Ranch-Style Beans

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Sure, you need some planning, but homemade ranch-style beans are a world better than what you’ll pick up in a can. Most of the recipe is slow cooker time, and the prep is mainly rehydrating your pinto beans and ancho peppers, so the effort needed for this recipe is actually very little.

Ranch style beans
Ranch-style beans, ready to serve

And you’ll love the output on the other side. A little sweet, a little smoky, and a whole lot of earthy goodness. There are so many spices and seasonings here, from cumin and rosemary to a few dashes of liquid smoke.

Ranch-style beans are a delicious barbecue side but don’t ignore them as a hearty lunch in their own right. Layer it over rice for more of a meal. You can also add various types of meat to add more heartiness. Both ground beef and ground sausage work.

See these ranch-style beans being made:

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Ranch style beans

Ranch Style Beans

Sweet, smoky, spicy, and plenty hearty
4.20 from 5 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 7 hours
Course Side
Servings 6 servings
Calories 152 kcal



Soak the beans (choose one of the following)

  • Quick soak (1 hour): Rinse the beans, then place them in a pot. Cover them with water, then bring the water to a boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and cover. Keep covered for 1 hour, then rinse the beans with cool water.
  • Long soak (6 to 8 hours): Rinse the pinto beans then place them in a glass bowl and cover them with water. Allow them to soak for 6 to 8 hours to rehydrate (overnight works well).

Rehydrate the ancho peppers

  • Boil a pot of water.
  • Halve the ancho peppers lengthwise.
  • In a pan over medium heat, dry roast the ancho halves (no oil), for 2 minutes per side, using a spatula to place pressure on the chilies to increase skin bubbling on the pepper.
  • Place the ancho halves into a glass bowl, then pour the boiling water over the halves until the peppers are covered completely.
  • Soak the anchos for 30 minutes to rehydrate, then use.

Make the sauce

  • In a saucepan, heat olive oil then sauté the yellow onions until translucent. Add the minced garlic and stir often for 1 minute.
  • Transfer the onions and garlic to a blender. Add the ancho peppers, tomatoes, all the spices, liquid smoke, cider vinegar, and 1/4 cup water. Blend until the sauce is smooth.

Slow cook the beans

  • Place the soaked pinto beans, beef stock, and blended ingredients into a slow cooker. Stir to combine.
  • Set the slow cooker on high and cover. Cook for approximately 2 hours (until the sauce is simmering).
  • Stir the beans, then recover and set the slow cooker to low. Continue to cook on low for 3 hours.
  • Add salt, pepper, and additional seasonings to taste, then serve.


Calories: 152kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 7gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 634mgPotassium: 904mgFiber: 11gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 9950IUVitamin C: 18.9mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 3.2mg
Keyword Ancho Pepper, Smoked Paprika
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UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on January 3, 2023 to include new content.
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