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Pinto Bean Chili with Pan-Roasted Spices and Chipotle

Pinto Bean Chili with Pan-Roasted Spices and Chipotle

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*Note: To double the recipe, double all the ingredients and cooking times, except for the last stage. Once the beans are added to the chili-tomato base, add 5 minutes to the cooking time or cook the beans for 25 minutes.


  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium-sized Vidalia onions, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ -1 teaspoon ground chipotle, or to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • One 4 ½-ounce can chopped green chiles
  • One 28-ounce can whole peeled plum tomatoes, puréed coarsely in a food processor
  • 1 1/4 cup tomato juice
  • 6 cups cooked pinto beans, cooking liquid reserved
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons tequila
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped finely
  • 1 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 6 scallions, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/8-inch slices


Heat a small, heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and cook until they turn a dark color and are fragrant, about 2 minutes, shaking the pan constantly and taking care not to burn the spices. Transfer to a mortar and grind until coarsely powdered.

Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and onions and sauté until the onions have softened and begun to caramelize, stirring from time to time, about 8-10 minutes.

Add the roasted seeds, chili powder, chipotle, garlic, and green chiles and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the puréed tomatoes and tomato juice, mix well and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to a simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the beans and return to a boil. Reduce heat again, cover and simmer for 20 minutes until the chili has thickened, stirring from time to time to prevent it from sticking to the pan. (If chili gets too thick, thin with a little reserved cooking water from the beans.)

When the chili is ready, remove from heat. Add the salt, tequila, and cilantro and stir well. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

Spoon the quinoa into large bowls, top with the chili, and garnish with a little sour cream and scallions. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Facts


Calories Per Serving1041

Folate equivalent (total)1145µg100%

Riboflavin (B2)0.7mg41.5%

Thick and Hearty Pinto Bean Chili

This thick and hearty vegan pinto bean chili is flavored with dried New Mexico chiles for a deep, rich taste. But don’t worry–there’s an option that uses chili powder to make it quickly and easily.

Mississippi is finally getting a taste of the cold weather that’s sweeping across the country, and though some transplanted Northerners here may think that it’s long overdue, I just want to hibernate. Maybe I’m getting old, but I have no desire to go outside once the weather is below freezing.

Yes, I know that in other places people are dealing with snow and ice and we’re lucky here that we have neither. I can certainly sympathize with those of you who are dealing with severe weather, but that’s why I live in Mississippi. Mild winters are our reward for putting up with humid summers and mosquitoes the size of hummingbirds!

I’m not the only one around here who doesn’t want to go outside when the temperature drops. Though the furry members of the family cope by burrowing under pillows or settling into comforters, I prefer to keep warm by cooking—and eating—hearty stews and soups. Mostly I’ve been cooking up old favorites that have already been featured here: Easy Bean and Vegetable Soup is my go-to recipe when I’m cold and in a hurry, and Beefless Stew is my family’s definition of comfort food. But a couple of nights ago I was craving chili—not pinto bean soup, as some chili recipes turn out, but thick, rich chili.

The recipe I came up with doesn’t differ much from most vegetarian chili recipes, except for the use of dried New Mexico chiles instead of chili powder. I was able to find dried chiles in my local supermarket, next to the refried beans and tortillas. Dried New Mexico chiles can vary in degree of heat, but the Melissa’s brand that I used were fairly mild if you like your chili spicy, you’ll need to add red pepper to increase the heat in this mild, kid-friendly version.

Chipotle Chicken Chili

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat then add the onions and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until onions soften. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned. Add 3/4 of the beer, reserving the rest, then cook for a couple of minutes to reduce.

Add the tomatoes, chipotles, beans, chili powder, cumin and salt. Stir to combine, then cover the pot and cook for 1 hour.

Combine the masa harina with the rest of the beer and stir to make a paste. Add this into the chili, along with the lime juice. Stir and cook for 10 more minutes or until thick.

Serve with sour cream, cheese, cilantro, and another squeeze of lime!

I&rsquoll be on The Chew today, and I wanted to share the recipe I&rsquoll be cooking since it&rsquos one of my favorites from my new cookbook (here&rsquos a peek if you&rsquod like to look inside!) It&rsquos Chipotle Chicken Chili, and it&rsquos exactly what the title says: Chicken chili with a great chipotle flavor. But what the title doesn&rsquot say is that this chili is a dream. It&rsquos easy to make, easily changeable (I use turkey instead of chicken on The Chew today), and so thick and luscious. It really is one of my favorite things to chow down on these days, and perfect for the cold weather we&rsquore entering into!

Oops. Ended with a preposition.

&ldquo&hellipand perfect for the cold weather into which we&rsquore entering.&rdquo

Quick Chipotle Pinto Beans

Hi there! Time for some quick Chipotle Pinto Beans, folks! This might be the shortest post I&rsquoll ever write. I&rsquom sure y&rsquoall kinda breathed a sigh of relief, huh? I know I&rsquom a rambler, but I always find my way, you know? When I was younger I always got in trouble for talking with my teachers. I feel like blogging is even more my calling because I get to talk about whatever I want, whenever I want, and I won&rsquot be getting yelled at by the teach. It&rsquos a pretty great gig and I&rsquom pretty lucky.

Anyhow, I still can&rsquot believe I say things like this these days, but here it goes: I really, really, really love these pinto beans. Like, I could just sit and eat a big ol&rsquo bowl of&rsquom for lunch. I have a couple times actually. I might add a little cheese because I&rsquom me, but other than that, they are perfect all by themselves. If you&rsquove been following me for awhile you might know that I was a bonafide bean hater up until August 2017. I don&rsquot know why I changed my mind to be completely honest. I just gave&rsquom another chance while I was making some chili for Eric. Now, I love them! (well most of&rsquom- i don&rsquot do kidney beans!) Sometimes, it can be good to try new things and not stay so stuck in your ways. I still won&rsquot touch a mushroom with a ten foot pole though so don&rsquot ask! haha!

Anyway, I&rsquom making this post short and sweet just like these beans, except the beans aren&rsquot sweet at all, just a tad bit spicy, very tasty, but not sweet. You get the picture, right?

At the end of this post, I&rsquove got some pretty exciting FOOD NEWS to share&hellip.

Grab a sauce pan and spray it with some olive oil cooking spray. You can really use any kind of cooking spray, but i personally prefer the olive oil one.

You&rsquoll need a small can of these guys for these beans. It&rsquos important. Don&rsquot forget&rsquom! You&rsquoll need one chipotle pepper and you&rsquoll need 3 teaspoons of the adobo sauce that they come in. You can find these guys in ANY grocery store in the Latin foods section. Any brand works!

Quickly throw in two 15 ounce cans of pinto beans partially drained, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp kosher salt, mild green chiles, 3 tsp adobo sauce, 1 chipotle pepper, and one bay leaf.

Okay so, two things:

  1. In this photo, I threw in a 4 oz can of mild diced green chiles. I do this a lot of the time when I make these now, but I also REALLY enjoy throwing a can of Rotel in with&rsquom. It&rsquos SO yummy. When I was photographing the recipe the other day I set the can of Rotel down somewhere and COULD NOT FIND IT FOR THE LIFE OF ME. Guess where it was, guys? It was in my couch. (unopened- thank goodness.) I want to blame my toddler, but I truly don&rsquot know if I can for sure. I can be just the tiniest bit absent minded from time to time. Which brings me to number two&hellip
  2. If this looks like a bunch more dried spices than what the recipe calls for to you it&rsquos because it IS. I grabbed the tablespoon instead of the teaspoon and didn&rsquot realize it until I was DONE putting the spices in. I&rsquom pretty heavy handed with the spices usually so I thought it would be fine, NO. IT WAS NOT FINE. Don&rsquot do that. Make sure you use the recommended amount of spices because it is the PERFECT amount, I promise. Double check your measuring spoons, y&rsquoall. &hellip lesson of the day. Whoops!

Stir it all up! Cover the pot and heat over medium low heat for 10-12 minutes or really just until warm.

When they are warm go ahead and fish out the bay leaf & the chipotle pepper and toss in the garbage.

See wasn&rsquot that quick and easy? short and sweet?

I know these aren&rsquot much to look at but man alive, they are tasty. These beans are inspired by the pinto beans you get at Chipotle Mexican Grill. We do NOT live anywhere near a Chipotle so back in January I set out to work on some recipes to get the feel of a really, really tasty burrito bowl like the ones ya can get at Chipotle. This was the first part of the bowl that I &ldquoperfected&rdquo in my opinion. Now, this isn&rsquot a copy cat recipe because I don&rsquot know what Chipotle does to their beans. I know a couple things they do to their rice, but as far as these beans and other delicious goodies they have. I don&rsquot have their recipes, but I set out to make my own version of things and I AM SO EXCITED TO SHARE IT WITH YA.

Over the next week, I will be posting ALL of the recipes to make the best dang Homemade Burrito Bowls this side of the Mississippi.

Are you excited yet? I am. I&rsquove been working on these recipes for months.

Of course, you don&rsquot HAVE to make these and make all the other recipes I am posting for Burrito Bowls, but if you want pure happiness- you do.

I hope you make&rsquom and love&rsquom. Stay tuned this week for all the parts of your new favorite meal prep option.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 pound dry pink beans (such as pinquito)
  • cold water to cover
  • 2 slices peppered bacon, diced
  • ½ cup diced smoked ham
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder (Optional)
  • 1 pinch dried oregano

Place pink beans into a large container and cover with several inches of cool water let stand 8 hours to overnight. Drain.

Place drained beans in a stockpot with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook until almost completely tender, about 1 hour 45 minutes.

While beans are simmering, cook and stir bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat until cooked through but not crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Add ham cook and stir until ham is heated through, about 1 minute. Stir garlic into ham mixture and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add tomatoes, 1/2 cup water, ketchup, sugar, dry mustard, paprika, chili powder, salt, chipotle chile powder, and oregano. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook until flavors blend, about 30 minutes.

Drain beans, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Combine beans, reserved liquid, and tomato mixture in the beans stockpot bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender and mixture has thickened, about 30 minutes.


    1. Slit chiles lengthwise, then stem and seed. Heat a dry heavy medium skillet over medium heat until hot, then toast chiles, opened flat, turning and pressing with tongs, until pliable and slightly changed in color, about 30 seconds. Tear into small pieces.
    2. Pulse cumin seeds and chiles in grinder until finely ground. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in oregano, cinnamon, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.
    3. Cook onions in oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute, then add chile mixture and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Stir in zucchini and kale and cook, covered, 5 minutes. Add zest, sugar, chocolate, tomatoes with their juice, and water and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
    4. Stir in beans and simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt.

    Nutritional analysis provided by Nutrition Data


    Step 1

    Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Cook yellow onion, stirring often, until very tender and just beginning to brown, 6–8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until very fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add cumin and fennel and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken broth and chiles and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook, maintaining a gentle simmer, until chiles are rehydrated and very soft, 25–35 minutes.

    Step 2

    Pour soup into a blender (reserving saucepan) and add beans. Carefully purée until smooth. Return soup to saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in chicken, if using.

    Step 3

    Place corn chips in serving bowls and top with stew. Lay avocado on top, if using. Add a dollop yogurt, then top with radishes and white onion. Sprinkle with cotija.

    How would you rate Smooth and Spicy Pinto Bean Soup?

    I used 4 ancho chilies and it was so spicy it was disappointingly inedible. I should have known better. Additionally, I think the beans would benefit from some simmering as well- without any additional cooking, I find the texture a bit grainy.

    I now make this soup constantly. It truly is one of the best bean soups I've ever made. And so easy! The fennel just makes it heavenly. I also don't put any of the fancy toppings on. Some day, but right now a sprinkle of feta and I'm done. One day I will also make it with those dried chilies. Right now instead I use a teaspoon of hot paprika, or smoked paprika or chipotle powder. I've made it with all three and love all three. Thx!

    I love this soup. It's so tasty (last version i made was with 3 ancho, 1 morita and some guajillo flakes). It's comforting and sustaining. The toppings at the end add to the balance of the meal.

    I don't get the bad reviews. this recipe is fantastic. It's quick, easy (c'mon, you don't even have to chop the onions and garlic!), and super delicious. I sauteed some fresh green chiles with the onions, used a combination of 2 guajillos, 2 anchos, and 2 morita peppers, and made sure to season with salt and pepper (and a squeeze of lime!) at the end. I wouldn't call it pinto-ey, just really comforting and balanced.

    This recipe was really delicious, everything goes well together. Definitely will be making this again.

    This was delicious. Don't believe these hooligans below. Recommend adding a touch of lime to finish. And season well with salt.

    DO NOT make this recipe. It is garbage.

    We didn't dislike this recipe, but it wasn't as spicy as expected. Very. pintoey. Wasn't bad but different than expected.

    How We Make It

    If you’ve been following us for a while, you won’t be surprised when I say the secret to extra flavorful vegetarian chili is mushrooms.

    By chopping mushrooms small and cooking them with onions and spices, the chili becomes flavorful and almost meaty.

    We add mushrooms to a variety of dishes for the same reason — see how we use them to make turkey meatloaf better. We even use mushroom powder to make homemade taco seasoning healthier and ultra flavorful.

    Once the mushrooms and onions are cooked, we add crushed tomatoes and scrape the bottom of the pan to lift any bits stuck to the bottom (there’s lots of flavor there).

    In goes dried beans and some water. Then it’s hands-off cooking from there. The chili takes 2 1/2 to 3 hours on the stove and 6 to 7 in a slow cooker.

    For a faster version, use canned beans. By using canned or previously cooked beans, you can dramatically cut the cooking time. You’re only looking at 30 minutes. See the recipe below for how to do it.

    Serve this bean chili with dishes like our Homemade Guacamole, our favorite Pico de Gallo, or with these Sesame Garlic Flatbread.

    For more meatless recipes, take a look at these easy recipes:

    • Easy, low-carb and Guilt-Free Zucchini Noodles Pasta
    • Our popular Fresh Vegetable Lasagna
    • This quick and easy Creamy Vegetable Soup
    • For a quick and easy salad, try our Easy Kale and Bean Salad Recipe with Tahini Dressing and Walnuts
    • Here’s another recipe featuring beans: Delightful Vegetarian Chili

    Related Video

    For something so simple, this was really good and nice to have on hand. I used fire-roasted tomatoes, forgot to put the orange in (maybe I was afraid based on other reviews) and only had black beans but the flavors developed very nicely after I cooked it down in mushroom-based vegetable stock. It got very thick and tasty. Excellent to have on hand for taco filling, an extra side, or for a healthy lunch over rice. You can't go wrong with this one.

    Good but IMHO the orange ruined it. I tried it before adding the orange and it was delicious and then once I added the orange it turned into a big pot of sweet and overpowered everything else. I say start out SLOW with the orange or totally omit.

    Great weeknight quick and easy meal. Made with black beans. Added 2 chopped garlic cloves with onion, can of corn, diced red pepper (as per other reviewer) and 1 tsp. cumin.

    Well that was easy  and surprisingly good. I think it's the orange zest that makes it (I added a little more). We served it alongside a chiffonade-cut kale salad  perfect for a mid-week supper. I wish I had made extra to freeze.

    To my surprise, I liked this. (I had thought that it would be bland . ) I made it as directed, with the exception of adding two cloves of garlic to the onion before adding the chili powder. Be sure to use diced tomatoes that contain green chiles and don't omit the orange zest the zest really pulls everything together. Let it sit and meld together for the best flavor!

    The flavors didn't come together for me until we added slices of vegetarian "Smart Sausages", smoked style. We enjoyed it served over bulghur.

    Prepared X4 based on the reviews and glad I did. We loved it and so happy I have some to freeze for later, and some for later in the week :) Added bell peppers.

    Very good, especially for how very easy it was to prepare! I used black beans in place of the pintos and cut the orange peel to 1 tsp (it's very strong). Especially good if you use a pure chili powder - not a blend

    WOW! This was surprisingly good and I loved how colorful it was! I will make this again!

    This recipe was so good. I followed the recipe exactly but added a tbs of cinnamon. It was very exceptional. It fed my little kiddos and adults without a complaint. Be bold and add the orange zest, it makes the dish.

    This soup is wonderful! I've made it many times before and today I am making it for a big group. With minimal ingredients and using dried beans, it's a cheap, easy vegetarian meal to serve to a crowd!

    Of course, the best thing about this recipe is the simplicity of the ingredients and the short time it takes to complete. But the results are quite lovely. A very nice autumn season alternative to the ubiquitous chili.

    I liked this a lot, and enjoyed the ease of preparation/healthiness, but it was a little too sweet for my boyfriend. If you like mildly sweet things like Thai peanut curry (I do!), you would like this a lot, but if you find that too sweet, youɽ probably find this too sweet. The orange flavor is really nice, but it also really brings out the sweetness of the sweet potato (and I only used 3/4 tsp). Iɽ definitely use less orange than called for in the recipe, and I think black beans as many have suggested would help cut the sweetness more than pinto beans do. I also think more fresh heat would help, like some serrano pepper.

    I've never reviewed anything on Epicurious, but this is one amazing chili. I wasn't expecting much, as the ingredients are very simple, but this completely wowed me. The flavors are perfect together.

    As it stands, the town I live in is currently recovering from an epic snow storm and I therefore had to make due with Italian style tomatoes instead of the fire roasted tomatoes and leave out the cilantro at the end. After cooking the onions with jalapeno flakes, I let the sweet potatoes cook as instructed. Once the tomatoes and black beans (instead of pinto) were put in, I added about a teaspoon of cumin, a dash of dried sage, garlic powder (I had discovered that my garlic cloves died of old age), and a pinch of paprika. During this time, I browned a can of corn with crushed red pepper and added it to the mix. As a final touch, I added a splash of orange juice and proceeded to let the mixture simmer for another 5-10 minutes. After placing the chili in bowls, I spooned on a dollop of plain unsweetened yogurt and sprinkled some black pepper on top.

    So I read through many reviews and utilized some of the repeated favorites such as black beans, chipotle powder (1/2 dose of the chili powder), corn, garlic and fire roasted tomatoes. I did not delete anything in recipe I also added my favorite, an anaheim chili pepper, sauted. Let me just say this may be the best chili I've ever had (except green chili which is a different animal)! I had leftover tangerine rind so that's what I used but was careful to not over-do it! It turned out perfect! Really wonderful and so many great flavours - I think the orange peel compliments the sweet potatoes!

    This was a great stew. I didn't have chili powder so I actually used paprika ( I think, I'm not even sure) and some chili sauce. I stewed my own tomatoes and put a little jalepeno but I don't think I had as much as the recipe called for. but anyway it was delicious (also according to my dinner companion). we put a little plain yogurt on top. highly recommended

    I was looking for a interesting chili to take camping. This is a hit. I made three time the recipe, and used home made beans. Every thing froze quite well, thawed in the cooler and reheated on the camp stove. I got rave review and will make this again. I served with cilantro and sour cream for topping.

    This is a good, easy weeknight meal. The sweet potato makes it feel more substantial and "rib-sticking" than some other meatless chili recipes I've tried. I was worried that it would be too sweet, so I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out so complex and savory.

    Excellent recipe. I have made exactly as written several times and love it.

    Delicious and hearty. I followed other reviewers suggestion and used chipotle powder and cut down on the chili powder. Also added garlic, cumin, oregano in the beginning. I added half a bag of frozen spinach in the last two minutes of cooking. My carnivore husband loved it!

    I've made this recipe many times since I first made it in 2002 and it never disappoints. I will say, I've never added the orange zest, it's delicious without it. I use chicken broth and Muir Glen Fire-Roasted tomatoes which add a really nice kick, along with the chili powder.

    This was excellent: fast, easy, and delicious. I made two very minor changes: (1) add one large clove of garlic, chopped, with the onion and (2) add some red pepper flakes, for a bit of spice. This is a real keeper.

    I didn't alter the recipe. The flavors didn't come together for me. I thought it was too sweet, but bland too. Lacked the hearty depth of a good chili. Still, okay- not bad.

    I made some modifications like everyone else. But I am using black beans instead of pinto, chipotle chili flakes instead of chili powder, and 2 large cans of Muir Glen Fire Roasted tomatoes and one 14 oz can of Rotel instead of the stewed tomatoes, using lime zest instead of orange peel, and started off with add celery, garlic and carrots. I quadrupled the recipe which is why the amounts above are a lot more. Used lots of cilantro at the end. that made the recipe.

    Ingredients used

    • 2 Packages of Impossible Burger (24 Oz Total)
    • 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
    • 1/2 Tablespoons Cumin
    • 2 Teaspoons Coriander
    • 2 Teaspoons Paprika
    • 2 Teaspoons Cayenne
    • 3 Bay Leaves
    • 28 Ounces Can Of Crushed Tomatoes
    • 2 Cups Vegetable Stock
    • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
    • 15 Ounce Can Of Great Northern Beans
    • 15 Ounce Can Of Black Beans
    • 15 Ounce Can of Kidney Beans

    Crumble Impossible™ Burger and add to the vegetables. Stir until cooked through. Stir in the dry seasonings. Add the crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock, and apple cider vinegar. Bring mixture to a boil, then drop to a simmer. Drain the canned beans and add to the pot. Cook for approximately 30 minutes, or until reduced by 20%.


  1. Bretton

    I think, what is it - error. I can prove.

  2. Ladbroc

    Actual blog, fresh info, read :)

  3. Taurr

    Dictate, where can I find it?

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