MYO Slow Cooker Ranch-Style Beans – Zesty!

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

I’m making my own inexpensive RANCH-STYLE BEANS these days. The recipe is easy using items I typically have in my pantry. I prefer to cook a large 2-lb bag of dried beans at a time & it makes a LOT! Feel free to scale it down to cook a smaller bag of beans.

I'm making my own inexpensive RANCH-STYLE BEANS these days. The recipe is easy using items I typically have in my pantry & it makes a LOT! #TexasHomesteader

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Looking For Ranch-Style Beans

RancherMan & I love ranch-style beans. I’m told that although these beans are on almost every grocery store shelf down here in the south, it’s somewhat harder to find in the more northern states. Must be a southern thaaaang!

But in case you’re not familiar with them, ranch-style beans are just pinto beans but they’re different – zestier & spicier. And we love them!

But alas I was working on a recipe that required ranch-style beans & none could be found in our pantry. 

Zesty Beans For My Taco Soup

Recently I was making my weekly endless soup and I decided I wanted something with a Mexican flair. I wanted to include more intense spices, maybe make it into something similar to a Taco Soup or something.

So when I started planning what I would mix into my soup I thought how wonderful it would be if we had a can of ranch-style beans to stir in. That would be perfect. But we didn’t have a can of those beans in my pantry. I wondered how hard it would be to make your own ranch-style beans.

So I hit the internet and read somewhere that it’s basically just pinto beans simmered in a chili sauce. OK, I can do that! I always have dried beans in my pantry, it’s a staple at our house.

Large-Batch Cooking

I like to cook from scratch whenever possible. Although I always have a package of raw pintos for making one of our favorite meals of beans & rice with cornbread, I’ve never really tried to do anything else with them.

Since I like to use the cook-once-eat-twice method where you cook large quantities of an entrée at one time & freeze the rest for quicker meals later, I brought out an entire 32-oz bag of dried pintos.

Then I sorted through them, washed them & put them aside. I didn’t have time for the overnight soak that I usually do with the beans. 

If I’m cooking Instant Pot Beans it doesn’t matter if they’ve had an overnight soak anyway. But sometimes I’m using a slow cooker to cook my Ranch-Style beans. Either way is good.

Then I brought out some Homemade Broth & the chili ingredients – onions, garlic, chili powder, cumin, etc. 

I chopped the onions, minced the garlic and threw in some chili powder, chopped dried peppers for a little extra zing, sprinkled in the other seasons and covered the beans with broth.

I used my slow cooker on this day to make my ranch-style beans. So I turned it on high and let it do it’s thaaaaang.

Dry pinto beans. I'm making my own inexpensive RANCH-STYLE BEANS these days. The recipe is easy using items I typically have in my pantry & it makes a LOT! #TexasHomesteader

With such a large slow cooker it took about 4.5 hours on high to get the beans cooked to my satisfaction. 

But when the beans were finally done I gave them a taste and was very satisfied that I had yet again found a way to make something for my family instead of buying it.

And since I made the full 2-pound bag of pintos into ranch-style beans it made a LOT!

Uses For My Cooked Beans

I used those ranch-style beans in our soup and they were perfect for the Chicken/Tortilla Soup I made.

They were also used as a side dish with supper another night. We loved them that way as well, topped with a couple of thin jalapeno slices.

I was able to portion out the rest of this huge pot of beans into small plastic peanut-butter jars (my go-to freezer storage option) and with a quick label on the top, into the freezer they went for delicious ranch-style beans for other meals. Love it!

Since I’m repurposing the freezer storage containers this is a very low-waste, yet inexpensive and DELICIOUS way to feed your family.

Freezing leftover beans. I'm making my own inexpensive RANCH-STYLE BEANS these days. The recipe is easy using items I typically have in my pantry & it makes a LOT! #TexasHomesteader

And by cooking them in a slow cooker there’s the added convenience of mixing it all up and forgetting about it until they are ready to enjoy. Hey, THAT’S the kind of cooking I get into! 😉

Shootin’ From The Hip In My Kitchen

Now I originally found the base for my ranch-style bean recipe at HomeSickTexan. But of course I changed the ingredients to both suit our tastes as well as use what we typically have in our pantry.

The original recipe also called for pre-cooking and pureeing the veggies but I didn’t do any of that. I just mixed it all in & got it to cooking. Yep, quicker & easier is the name of the game in my kitchen.

I think the beans turned out absolutely delicious, give ’em a try!

It's simple to cook regular dry pinto beans into zesty, spicy Ranch-Style Beans. Come see how. #TexasHomesteader

The recipe below takes a large slow cooker and a full, honkin’ 32-oz (2 pound) bag of beans. So feel free to scale it down if you have a smaller bag of beans or a smaller slow cooker.

Of course they can also be simmered in a stock pot, just be sure to stir them often.

Ranch-Style Beans (large quantity)

These Ranch-Style beans cook up easily in your slow cooker. This recipe uses a full 2-lb bag of dry pinto beans, so feel free to scale it down for a smaller bag of beans. But trust me, you'll want to make the whole large batch! #TexasHomesteader

Course Side Dish
Cuisine TexMex
Keyword dry beans, pinto beans, slow cooker
Cook Time 4 hours
Servings 10



  • 32 oz. bag dried pinto beans (2-pound bag)
  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped dried chili peppers
  • 8 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 15-oz cans diced tomatoes or 4-5 medium-sized tomatoes, peeled & chopped
  • 4 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 10 cups broth
  • Salt to taste



  1. Sort and wash dried beans, then cover in water & soak overnight.

  2. The next morning drain & rinse beans and add chili powder, chopped dried pepper, garlic, onion, diced tomatoes, brown sugar, vinegar, cumin, paprika, oregano & broth. Stir it all together to blend.

  3. Place the lid on your slow cooker and turn on high. Cook for 4.5 to 5 hours, or until beans are tender.


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41 thoughts on “MYO Slow Cooker Ranch-Style Beans – Zesty!

  1. Katy SkipTheBag

    This looks like it would be delicious. I love using beans. Thanks for sharing on the #WasteLessWednesday Blog Hop!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I made these beans up again last night but this time in my pressure cooker Katy. They made a delightful accompaniment to our Carnitas Tacos we enjoyed from leftover pork roast. ~TxH~

  2. Jean |

    Tammy, for some reason I’ve never made my ranch beans (or any dried beans) in the slow cooker. You have inspired me! I’m emailing this post to myself to remind me to pick up a 2-pound bag of beans. And I love cooking a lot of food and making freezer meals. But again, for some reason I’ve never frozen my beans. I’m going to have fun with this!

  3. Michelle

    These sound so good. I can’t wait to try them with some cornbread and greens!

  4. Carol grierson

    What kind of dried chilies? Would crushed red pepper work?

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      You can use whatever variety of dried chilies you like Carol, depending upon how hot you like it. I often use crushed red pepper and have also used dried jalapeno or dried ancho. You can use even use a combination if you like, each of the chilies offer a different taste and heat level. Enjoy! ~TxH~

  5. Elaine

    These beans look amazing!! I love the spice!! My husband would love them too! Thanks for Sharing on My 2 Favorite Things on Thursday!! Hope to see you again tomorrow!! Pinned!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      We love these beans Elaine and I love that it makes enough to freeze for later meals too. Thanks for the pin.

  6. Jamie @ Medium Sized Family

    I have seen ranch style beans on our shelves, but never really thought much of them. Now I’m thinking we’re going to have to try them! And I have plenty of pinto beans on hand, so this should be easy to do.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I love ’em Jamie, and I really like to add them to my Weekly Endless Soup when it’s mexican flavored.

  7. Miss B

    Thank you so much for this great recipe! I’ve made it countless times, usually adding a chopped red pepper and crushed tomatoes in place of the diced tomatoes since one person in my house doesn’t like tomatoes. It still works beautifully. I freeze jars of these beans similarly to the way you do, and we plow through them in no time. I love recipes like this one that taste better than store-bought, and save me money in the process!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      🙂 Birds of a feather, eh?? I always have jars of these beans in our freezer for quick thaw-n-eat sides and they make a great add-in ingredients for several different casseroles too. Thanks for your sweet comment!

  8. Maria Murray

    Is the broth used a beef broth or a chicken broth? Or does it matter? I am really excited to try this recipe.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Maria, I use whatever broth I have in the freezer. I think beef broth is best but I’ve used chicken, turkey & veggie in its place with good results.

      1. Maria Murray

        Thanks for the tips and the recipe. The beans turned out great but they took a long time to soften even though I soaked them over night. I will plan on a longer cook time next time around.

        1. Texas Homesteader Post author

          I’ve had that happen before too Maria – I’ve read that beans can vary in their cooking time depending upon how dry they are (aka: how long they’ve been packaged). I’ve been storing my beans in the freezer lately and I don’t seem to have the long cooking time issue anymore, although I don’t know if that cured it or just the luck of the draw.

  9. Texas Homesteader Post author

    I’m whipping up a humongous pot of them right now, the house sure is smelling good… I love to make a huge pot of ’em so we can enjoy them for supper & maybe for lunch the following day too, and then have plenty to freeze for side dishes in the future. Easy, inexpensive, healthy & they’re delicious too!

  10. Elle Mental

    Thank you for sharing your recipe! This one will fit into our vegan diet quite well. Woo Hoo!

  11. Terri Presser

    Beans aren’t really a staple in our household but they look like they taste fantastic and what a great idea using your slow cooker. Thanks for sharing this at Good Morning Mondays, it is always a pleasure to learn new things from you. Blessings

  12. Phacelia

    These look AWESOME!! I’ve really been trying to make more meals with beans, for more frugal protein. We’ve got to try this one! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I’ll be whipping up a big honkin’ pot of ’em in the next day or so Phacelia, when I run out of the Ranch-Style Beans I have stored in my freezer it’s time to make another batch. We eat them often.

  13. Amanda

    Growing up in Illinois, I had never heard of, or tried, ranch style beans until we moved to Texas. I can’t wait to give your recipe a try!
    Thanks for sharing at Merry Monday!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Ranch-Style beans were always our favorite canned beans, but I never really thought about making them myself before this recipe. (slaps head – DUH!) Now I make Ranch-Style Beans all the time – and this recipe makes enough for me to section off into repurposed peanut butter jars and freeze for future meals too. Give ’em a try.

  14. Patricia

    Just found this in your Top Posts post hee hee
    … Have got to try this! I usually cook extra beans and freeze for future use. Having dried beans on hand is a definite must ! Ranch Style Beans being a favorite of ours but one of the more expensive — so I’m happy to find your MYO ! I will be trying these for sure! I’ll share the results too!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      We love them Patricia, and having a supply in the freezer helps when we’re wanting to throw together a recipe like Taco Soup or Enchilada Casserole as well. We always have Ranch-Style beans at our fingertips and they’re so dang easy & inexpensive when you make them yourself. Don’t be afraid to play with the recipe to get the flavors exactly where your family loves them. I often pop it with a little extra chili powder and a touch of cumin. C’mon, y’all KNOW I can’t stick to the recipe! LOL

      1. Patricia

        Haha! I can’t stick to a recipe either!
        I’m going to definitely give these a try .
        I also wanted to say thanks for the tip on the plastic jars for freezing. I have used glass for onions and peppers and mushrooms– I freeze individually on a cookie sheet then pop them in there. Makes for easy removal when the time comes. Hadn’t thought of using the plastic in the freezer — I reuse them but mainly in the shed- or crafting with the Littles. Going to use these in the freezer now!

        1. Texas Homesteader Post author

          Thanks for your comment Patricia. I know many have successfully used glass in their freezers but apparently they are much less clumsy than I. Although I’m not a fan of plastic, these plastic peanut butter jars fit the bill quite nicely for us for freezer use.

  15. Kathy

    this sounds perfect for a Bar-b-que! I do appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Yes ma’am Kathy, and guessssss what we’re doing this weekend?? 😉 Yes, these ranch-style beans ARE on the menu! LOL

  16. Michal

    When someone says this is one of their favorite meals, you know their from Texas. I’m keeping this recipe. 🙂

  17. Terri Henkels

    We love baked beans although I have never made them totally from scratch. Will have to give them a try because they sound delicious. We do love to smoke pork butts and then we freeze the left overs and add them to our beans. It is so good! Thanks for sharing with the Four Seasons blog Hop.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Terri, I love Ranch-Style Beans and now that I have the recipe I enjoy them often. So much better, less expensive and dee-licious!

  18. Crystal

    I am always looking for new ways to use beans. I am going to try this recipe. Do you know if these can be canned and the directions?

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I’m sure they can be pressure canned like regular pinto beans but I’ve always just frozen them.

  19. Linda @ A La Carte

    Wonderful recipe and I love anything I can throw into my slow cooker. Love the idea of the peanut butter jars for the freezer! Thanks for linking up to TTF this week.


  20. Cynthia

    I love beans, especially when they’re spicy. This sounds delicious. Thanks for linking to the In and Out of the Kitchen Link Party. Hope to see you next week.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      They are really good Carrie and it makes so much there’s plenty to go into the freezer for meals later as well. A bag of pintos is SO CHEAP! ~TxH~

  21. Candy C.

    We love ranch style beans too and I never thought of making them myself. I like to cook extra pintos and put them in the freezer too. I usually add onion and bacon to mine.
    I’m definitely going to try your recipe soon! 🙂

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      You won’t be sorry Candy – it makes lots and it sure is convenient to pull homemade ranch-style beans out of the freezer for supper! ~TxH~


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