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

Pinto Bean Chili Recipe

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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 cups chili with 3 quesadillas wedges equals 787 calories, 34 g fat (15 g saturated fat), 120 mg cholesterol, 1373 mg sodium, 72 g carbohydrate, 18 g fiber, 51 g 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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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."

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!"

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."

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."

Reviewed Dec. 12, 2011

"I soak my beans all night."

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