These flavorful, vegetarian pinto beans are an easy, delicious accompaniment to many meals. I recently served these beans with a Mexican menu for a large dinner party. They're great on nachos and taco salads and served as a side with grilled or smoked meats. You can also use these saucy beans to make a quick batch of chili.
This recipe is versatile and easy. My Fiesta Taco Seasoning Mix is all you need to season these flavorful, mildly spicy beans. I used vegetable broth in this recipe so that I would have an option for vegetarians attending our dinner party. You can substitute chicken broth, if you prefer.
These are similar to the cans of chili beans you can buy at the grocery store, but WAY better! They freeze and reheat well. So if this batch is too big for you, you can freeze part of it to eat later.
Beans are nutritious and inexpensive. Pintos are high in protein and good source of antioxidants. They are particularly high in fiber and help stabilize blood sugar and lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes. They're considered one of the best nutritional foods for the money. (Read more about their health benefits here.)
Step-by-step photos for making Pinto Beans in Chili Sauce
About the taco seasoning mix: This mix already has a variety of seasonings, making it a one-step way to season these beans. The mix also contains corn starch which helps thicken the chili sauce. You can use a store-bought taco seasoning mix for convenience, but it is SO much tastier and healthier if you make your own. Plus, it's great to have on hand for seasoning tacos, chili, fiesta fries, and ropa vieja shredded beef. Here's my recipe:
Step 2. Pick through and discard irregular beans or stones. Hint: if you spread the beans on a white/light surface, it's easier to find and pick out the bad ones.
Step 3. In 5 quart pan, dissolve 2 tablespoons salt in 2 quarts water. Add dry beans and soak for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
Step 4. Drain beans in a colander, discard soaking liquid; rinse under running water and drain beans again.
Step 5. Mince the garlic and onions. I like do this in a food processor so they're minced really finely and disappear into the sauce when they're cooked. (You can mince them with a knife if you don't have a food processor.) I mince the garlic first in the food processor, then add the onions (cut into chunks) and process until they're minced.
Step 6. Add olive oil to a large pan and cook the minced onions and garlic until they're soft.
Step 7. Add the taco seasoning mix, stir it in, and cook for about a minute--this wakes up all of those spices and brings out their flavor.
Step 8. Add the tomato paste and stir it in.
Step 9. Gradually whisk in the vegetable broth. First add about a cup and whisk out all of the lumps. Then keep adding broth and whisking until it's smooth with each addition.
Step 10. Stir in the water.
Step 11. Add the soaked, rinsed, and drained pinto beans.
Step 12. Add the salt and give it a stir. (Note: If you're using store-bought taco seasoning mix, don't add more salt. The taco seasoning mixes are often very salty. Wait until beans are finished cooking, taste, and add salt if needed.)
Step 13. Bring it a boil and then lower the heat to a low simmer. It may be foamy on top at first, but the foam will cook away. Keep simmering on low, uncovered, for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until the beans are tender. The sauce will reduce and thicken while it cooks. Taste and add salt, if needed.
That's it! These are savory, mildly spicy, and delicious.
A bowl of chili beans served with crackers, tortilla chips, or cornbread--just like a bowl of soup. Top the beans with grated cheese, chopped onions, sour cream or yogurt, as you would a bowl of chili.
As a topping for rice -- not only is this delicious, but the combination of rice and beans is a nutrition-packed complete protein.
As a side with Mexican food -- with tacos, enchiladas, tamales, etc.
As a side for grilled and smoked meats; great with pulled pork.
As a topping on nachos, taco salad, or a tortilla bowl.
As a topping on hot dogs -- add some cheese and onions, too.
Use these Chili Beans as a base for a batch of chili. Here's the recipe:
2 cups of these chili beans and sauce
1 pound ground beef, chicken or turkey; browned
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles
Combine the above ingredients, heat them thoroughly, and PRESTO, you've got chili! If you want a thinner chili, gradually add broth or water until you get the desired consistency.
I love having these chili beans in my freezer for jazzing up a variety of meals and recipes. I also like to eat a bowl of them all by themselves. Combined with brown rice, they make a nutritious main course.
Make it a Yummy day! Monica
Pinto Beans in Chili Sauce (vegetarian)
Servings: 10 cups beans & sauc
1 pound dry pinto beans
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
2 quarts plus 1 quart water, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup taco seasoning mix (store bought or make your own; for recipe go to: www.theyummylife.com/recipes/76)
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
4 cups (1 quart) low sodium vegetable broth (for non-vegetarian version, may substitute with chicken broth)
Pick through and discard irregular beans or stones. In 5 quart pan, dissolve 2 tablespoons salt in 2 quarts water. Add dry beans and soak for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Drain beans, discard soaking liquid, rinse and drain beans.
In 5 quart pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat; add onions and garlic and saute until soft. Sprinkle on fiesta seasoning mix; stir and cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste; stir to combine. Gradually stir in vegetable broth, whisking to remove lumps if necessary. Add 1 quart (4 cups) water, 2 teaspoons salt, & beans; stir. (Note: if using store-bought taco seasoning mix, omit added salt and add salt to taste later, if needed.) Bring to boil, reduce heat to low simmer. Simmer uncovered for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender. Taste and add salt, if needed.
Serve with Mexican food, burgers, pulled pork, and grilled meats.
QUICK CHILI: The mildly spicy sauce makes these beans a perfect base for making a quick batch of chili--for every 2-3 cups of these chili beans and sauce, add 1 lb. browned ground beef, chicken, or turkey, 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, and 1 can (4 oz) drained green chiles.
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