Best Homemade Chili Beans

Best Homemade Chili Beans


⅔ cup dried small kidney beans or cattle beans

2 cups water

1 tbsp olive oil

½ cup chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp)

1 cup beef broth

½ cup tomato sauce

2 tsp maple syrup

2 tsp soy sauce

½ tsp paprika

3 oz salt pork, cut into small pieces

1 dried chili pepper (optional)

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar


Place pinto beans in a bowl and cover with cool water. Cover the bowl and soak at room temperature for a minimum of 6 hours and a maximum of 12 hours.

Heat olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan. Add onion and saute until translucent but not brown, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and simmer until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add broth, tomato sauce, maple syrup, soy sauce and paprika. Mix well.

Remove rind from salt pork and chop into small pieces. Place in the saucepan with beans and beef broth. Add dried chili pepper, if desired.

Simmer for 1½ to 2 hours, or until tender. Remove chili, add balsamic vinegar and allow to set for 30 minutes before serving. Reheat if necessary.


4 servings, 400 calories per serving

Hack: Serve with rice, cornbread or polenta for a great lunch/dinner or eggs for a hearty breakfast!

Hack: Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days or freeze, sealed in serving-sized packages, for later use!

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6 Replies to “Best Homemade Chili Beans”

    1. I would have never considered the use of soy sauce with a sweet taste like maple syrup until I saw how common it is in Asian cooking (Thank you, Yuhong!). Somehow, it just works. I hope you enjoy this recipe!

  1. Perfect timing!  I was just starting to search for a chili recipe.  It is funny when you are making meals for kids you tend to get into a routine of making the same thing over and over again and I will trying to come up with new ideas.  Chili came to mind but I was not sure how difficult it would be.  However after reading your blog post I do believe I can make this tasty looking meal!  Thanks for the post!

    1. With the hustle and bustle that makes up most of our days, it’s no wonder we’re out of steam (and fresh ideas!) by dinner.  While you’ll find this different from a traditional chili, I think you’ll find it to be a winner.  Let me know how you like it!

  2. An interesting combination of ingredients, this mix of soy sauce and maple syrup stands out. I haven’t tried this yet, but I would love to.
    Thanks for another great recipe you shared with us, with a perfectly described process. I believe Best Homemade Chili Beans is a very tasty dish.
    I wish you all the best

    1. The Asian tradition of mixing soy sauce with something sweet surprised me when I first came across it but for some reason, it works.  I hope you’ll let me know when you try it!

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