried Beans Nina Cherie Franklin PhDBelieve it or not, the overall nutritional quality of dry pinto beans is well preserved when they’re prepared by way of pressure cooking. It’s true! Unlike other foods (vegetables and fruits), most, if not all, of the B-vitamins and other essential nutrients are retained in beans when they are prepared this way.

Even better, when cooked under pressure, your beans will be done in half the time required by conventional cooking methods.

That being said, here’s a quick and easy recipe for pressure cooked pinto beans and smoked turkey. Prepared with fresh vegetables and spices, this recipe is ideal for heart-healthy, low-sodium cooking.

What You Need

  • A pressure cooker, minimum capacity of 6-quarts
  • 2-3 cups of pinto beans, dry
  • 2 medium smoked turkey wings
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1/2 of a Daikon radish
  • 1 medium red onion and 1 medium yellow onion, optional
  • Freshly ground black pepper, season to taste
  • Marjoram, oregano and turmeric, season to taste
  • Cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes, about 1/2 of a teaspoon or to taste

How To Prepare

Pre-Soaking the Pinto Beans

Pinto Beans Soak Nina Cherie Franklin PhDFor maximum quality and taste, you should definitely pre-soak the pinto beans prior to cooking them. You can do this by either soaking the beans in 2-3 cups of cold water for 6-8 hours (overnight) or cooking them under high pressure using the same amount of water.

Personally, I prefer the “overnight” method but if you choose the “pressure” method, simply cook the beans for one minute, quickly release the pressure under cold running water, and then drain and rinse the beans.

If you opt for an overnight soak, pick through the pinto beans, discarding any that are of poor quality, and then rinse and drain them. If cooked under pressure, be sure to discard any loose or free-floating bean skins before proceeding.

Preparing the Smoked Turkey

Smoked Turkey Nina Cherie Franklin PhDUnwrap the smoked turkey wings, rinse them, and then put them into the pressure cooker. Mix the garlic, celery, radish and red onion using either a food processor or a blender set to “puree”. Add the puree and all the seasonings to the pressure cooker.

Mix in enough cold water to cover the wings and then start cooking them under high pressure for 5-6 minutes. Release the pressure under cold running water.

Final Preparation

Onions Pinto Beans Nina Cherie Franklin PhDMix the pre-soaked beans with the seasoned turkey and then cook them for 22-25 minutes. Optional: To boost the overall flavor quality of your beans dice up a yellow onion and add it to the mix. For firm cooked beans, check for doneness after about 22 minutes.

The beans should be tender and the turkey should have fallen off the bones.

If you prefer softer beans, add 2-3 extra minutes under high pressure. When the cooking time is up, quickly release the pressure by placing the cooker under cold running water.

Pressure Cooker Nina Cherie Franklin PhDAnd there you have it: My “Home-Style Pressure Cooked Pinto Beans with Smoked Turkey”. This delicious recipe makes 6-7 hearty servings at about 345 calories each. If you don’t own a pressure cooker, this recipe can be adapted for stovetop cooking or “slow-cooking”.

In addition, while this recipe can be equally as delicious using store-bought canned pinto beans, many varieties house unhealthy levels of sodium and other preservatives, even the “low-sodium” versions.