Homemade Ranch Style Beans

Vickie Parks


Ranch Style Beans are one of those items that sometimes I can find right off at the store, and other times I can't find it in any store in town. So I always keep this recipe on hand for those times when I have to make it myself at home. Ranch Style Beans originated in Texas as a chuchwagon speciality with a unique depth of flavor. It's a staple throughout the Southwest that makes a great side dish for any Tex-Mex meal. Or it can be a good steak topping, or for a quick lunch serve it over rice with cheese on top. The recipe is versatile, so adjust seasonings and "heat" to suit your preferences.


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about 4 to 6 (NOTE: Prep time is minimal; it's longer if you soak beans overnight)
2 Hr 15 Min
3 Hr 5 Min
Stove Top



  • 1 lb
    dry pinto beans
  • ·
    water (enough to completely cover and soak beans)

  • 5 large
    ancho chiles, seeded (or you can use about 1/8 to 1/4 cup ancho chile powder (or regular chile powder)
  • 1 cup
    boiling water (or very warm water)
  • 1 Tbsp
    vegetable oil
  • 1/2 large
    onion, cut into 6 to 8 wedges
  • 5 clove
    garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups
    chopped tomato (retain juice as much as possible)
  • 1 tsp
    brown sugar
  • 1 tsp
    apple cider vinegaar
  • 1 tsp
  • 1 tsp
    ground cumin
  • 1 tsp
  • 1/2 tsp
    black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp
    ground oregano
  • 5 cups
    beef broth

  • 1 scant pinch
    liquid smoke (you just need a tiny bit, like 1/8 tsp or so)

How to Make Homemade Ranch Style Beans


  1. Place dry beans in a large stock pot, and cover completely with water. FOR OVERNIGHT METHOD - Let beans soak in water overnight or until soft, and then drain beans in a colander. Or (FOR QUICK METHOD) - Bring water to a brisk, rolling boil. Remove pot from heat, cover pot, and let beans soak in hot water for 1 hour or until soft, and then drain in colander.
  2. Cut chiles in half and remove seeds and stems. Heat chile halves in skillet for 1 to 2 minutes (to release flavor). Pour about 1 cup (or so) of boiling or very warm water over chiles and let stand 1 hour or until rehydrated and soft. Drain excess water.
  3. Heat oil in a heavy-duty (or cast-iron) skillet. Add onion, garlic and rehydrated chile halves, and sauté, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes or until soft. Turn off heat, and stir tomatoes, brown sugar, vinegar, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper into the chile-onion mixture. Place the tomato mixture in a food processor, and pulse for about 15 to 20 seconds or until thoroughly pureed.
  4. To a large stockpot, add beans, beef broth and Liquid Smoke (if using), and stir well. Bring the beans to a brisk boil over High heat. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to Low and let beans simmer 1 hour, stirring frequently.
  5. After simmering 1 hour, stir the pureed tomato mixture into the stockpot, and continue to cook 1 more hour, or until the chile gravy is reduced and thickened. Adjust seasonings, if needed. Serve warm as a side dish with any Tex-Mex meal or as an accompaniment spooned over grilled steaks, baked potatoes, steamed white rice, etc.

Printable Recipe Card

About Homemade Ranch Style Beans

Course/Dish: Other Side Dishes
Main Ingredient: Beans/Legumes
Regional Style: Southwestern
Dietary Needs: Low Fat

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