“Better than Ranch-Style” Beans

ranch-style beans recipe

Golly these are good, hoss!

People been asking me to do a baked beans recipe for their summer barbecues and picnics and whatnot, but I already have a recipe for baked beans in my Learn to Cook book. So I one-upped em and came up with this SUPER DELICIOUS ranch-style beans recipe.

Man alive, these are good! Way, way, waaayyy better than canned ranch-style beans which I’ve never even really liked. To me they’ve always had an overly-chili-powdery-taste. These beans, though. These beans, I tell you, will be a frequent guest star at our dinner table this year.

I used Mayacoba beans (aka Peruvian beans) which are similar to Pintos. You could use either of those and Great Northern would be good, too. In fact, pretty much any of the light-colored beans will work, I believe.

Homemade Ranch Style Beans Recipe

“Better than Ranch-Style” Beans
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 4
Spicy ranch-style beans from scratch
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat
  • 3/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced bell pepper
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked and drained beans (or one can, drained and rinsed)
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (if your beans aren’t already salted)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  1. Saute the onion, peppers, and garlic in the bacon fat over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until soft and slightly browned.
  2. Add the chili powder, beans (and salt if you need it) and fry for about a minute in the bacon fat.
  3. Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and add that to the pan.
  4. Simmer 10 minutes to make a thick sauce.


  1. Frances H on September 10, 2012 at 9:36 am

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! It was awesome. I substituted half of a jalapeno for the serrano pepper and used chicken broth instead of water.

    • Hilah on September 11, 2012 at 8:41 am

      Good thinking with the chicken broth, Frances! I’m glad you liked this one.

  2. Rob Herring on February 4, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Request time from a Brit (with a Texan girlfriend) – frijoles charros please!

  3. Sierra on May 11, 2015 at 10:53 am

    I’m allergic to pork, is there something I can replace bacon fat with?

    • Hilah on May 11, 2015 at 11:25 am

      Hi Sierra,
      You can use butter and it will be just as delicious!

  4. Great Stone Face on October 24, 2017 at 8:29 am

    If making this in an Instant Pot, would you cook the beans first? If I want to just toss in dried beans, how would I covert the recipe?

    • Hilah on October 24, 2017 at 11:32 am

      Good question! I would cook the beans in the Ip first, then finish on the stove so you are sure to get some nice caramelization

      • Nancy Moore on May 11, 2019 at 6:12 am

        What type of beans?

        • Hilah on May 11, 2019 at 11:28 am

          I’ve used Mayacoba which are a medium-sized white bean. Great Northern or Pinto work, too

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