Homemade Chili Beans

Homemade Chili Beans made from scratch with cooked pinto beans and five varieties of chiles.

Homemade Chili Beans - lacocinadeleslie.com

This weekend the US will be celebrating Independence Day. Now that I live in Mexico the 4th of July always makes me a little homesick for fireworks, American flags flying high, and all the yummy food being served at the cookouts. When I was younger the 4th of July always meant that Gramm was going to open a can of chili beans and ladle them over hot dogs, because for Gramm nothing was more American than hot dogs and chili beans.

I don't know if it was because the canned chili beans were really that tasty or if it was because Gramm only made them once a year, but I looked forward to those chili beans and hot dogs every year like a little kid on Christmas morning.

Chili Bean Dogs - lacocinadeleslie.com

Now just because I live in Mexico far away from any canned chili beans, doesn't mean I don't still crave them. My recipe for homemade chili beans is rich and hearty, but not overly spicy, even though they are seasoned with five different kinds of chiles. These chili beans make for a great meatless meal topped with sour cream, chopped onion, and tomato. Or you can serve them as a side dish with your favorite meal. But if you really want to take things to another level, ladle these homemade chili beans over Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dogs at your next picnic or family barbeque.

Chili Beans made from scratch - lacocinadeleslie.com

Homemade Chili Beans 


  • 2 dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed
  • 1 dried chile pasilla, stem and seeds removed 
  • 1 dried chile guajillo, stem and seeds removed
  • 1 dried chipotle pepper, stem and seeds removed
  • 3 cup water
  • 6 slices bacon, cut in 1/2-inch pieces 
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 serrano chile, chopped 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 4 cups cooked pinto beans, drained
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • Mexican crema or sour cream 
  • Chopped onion
  • Chopped tomato
  • Shredded asadero cheese 
  • Pickled jalapeño peppers (optional) 

Bring dried ancho, pasilla, guajillo, and chipotle chiles to a boil in 3 cups of water in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Puree the chiles with the water they were cooked in; season with salt.

Brown the bacon until crisp and fully cooked over medium-high heat in a dutch oven or deep skillet. Add chopped onion, serrano chile, and garlic; saute for 1 minute. Stir in pinto beans and dried chile puree. Season with brown sugar, ground cumin, and salt (if needed). Mash beans lightly with a potato masher or the back of a large spoon to help thicken the sauce. Reduce heat to low; cover and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. 

To serve ladle into bowls or atop bacon-wrapped hot dogs. Garnish with a dollop of Mexican crema or sour cream, chopped onion and tomato, shredded cheese, and pickled jalapeño pepper slices. Enjoy! 

Chili Bean Hot Dogs - lacocinadeleslie.com

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