It’s very easy to get carried away with the saltshaker when you are making a big pot of pinto beans. Since you cook these beans in a large stockpot full of water, you can overestimate how much salt needs to be added to the beans to give them plenty of flavor. If you gradually add salt to the beans while they are cooking, you can accidentally add too much salt towards the end of the cooking process. However, all is not lost when this happens. You can still salvage the beans, even when they are too salty to eat.

Things You'll Need

Add More Liquids

Add water and taste the beans frequently. Extra water added to the beans helps to balance the amount of salt. Every time you add a cup of water, taste the beans.

Add one teaspoon each of apple cider vinegar and sugar to tame foods that are overly salty. suggests adding each of these liquids a little bit at a time until the beans are no longer too salty.

Drop a few spoonfuls of lemon juice into the pot of beans. Lemon juice helps to distract the taste buds from picking up too much salt from overly salted foods.

Switch Out Liquid

Remove the cooked beans from the pot using a slotted spoon. Be gentle when scooping the beans with this utensil.

Place the cooked beans into another pot. Keep removing the beans until all the beans are removed from the salty water.

Empty the pot of salty water. Leave about two cups of salty water in a large cup, set to the side of the beans.

Add new water to the pot. Heat the water until it reaches the same temperature the beans were when they were being cooked previously.

Place the beans back into the new pot of water. Add the two cups of salty water to the regular water.

Simmer the beans for 15 minutes. Taste the beans to see if they need any salt. If they do, add it carefully.


  • You can also split up the beans into batches and make a new batch of beans with no salt added to them. Allow these to cook and once they are cooked, add these extra beans to the overly salty batches of beans.

  • suggests increasing the quantity of the main non-salty ingredients included in the dish. This will helps to tame the salty flavor of dishes that are too salty.