Santa Maria Pinquito Beans Recipe

Santa Maria Style Pinquito Beans


Santa Maria Pinquito Beans

Santa Maria Pinquito beans enriched with bacon, seasonings, and a smoky flavor are a classic side-dish to the Santa Maria tri tip! These small pink beans--native to California--are the beans used in a classic Santa Maria style recipe. While these delicious beans can be finicky and time consuming to make, we promise they’re well worth the effort.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Overnight Time 8 hours
Total Time 11 hours 20 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Barbecue, Mexican
Servings 6 servings
Calories 275 kcal


  • 1 lb pinquito beans
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 1/2 diced white onion
  • 1 tbsp diced mild green chiles
  • 3/4 cup tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch finely ground pepper


  • Spread 1 lb pinquito beans across the counter to remove any dirt or rocks.
  • Place the beans in a large container and fill the container with water until there is double the amount of water compared to the beans. For example, if you have 3 inches of beans, you need 6 inches of water. Let beans stand for 8 hours overnight, then drain.
  • Place the beans in a stock pot with enough cold water to cover them. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender, about 2 hours.
  • While the beans are simmering, sauté 2 slices bacon slowly in a saucepan until cooked but not crispy. Add to beans.
  • Cook the 1 tbsp diced mild green chiles and 1/2 diced white onion in the bacon fat until lightly browned.
  • Stir 1 chopped garlic clovein with the chili peppers and onions and cook for 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup tomato puree, 1/2 cup water, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp salt and 1 pinch finely ground pepper. Bring the sauce to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cook for about 30 minutes.
  • Drain all but one cup of cooking liquid from the beans, stir in sauce and bring to a simmer.
  • Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until the mixture is thick.
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