Slow Cooker Ranch Style Beans are pinto beans cooked in the crock pot for simple, versatile, delicious ranch beans that are great as a summer side dish with BBQ!
With barbecue season in full swing and the Fourth of July coming up, I thought it would be a good time to share my favorite recipe for perfect, uncomplicated, chuck wagon-style pinto beans…Slow Cooker Ranch Style Beans! And the best part of all is that you can make them in the crock pot!
Now some might claim that these beans are plain. And sure, you could gussy them up with diced tomatoes, jalapenos, onions, or cilantro. But I would argue that it is the simplicity of these pintos that makes them so versatile! Slow Cooker Ranch Style Beans are equally delicious served alongside brisket or Mexican food. And they can be ladled into a bowl and cozied up to some steaming buttered cornbread for a meal unto themselves — my family’s favorite way to enjoy them!
Ways to Enjoy (and Adapt) Ranch Style Beans
As for this ranch style beans recipe, I usually double it and freeze any leftovers in two-cup portions. Most of the time, though, I use up leftovers before I could ever freeze them. They’re great mashed up in burritos or quesadillas, sprinkled over nachos or taco salad…you get the picture.
I’ve made these beans with bacon instead of salt pork, or no meat at all when I didn’t have any pork on hand. Whatever I end up using (or not using), I just adjust the salt at the end accordingly.
I also tend to add a lot more garlic than the original recipe calls for. If I’m out of fresh garlic, I toss in two tablespoons of jarred minced garlic from my refrigerator.
And while you may certainly soak your beans before cooking, I don’t find that step to be necessary since I’ve adapted this recipe to the slow cooker. The first time you make these beans, be sure to watch the water level and add more if necessary. Cooking time may vary based on how hot your crock pot runs. You want the beans to be tender but not falling apart.
The next time you’re looking for an effortless, simple bowl of beans to eat on its own or as a side dish to barbecue or enchiladas, look no further than your chuck wagon — er, crock pot. Slow Cooker Ranch Style Beans prove that combining a few basic ingredients can result in something so comforting…and so good!
Ranch Style Beans Recipe
Slow Cooker Ranch Beans
- 1 pound dried pinto beans
- 1/4 pound salt pork, OR 1/2 pound bacon
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- Place beans in a colander, rinse well, and remove any stones.
- Pour beans into slow cooker and cover with water (about 6 cups). Add salt pork or bacon and garlic. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or until tender. Periodically check that the beans remain covered with water, and add additional hot water, if necessary, or if you would like extra bean broth.
- When beans are almost done, stir in the chili powder. Sample the broth and season generously with salt and pepper, to taste. Allow the flavors to blend for an hour or so before serving.
Adapted from Texas Cowboy Cooking.