Best Homemade Chili Beans

Small red kidney beans, tomato sauce, maple syrup, soy sauce and dried chili peppers make this the best homemade chili beans you’ll ever eat!

Best Homemade Chili Beans
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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12 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!

  3. Hey Cynthia. I stumble upon your delicious recipes again. I now my partner will love this recipe. It’s looks healthy and can be something to eat during dinner, lunch and breakfast.

    My toddler will love it too, although bean meals are not really my thing but this looks promising. Is this your own recipe or did you learn it from someone else.

    Maybe a familiy recipe? Thanks for sharing and I hope to read more of your recipes. 

    1. I love beans and always make extra so I have some leftovers to eat with breakfast!  I came up with this because I was looking for a recipe for chili beans and couldn’t find one I cared for so I used some components of those to make up my own version.

  4. Wow!  Your website looks and feels good.  Your topics are detailed with an explanation of how to prepare and make a dish.  Easy navigation tools making your website customer-friendly.  

    You personalized your website through your About Cynthia tab.  Your story helps your viewers to understand your path and the reason for your website.  This strategy helps maintain your customer engagement.  

    Your articles are very detail and engaging.  Plugins and links are properly placed.  

    Overall, this is an excellent website that displays your experience and knowledge of your niche.  Keep up the good work!

  5. Thank you for these beautiful-looking chili beans and the step-by-step way of cooking it. I never knew maple syrup could be used for cooking until now, and I have never cooked kidney beans before too, therefore I am going to use your simple recipe to try to prepare and hope to get the end result like your one when am done.

    thank you for sharing 

    1. Thank you for your kind comments!  This is an easy recipe and I’m sure you’ll do well with it.  Let me know how it goes!

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