Pinto Bean Chili Recipe
Pinto Bean Chili Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Pinto Bean Chili Recipe

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4.5 9 9
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Cumin and chili powder season this traditional chili from Sandy Dilatush of Denver, Colorado. Quesadillas on the side make this Southwestern soup a meal.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + soaking Cook: 1-3/4 hours
MAKES:8 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + soaking Cook: 1-3/4 hours
MAKES: 8 servings


  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies
  • 12 flour tortillas (6 inches)
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 teaspoons canola oil

Nutritional Facts

1-1/2 cup: 787 calories, 34g fat (15g saturated fat), 120mg cholesterol, 1373mg sodium, 72g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 18g fiber), 51g protein.


  1. Place beans in a Dutch oven or soup kettle; add water to cover by 2 in. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans, discarding liquid.
  2. In a Dutch oven, cook the beef, onion and celery over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in flour until blended. Gradually stir in water. Add the beans, chili powder, cumin and sugar. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1-1/2 hours or until beans are tender. Stir in the tomatoes, vinegar and salt; heat through, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, for quesadillas, spread about 1 tablespoon of chilies on half of each tortilla. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of cheese; fold in half. In a large skillet, cook tortillas in 1 teaspoon of oil over medium heat until lightly browned on each side, adding more oil as needed. Cut each in half. Serve with chili. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Pinto Bean Chili in Taste of Home April/May 2003, p13

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ms11145 User ID: 1604521 261709
Reviewed Feb. 23, 2017

"I usually just wing it when I make chili, but I thought I would actually follow a recipe this time. This recipe intrigued me in many ways. 1. I have never had celery in chili before. 2. I have never put sugar in before. 3. Flour? I understand this one as it is used to slightly thicken. Cider vinegar also was new to me. Having said all of this, it works. I made this in my IP and it took 50 minutes of pressure time. After tasting it, I put in cayenne pepper to boost the flavor. We both put salsa on top for more flavor."

Rhett User ID: 9021682 259312
Reviewed Jan. 6, 2017

"i love pinto bean chilli wonderful filling inexpensive meal"

silvipat User ID: 6425038 219380
Reviewed Jan. 31, 2015

"Cooked beans 3/4 of the way, in separate pot, then added to prepared meat mixture and finished cooking; also substituted @3oz tomato paste diluted w/ 1/2 cup of bean water for the tomatoes."

rjones8194 User ID: 2832590 218294
Reviewed Jan. 19, 2015

"This recipe was fantastic. I did add a touch of garlic, thyme and increased the chili powder slightly. I have tried many chili recipes before this one and was disappointed every time. This is going to be my go to chili recipe from now on. Thank you for sharing!"

ecedman User ID: 8121307 47038
Reviewed Nov. 24, 2014

"We found this chili a tad bland and to much liquid. I added garlic, black pepper and Sriracha sauce to give some additional flavor. It still tasted bland to us. Probably should have added some jalapenos, which I did not have on hand at the moment."

amotherof3plus2 User ID: 6422310 67836
Reviewed Dec. 31, 2011

"It was good, I used some left over beans. I like recipe that help me use something left over from another meal. I need to save as much money as I can with three teenagers and a college student living at home."

hcora User ID: 3175609 91401
Reviewed Dec. 12, 2011

"I soak my beans all night."

hcora User ID: 3175609 54612
Reviewed Dec. 12, 2011

"Wow,This is a excellent recipe.I have made it 3 times in one month.Perfect :)"

Annofoklahoma User ID: 6030891 67835
Reviewed Aug. 12, 2011

"Great recipe!!! I used 2lbs of ground deer meat instead of beef. I used 4TBS of Jiffy corn bread mix instead of flour. I also added fresh garlic and more chili than the recipe calls for. I recommend you cook your pintos in water thoroughly until they are done before adding to the meat as stated in the recipe."

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