Cranberry Chili Beans

Prep: 5 minutes Cook: 2-4 hours

Serves:Makes about 12 cups

I have been using cranberry beans in place of pintos a lot lately in many of my bean dishes. They are a bit richer in taste, sweeter and cook much faster than pinto beans. They mash easily yet also are delicious and quite smooth when left whole. I usually serve this recipe on top of brown rice with a few spoonfuls of sauteed kale, broccoli and zucchini from my garden ladled over the top. And don't forget the hot sauce!!


  • 4 cups cranberry beans
  • 12 cups water
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • dash sea salt (optional)


Sort through the beans and place in a large pot with the water. Add the onion and garlic, cover, bring to a boil and cook for about 2 hours until tender. Add the remaining ingredients and cook an additional 15 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Hints: To make these in a slow cooker (Crock-Pot), place the beans in the bottom of the pot and add water until there is about 1 1/2 inches of water covering the beans. Add the onion and garlic, cover, turn on high heat and cook until beans are tender, about 4 hours. Add remaining ingredients and cook for about 15 minutes until flavors are blended. If you are away from the house, these may be left to cook for a longer period of time. Add about 1 cup more water, then drain off any excess water when the beans have finished cooking, and before adding the seasonings. I make these in a large amount and then use them in other recipes during the week. Or they may be frozen for up to 6 months. This recipe may easily be cut in half if you don't wish to have so many cooked beans on hand. Use the same amount of onion and garlic, but use 2 cups of beans and 6-7 cups of water. Halve the seasoning amounts used at the end, or adjust to taste.

Bob's Red Mill has excellent cranberry beans sold in bags (about 4 cups) in many supermarkets. Or order online at Bob's Red Mill also sells a large variety of other healthy grain products and a large assortment of beans online and I have always found their quality to be excellent. They may also be found in most natural food stores, such as Whole Foods Market, and many supermarkets as well.