Ground Beef and Pinto Bean Chili

February 12, 2021

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Ground Beef and Pinto Bean Chili

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The Recipe


  • 8 ounces dried pinto beans
  • 3 (14.5-ounce) 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


  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 Dutchoven 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour. Remove cover and continue cooking for about 30 minutes.
    Skim off excess fat before serving.
  6. Enjoy!


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

This locally inspired recipe is brought to you by Pam Walker. Pam is an avid home cook, writer, and local farm and food activist who is also a board member of the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute. Thank you, Pam, for helping inspire us to use locally sourced ingredients!