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Overhead photo of ranch style beans in a black bowl on a wooden table

Ranch Style Beans

Ranch style beans are a Texas classic: tender pinto beans slow cooked in a rich chili sauce. Perfect as a flavorful side dish with Mexican or TexMex and good enough to serve as a main course!
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican, Southwestern, TexMex
Keyword cowboy dinner, easy to make, taco tuesday
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Soak Time 8 hours
Total Time 10 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 339kcal


  • Bowl or pot for soaking
  • Large pot with lid
  • Large skillet
  • blender


  • 1 pound dried pinto beans rinsed
  • 6 cups beef broth or water
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar see Notes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chili pepper powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • lots of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup water divided, plus more as desired

Optional Garnishes

  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • chopped cilantro
  • chopped green onions
  • sliced jalapeños
  • sour cream


  • Soak beans one of two ways.
    Option 1 - Add dry beans to large bowl. Add enough water to cover beans. Let beans soak in water at room temperature overnight (8-12 hours).
    Option 2 - Add dry beans to pot. Add enough water to cover beans. Bring water to boil, cover pot with lid, and remove pot from heat. Let beans soak for 1 hour.
    Beans soaked in large bowl
  • Drain soaked beans. Add drained beans and beef broth to large pot and place over high heat. Bring liquid to boil and cover pot. Turn heat to low and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
    Pinto beans in large pot
  • In large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon neutral oil over medium heat. Add diced onion to hot oil and cook 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 additional minute.
  • Transfer cooked onions and garlic to blender. Add tomato paste, brown sugar, cumin, oregano, and chili pepper powder. Blend until mixture is smooth.
  • Pour tomato mixture over beans and stir. Cook, uncovered, for 1 hour, or until beans are tender and sauce has reduced. Add water in ½ cup increments to thin sauce to desired consistency. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
    Ranch style beans in tomato puree in large pot
  • Portion bean mixture into serving bowls and garnish. Serve warm.


  • Make it Added-Sugar Free: Substitute Brown Swerve in place of the brown sugar, and use a tomato paste with no added sugars.
  • Make it Vegetarian: Use vegetable broth or water in place of the beef broth.
  • Make it Vegan: Use a vegan brown sugar and use vegetable broth or water in place of the beef broth. Skip the cheese garnish or use a vegan cheese.
Recipe yields approximately 6 servings. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving out of 6, using the ingredients listed, not including optional garnishes. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by 6. Result will be the weight of one serving.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 339kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 2303mg | Potassium: 1527mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 638IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 128mg | Iron: 6mg | Net Carbs: 42g