Being a native Appalachian and a vegetarian (two things that don't generally go together), I wanted a recipe for pinto beans that didn't involve meat. By substituting no-chicken broth for the chicken broth in this recipe, I think I've found it. The biggest change I made, though, was throwing everything in the pot and letting it simmer all day. I would recommend using a Crock Pot or just simmering it on the stovetop for about 8 hours (and adding more water/broth as necessary). I added quite a bit more liquid, as where I grew up we liked "soup beans", but that's a matter of personal preference.
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Being a native Appalachian and a vegetarian (two things that don't generally go together), I...