Ground Beef and Pinto Bean Chili

Ground Beef and Pinto Bean Chili

The Spruce 

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
Soak Time: 8 hrs
Total: 10 hrs 50 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
637 Calories
27g Fat
40g Carbs
59g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 637
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 27g 35%
Saturated Fat 9g 44%
Cholesterol 151mg 50%
Sodium 1771mg 77%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 15%
Dietary Fiber 11g 39%
Protein 59g
Calcium 164mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This pinto bean chili starts with dried pinto beans, giving it a fabulous homemade flavor. The beans are cooked and then combined with tomatoes, ground beef, and vegetables. Use a good quality chili powder to season this delicious bowl of red. 

Serve this tasty chili with cornbread or corn muffins for an excellent everyday meal.


Click Play to See This Ground Beef and Pinto Bean Chili Recipe Come Together


  • 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

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather ingredients.

    Ground Beef and Pinto Bean Chili ingredients
    The Spruce 
  2. Pick over pinto beans; rinse. Place beans in a large bowl; cover with water and let stand overnight in the refrigerator. Drain before cooking.

    Dried pinto beans
    The Spruce
  3. Place drained beans in a large Dutch oven 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. 

    Beans in dutch oven
     The Spruce
  4. 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.

    Vegetables for chili
    The Spruce
  5. 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.

    Chili in a dutch oven
    The Spruce
  6. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour. Remove cover and continue cooking for about 30 minutes. 

    Simmering beef and pinto bean chili in Dutch oven
    The Spruce
  7. Skim off excess fat before serving.

    Beef and pinto bean chili in bowls
    The Spruce
  8. Enjoy!

Recipe Variations

  • 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.

Should I Drain Beans After Cooking?

  • Once your beans have reached the desired tenderness, it is important to drain them right away as that stops the cooking process, and your beans don't overcook.