Grandma B's Chili Beans

Circle B Kitchen

1 lb. dry pintos (or see alternate below)

1 ½ lbs ground meat (I use turkey)

1 large onion chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 tsp dried cumin

2 tsp dried oregano

½ tsp cayenne pepper (or more or less spicy depending on how much heat you want)

2 T chili powder

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 large can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes (I use Dei Fratelli)

3 teaspoons of Kitchen Bouquet if using ground turkey (optional)

Place beans in a large stockpot and cover with water by about 3 inches. Soak overnight*. Dump out the soak water and then pour in clean water, add a tablespoon of salt and cook the beans until soft, about 1-2 hours.

In a dutch oven or other heavy pot, saute the onion and garlic over medium low heat for about 6 minutes, or until soft. Add the oregano, chili powder, cumin and cayenne and cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant. Raise the heat to medium high, add the meat, breaking it up with wooden spatula or spoon until cooked through. Stir in the salt. If using ground turkey, I add 3 teaspoons of Kitchen Bouquet at this point.

Add the tomatoes to the pot and stir to combine. Using a spider strainer or other handled strainer, add the beans to the pot along with enough of the bean cooking liquid to just cover the beans. Stir to combine and cook, partially covered for 4- 6 hours. Taste for salt about halfway through the cooking. The longer these cook, the better they get.

*If you didn't soak your beans overnight, you can do a quick soak in the morning. Just bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Cook the beans for 1 minute, then remove the pot from the heat. Cover with a lid and let the bean soak in the warm water for one hour. Drain the beans and continue with the recipe.


If you would rather not use dried beans, you can easily substitute 4 cans of pinto beans, drained, but not rinsed. Skip the 1st step and add the beans after you have browned the meat and continue with the recipe, adding just enough chicken or beef broth to create a good consistency. The beans should be fairly thick and not watery.