Santa Maria Style Pinquito Beans Recipe

Santa Maria Pinquito Beans
Jacob Snavely / Getty Images
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 45 mins
Total: 3 hrs
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
248 Calories
2g Fat
42g Carbs
16g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 248
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 8mg 3%
Sodium 539mg 23%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 10g 36%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 11mg 53%
Calcium 87mg 7%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 970mg 21%
*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 Santa Maria style beans recipe is a classic side dish for California's famous grilled Santa Maria tri-tip. This great barbecue side dish is made with pinquito beans, bacon, ham, and spices. Santa Maria style beans are traditionally made using pinquito beans, which are small pink beans native to that part of California, but any dried bean will work.

This dish uses dried beans that have been soaked overnight, but if you didn't have time to soak the beans overnight, you can quick-soak them. First clean and pick through the beans to remove any pebbles and other debris and rinse them in a colander. Place beans in a large pot and cover them with water. Bring to a slight boil, remove from heat, and cover pot. Let sit for an hour and then proceed with the recipe.

Serve these beans with tri-tip, salsa, warm tortillas, and a fresh green salad. They are also a great side dish for barbecue chicken or ribs.


  • 1 pound dry pinquito beans, pink beans, or pinto beans

  • 2 strips bacon, diced

  • 1/2 cup diced smoked cooked ham

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes

  • 1/4 cup ketchup

  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard

  • 1 teaspoon paprika

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper, optional

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 cup water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Check through beans for small stones. Place in a pot and cover with cold water; soak overnight. Drain beans and return to the pot. Cover by 3 inches with fresh cold water, and simmer for 1 hour, 45 minutes, or until tender.

  3. While the beans are cooking, sauté bacon in a saucepan over medium heat until lightly browned. Add the ham and garlic; sauté 2 minutes longer. Add the tomato, ketchup, mustard, paprika, chili powder, chipotle, sugar, salt, and water. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook for 30 minutes. Reserve.

  4. When beans are ready, drain, but reserve one cup of the cooking liquid. Return beans and the cup of liquid to the pot and stir in the sauce. Simmer on low for 30 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy.

Recipe Variation

  • If you can't find pinquito beans, use white beans, like navy beans, or use pinto beans, instead.
  • You can cut down the spiciness by omitting the chipotle pepper.
  • Change it up a bit by using a mixture of beans, such as a combination of pinto beans and navy beans together.

How to Store

Any leftovers of these beans can be kept in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for three to four days. Simply reheat them in a saucepan on the stovetop on medium heat until warm. They can also be reheated in the microwave.