Chili Beans with Rice

If using dry beans, older beans may take longer to cook to become tender. If you soak the dry beans for several hours ahead of time, they will require less cooking time.

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 35 minutes
  • Cooking dry beans time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 2 cups (1 pound) dry pinto beans OR 4 15-ounce cans pinto beans, drained
  • 1 pound ground beef or ground turkey
  • 2 cups uncooked white rice
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 (14-ounce) can crushed or whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeño pepper (cooked, canned), sliced (Note concerning the tomatoes and jalapeño pepper: my mother will substitute these on occasion with a cup of Pace brand salsa - works fine)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro leaves


1 If using dry beans, cook the beans on the stove top or in the pressure cooker:

Stove Top Method - Put beans into a pot and cover with at least 3 inches of water—about 3 quarts for 2 1/2 cups of dry beans. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer, covered, for about 2 1/2 hours.

The cooking time will vary depending on the batch of beans you have. The beans are done when they are soft and the skin is just beginning to break open.

Pressure Cooker Method - Put beans into a 4 quart or larger pressure cooker with a 15 lb weight. Fill the pressure cooker with water up to the line that indicates the capacity for the pot (about two thirds of the way). Cook for 30 to 35 minutes, until the beans are soft and the skins are barely breaking open.

Allow the pressure cooker to cool completely before opening. If there is resistance when attempting to open the cooker, do not open it, allow it to cool further. Follow the directions for your brand of pressure cooker. (See How to Make Fast No Soak Beans in a Pressure Cooker.)

Either method - Strain the beans from the cooking water.

2 Cook the rice: When you're ready to begin making the chili beans (after the dried beans are cooked), cook the rice. Put 2 cups of rice in a medium thick-bottomed pot. Add 3 cups of water (less or more depending on package instructions), a tablespoon of butter (for flavor), and a teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a low simmer, cover the pot and let cook for 15 minutes (again check your package instructions).

Remove from heat, keep covered, and let steam for 10 minutes.

3 Sauté the onions: In a large skillet, sauté onions in 2 Tbsp of olive oil until translucent on medium high heat, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and chili powder and cook for a minute more.

Remove the onions to a bowl.

4 Brown the meat: Increase the heat to high, and add the meat to the same pan used to cook the onions. Let cook for a minute or two without moving so that the meat gets browned, then turn to brown on the other sides.

5 Combine meat and onions, add tomatoes and jalapeño: Add the onions and garlic back to the pan. Taste for spiciness and add more chili powder if desired.

Add one can of tomatoes, the sliced jalapeno pepper, the chopped parsley, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of sugar to counteract the acidity of the tomatoes. Stir to combine.

6 Add the cooked beans and simmer: Once the beans are cooked, drain them. Add the beans to the meat and onions, adding another teaspoon of salt as the beans go in.

Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, tasting and adding more salt if needed to taste.

7 Serve: Stir in cilantro leaves right before serving, or sprinkle on top. Serve over rice or with warm corn tortillas.

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  • Elizabeth

    I made this recipe just like you said. I was wondering why it tasted kinda funny. You said cilantro in the ingredients but parsley in the directions. It was still yummy though!

  • Pam

    I am so glad that I came across this chili bean recipe. My very first time making it. My husband loved it, I will be making this all the time. Thank you


  • Linda

    Very happy I stumbled upon this chilli bean receipe. Used to make it years ago close to this receipe.
    Only thing I did was used leftover pinto beans like I used to and & added small amount if catsup to it like I used to when I worked in a school cafeteria.
    Tasted delicious.
    Will look forward to following your blog & checking out your other receipes.
    Thanks so much!

  • Stephanie

    Hi Elise,

    Just want you to know that I make this recipe all the time. I read your blog often but comment rarely. This is so good and simple that I make it often.



  • Pam

    I made this tonight, It was my first time making chilli and it was delicious, thank you!!


  • Brandon G.

    Very good recipe. I did it a little different to make it more of a one pot meal. I slowly cooked two pieces of bacon which yielded about 2 tbls of grease, took the bacon out to cool and added the onions and garlic per the recipe till translucent. I then added the rest of the ingredients minus the meat, rice and water for the rice until hot. Once hot I added the water for the rice, let it come to a boil, added the rice and let it simmer for about hour per the amount of time needed for the rice. For the meat, instead of doing it per the recipe, I grilled/smoked some beef ribs. To plate, I put a ladle of the pot contents on a plate and added slices of the grilled/smoked beef ribs on top. Slightly different, but very good.

    • Brandon G.

      Forgot one thing, I crumbled the cooled bacon and added it to the pot to simmer with the rest of the ingredients.

  • Mary C.

    I made this for a potluck Saturday and it turned out so good and got many raves :) Thank you again for another awesome recipe!


  • auntcandie

    I made this using canned organic beans (2 cans rinsed) and PACE Medium salsa as my kitchen is under construction. Made such a HUGE quantity I took it for lunch the next day and fed about 8 people. Easy and amazingly tasty. thanks!


  • Domestic Diva Heather

    I love your website. I make meals from your website at least four days a week. Your recipes make me feel like an accomplished chef. I love this quick chili recipe and look forward to many more! Thank you!!!


  • K

    Another Great recipe! I follow your recipes as written to begin with,second time around I’ll make adjustments if I want to. To be perfectly honest, I don’t make changes to often, everything is perfect as is. Thanks for the hardwork you put into your sight. I’m having a good time learning how to be a better cook.


  • Megan

    I made this tonight for the first time it was super easy and quick for a chili. Served with steamed rice and flour tortillas. Thanks again for another great recipe. Loved it and will make again:)


  • Mrs. R.

    I made this last night and we loved it! I added two carrots and used fresh tomatoes since I had them on hand. We ate it with rice and added a little bit lime juice, it was so good! Thank you and I love your blog.


  • Lisa

    WOWZA! Last night my husband said “I’d like some chili.”

    I googled Turkey Chili and was thrilled when the first recipe was here on simplyrecipes! Made it today, served it with cornbread. Delicious!

    And I am not a fan of chili flavors. This is amazing though!



  • Jennifer



  • Karen G.

    Beans cooked in a pressure cooker can be hazardous. the bean will sometimes cover the hole at the top and the pressure cooker can explode.

    This is why it is especially important to be careful when cooking beans in a pressure cooker. Never fill the cooker to capacity when cooking beans. ~Elise

  • Penny

    Served over cornbread, dee-lish! Instead of canned jalapenos, I bought a whole one and roasted it on the gas stove. It added a kick to the dish, but the cheese and sour cream countered that nicely. Simple, healthy high-protein meal. Thanks Elise!

  • Tereze

    Hello, Elise!
    I was wondering if I can use fresh tomatoes instead of canned? Would it make any difference?

    Thanks for your site, I am from France and I use your recipes daily.


    Hello Tereze, yes you can. You may need to cook them longer in that last step, as canned tomatoes are already cooked. ~Elise

  • lbc

    I liked the flavors and heartiness of this recipe. It was easy to make using canned pintos. I prefer my chili a little more saucy so I added a large can of tomato sauce and it was just right. Without the sauce, it was more of a sloppy joe consistency. Will definitely make again using this addition.

  • Carrie Steere-Salazar

    I wanted to let you know we used your Mom’s Chili recipe to feed 90 men at the church’s Winter Shelter program last night (the choir was in charge of cooking for the evening and I was the “lead” chef).

    The church obtains most of the food from the SF food bank so some of the ingredients had to be substituted. We used 25 lbs of meat, five 6-lb cans of pre-cooked beans (kidney and black since pinto beans were not available), 30 cups of uncooked rice, 15 onions, 30 garlic cloves, two 6-lb cans of diced tomatoes and a mix of chili powder, cumin and salt/pepper. We served this with hot corn bread and offered lots of cilanthro as a topping for the chili. The men loved the recipe and many of them came back for seconds and thirds–those quantities made more than 90 portions, thank goodness.

  • D A

    Very Nice….. And right in context. We in the south call this dish CHILI BEANS because it’s a sweet take on regular chili! Don’t forget the sweet jalepeno/pimento cornbread!!!!! Thanks for sharing! I don’t comment ever! ( I used brown sugar dark and light one of each for about 2 tblsp with cayenne!)

  • katie

    I made this dish for dinner tonight and lets say it was a keeper! My boyfriend is veg, so I substituted the ground meat for veggie ground “beef”. I also used one canned chipotle pepper (needed to get rid of it) w/ some of its sauce instead of the jalapeno and, with that in mind, was conservative with the chili powder. Thanks for the great recipe! This is going in my regular rotation, for sure.

  • Aya

    Tried this for dinner last night, and it came out amazing! I have never browned meat before and your instructions (moving aside the onions, adding chili powder directly to the meat as it cooks) yielded spectacularly flavorful results. I’m just disappointed that I was unable to find pinto beans in any of my neighborhood supermarkets and used romano beans. They weren’t all that great. Which beans are most similar to pinto?

    For this dish probably red beans. For more Mexican dishes I would say black beans. ~Elise

  • Chloe

    Another great recipe. Awesome Blog!

  • Jessica Grimes From Dallas

    Made this tonight for the 1st time. SO good, SO fast and SO affordable! Used canned beans and ground turkey. Husband loved it! Going on the weekly rotation thats for sure!

  • Cosima

    I’m coming late to this game, but I made this last night and my family raved about it. So simple, yet it packed a punch. I used Rotel instead of the plain tomatoes and jalepeno and it was delicious. I have loved every recipe of yours I have tried. Thanks!!!!

  • ~M

    YUM! Have you ever made this with black beans instead of the the pintos? My husband and I prefer black beans.

    Thanks for the idea/substitution to use salsa!

    When you make this with ground turkey, do you usually use white meat ground turkey or dark meat ground turkey? I’ve never cooked with ground turkey before and wonder whether you would need to drain fat off if you used dark meat ground turkey (which I prefer, taste-wise).


    You could easily make this with black beans. We also have a good black beans and rice recipe btw. Regarding dark vs white turkey meat, I think we use a mix. We don’t drain off the fat because there isn’t enough to drain off; turkey is quite lean. ~Elise

  • Zoe

    Just made this tonight–very yummy and easy! I used ground turkey and kidney beans because I had no pinto beans. Pintos would have been creamier, I’m sure, but kidney beans worked fine. I also replaced all of the parsley with a lot more cilantro, because I’m a cilantro fiend!

  • Kyle Cachora

    Thanks! I’m really down in the gutter and have only pinto beans, ground beef, chili powder, and tomato sauce. I haven’t eaten in 2 days because there is nothing to eat in my house. But I looked all over and have found what is needed to make some food. Thank you!

  • shabiya

    I am an asian, and our foods are very different from this. But when I tried this one, wow. It was simply delicious. My husband enjoyed it very much, it’s easy to make, less prep time, no hard to find ingredients. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Sharon

    In regard to draining the meat, I not only drain the ground beef, but I rinse it in hot water. It eliminates all the grease from the meat making it a bit healthier. (And it doesn’t affect the flavor when using in a dish like this.)

    If you are going to go that route, I would just start with extra-lean ground meat to begin with. I also challenge the assumption that getting rid of the fat in this case is healthier. But this isn’t a debate I’m willing to get into on this site or in this post, other than to say that what is unhealthy for one person isn’t necessarily unhealthy for another. ~Elise

  • Laura

    Looks awesome, simple, and delicious.

    Just curious, what’s the theory behind moving the onions to one side while doing the ground meat, to cook them more so they are almost carmelized?


    Saves dirtying another pan! ~Elise

  • Lisa Goad

    I can’t wait to make this recipe! Would canned beans change the flavor/texture too much?


    Hi Lisa, you can use canned beans without a problem. ~Elise

  • betsythegreat

    I notice the recipe does not say to drain the fat off the meat after frying. Should you not?

    Good question. We usually make this with ground turkey, so there is very little fat. If you find that browning your meat leaves more than a tablespoon of fat in the pan, drain the excess if you want. ~Elise

  • Nancy

    It looks delicious. Funny how family recipes like this have little quirks and traditions; in my house we don’t go to the trouble of non-canned beans, and we add precisely 5 whole cloves to the mix. And the jalapeno would be replaced by a sweet bell pepper. No matter. Great dish!

  • jenn

    Great simple recipe. My nearly 2-year-old gobbled up two kiddie sized bowls of this. We served it over steamed brown rice, with sides of tossed salad and corn muffins. The only change I made was to use canned pintos, in an attempt to use up the canned beans I have on hand.

  • Iron Chef Ceejay

    I am new to cooking and now I’m considered a top chef, am requested all over. Your site really helps. Occasionally I brag and then I have to cook something but I never panic. I just visit your site and BAM I’m Iron Chef. THANK YOU.

    Love it with ham; it gives it a boosted flavor.

  • Karen Lane

    I have been making this for 8 months. I add a small can of tomato sauce and use ham cubes in place of the ground beef. I also use lots of black pepper. Thanks for the great recipe. This is definitely a hit with my family and friends.

  • Lois Walters-Ruiz

    Just tried the Chili… very good.