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Easy Homemade Chili Beans

This super simple recipe is made even better by being a one pot wonder. There is no need for fancy cookware when you are making this rustic stew, but a few tricks of the trade will guarantee the perfect pot of beans. 
Course Dinner
Cuisine American Classic
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 8 People
Calories 450kcal
Author Diana Reis


  • 1 lb Ground Beef 80/20
  • ½ lb Italian Sausage medium or spicy
  • ½ Cup Water
  • 1 Yellow Onion diced
  • ½ Red Onion diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ Cup Butter one stick
  • 2 23 oz Cans Pinto Beans in Water
  • 14 oz Can Kidney Beans
  • 14 oz Can Stewed Tomatoes
  • 1 Cup Salsa Picante medium
  • 1 Tablespoon Granulated Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Granulated Onion
  • 1 Tablespoon Dry Parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Chili Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Ancho Chili Powder optional
  • ¼ Teaspoon Cayenne Chili Powder optional
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin


  • Heat a large sauce pot on medium high.
  • Add ground beef and sausage to the pot. If you used sausage that is in link form, simply cut the casing away and add only the meat to the pot. Add ½ cup water and brown meat using a large spoon to break up the meat.
  • Chop garlic and onions into a fine dice and add to mostly browned meat.
  • Season with all of your dry spices, and cook until the onions are translucent and meat is well cooked and broken up into very small pieces.
  • Next, add all of your canned pinto and kidney beans with the liquid. Add stewed tomatoes, crushing them in your hand as you add them. Add salsa picante, and butter.
  • Stir everything together and bring to a simmer. Let cook for at least 1 hour 30 minutes.


What are the best beans for chili beans?
Pinto beans are the best for the bulk of chili beans. They are hearty and starchy and absorb all of the great chili flavor.
Adding a small amount of Kidney beans is great for texture. Unlike the pinto beans, kidney beans actually flavor rather than absorb it and they have a great sweet taste that goes well with a slightly spicy pot of chili.
Can I use dried beans to make chili beans?
Yes! You absolutely can use dried beans, however, the beans must be softened before adding to the chili. Dry beans will not soften properly added directly to the pot meat and sauce. 
Start by cleaning the beans. Remove any damaged pinto beans and  rinse your beans to make sure they are free of any rocks or dirt.
Next, pour them into a pot and cover with water. Make sure there is plenty of water by adding 3 cups of water for every cup of dried pinto beans. Boil them first for 1 hour. Then, drain through a colander and rinse again. 
Return them to your pot and cover with water and boil for 45 minutes. Again the ratio of beans to water should be around 3 cups of water for every cup of beans. They should be soft after the second boil.
 Don’t throw away the bean water the second time as it contains good starch that will help make a nice thick gravy for your chili.
How do I store leftover chili beans?
The great thing about a big pot of chili beans is all of the leftovers. To store them properly, transfer the beans to smaller containers and keep them in the refrigerator. 
The beans will keep for 4-6 days in the fridge.
How do I reheat chili beans on the stove?
The best way to reheat leftover chili is to put the amount you would like to eat in a small pot. The gravy will have thickened with the starch from the beans. Add ¼ cup of water to every 2 cups of chili being reheated. The water will thin out the gravy just a little and help you reheat without burning. 
Expert Tips
Add a splash of water to browning meat to help make it easier to break up and keep it from sticking to the pan.
Keep the heat low when simmering the chili beans and remember to check on them every half hour or so. Give them a stir to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot and burns.
This chili is actually a little better the next day. If you want this meal to be extra special, make it a day ahead of time. Given a night in the fridge the flavor really come together and the gravy thickens up a bit.


Calories: 450kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 1894mg | Potassium: 894mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 909IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 122mg | Iron: 5mg