Ground Beef and Pinto Bean Chili

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  • 2 hrs 50 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins,
  • Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Yield: 8 Servings
Ratings (56)

This pinto bean chili starts with dried pinto beans, giving it fabulous homemade flavor. The beans are cooked and then combined with tomatoes, ground beef, and vegetables. Use a good quality chili powder to season this delicious bowl of red. 

Serve this tasty chili with cornbread or corn muffins for an excellent everyday meal.

What You'll Need

  • 8 ounces dried pinto beans
  • 3 (14.5  oz) cans diced tomatoes (14.5 X 3=43.5 ounces)
  • 2 large green bell peppers (seeds removed, chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cups chopped onions (about 4 large onions)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons butter (or margarine)
  • 3 pounds ground beef
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 3-5 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

How to Make It

  1. Pick over pinto beans; rinse. Place beans in a large bowl; cover with water and let stand overnight in the refrigerator. Drain before cooking.
  2. Place drained beans in a large Dutch oven or pot; add water to cover. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and cover the pan. Simmer the beans for about 45 minutes, or until they are tender. Bean skins should burst when you blow on a few in a spoon. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Set beans aside. 
  1. In a large skillet or saute pan in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, sauté chopped onions and bell pepper until softened, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and chopped parsley and cook for 2 more minutes.
  2. In a large skillet melt 3 tablespoons butter or margarine over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring and breaking up, until no longer pink. Add the onion and bell pepper mixture to the beef; stir in chili powder and cook for 10 minutes. Add beef mixture to beans and stir in the ground black pepper, ground cumin, and salt to taste.
  3. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour. Remove cover and continue cooking for about 30 minutes. 
  4. Skim off excess fat before serving.


  • Use a combination of red and green bell pepper sin the chili.
  • If you like heat, add a finely chopped seeded jalapeno pepper or a can of mild chopped green chiles.