Brown Bean Chowder Recipe -
Brown Bean Chowder Recipe
  • READY IN 3+ hrs

Brown Bean Chowder

Recipe by  

"This bean chowder is similar to chili. It's one of the most popular dishes at Tulsa Public Schools. Those of us growing up in the 60's and 70's remember it fondly as a favorite treat. A real stick-to-your-ribs comfort food. Tradition dictates that it is served with cinnamon rolls. This was given to me by my grandmother who was a dietician/cook for over 40 years."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 3 quarts Change Servings
  • PREP

    10 mins
  • COOK

    3 hrs

    3 hrs 10 mins


  1. Place the beans and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, and cook until the beans are almost tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons of chili powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt.
  2. While the beans are cooking, crumble the ground beef into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until onion is tender and meat is browned. Drain off excess grease, and stir in the tomato puree, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon salt and bread crumbs. Stir into the pot with the beans, adding more water if needed to achieve your desired thickness. Taste and adjust seasonings if you like before serving.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Mar 08, 2008

I was one of those kids growing up in the 60s & 70s in Tulsa and have wanted this recipe for years. It is one of the best. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe...what wonderful memories this brings back...and yes you have to have cinnamon rolls with it for "tradition". My husband will be thrilled (he went to school in Tulsa in the 70s)as this was one of his favorites.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Feb 05, 2012

This was cheap and fairly easy. I thought it was a decent base recipes, but it needed some spice. The whole thing took a long time from start to finish. I was left thinking that the flavor wasn't that good. Something to do with the beans.

Oct 06, 2005

It is really good and filling. has a lot of room for personalization

Jun 15, 2012

This is my dear Grandma's recipe. She was a dietician and ran Tulsa's John Ross Elem school cafeteria for several generations. This tastes very similar to Campbell's fiesta chili beef soup. I let it cook about 30 min longer for flavors to blend. I cut the salt down to only a tsp. but you can do this to taste. Great for picky eaters as there are no chunks of tomato or onion or other undesirable veggie. I serve this with cinnamon rolls, because that is how the schools always served it, so it's tradition. Delicious! Never any leftovers here.

Sep 09, 2007

This is a classic I found this recipe last winter when we were snowed in and needed variety with stuff we had on hand this simple recipe can be easily divided so kids get mild and add to the adults for spice I personally use a envelope of Williams chili seasoning to give it the spice I like and I have used canned pinto beans to make it during the week its always a hit and my husband who hates tomatoes loves this chili; great with saltines or tortilla chips, awesome with fritos and cheese with extra minced onion so possibilities are endless great with rice like a 3way or noodles; experiment and enjoy just for kids sake great protein and lower fat than most chili.

Oct 17, 2007

This is an all time favorite at our house.

Oct 21, 2010

This recipe is fantastic! I'm not from Tulsa so I'd never had it before, but even my picky non-bean-eating teenager gobbled it up. My only suggestion is to add a little hot sauce to the bowl when serving. This is going into the rotation folder. Thanks!

Sep 09, 2008

OMG This is sooooooo yummy. It is so filling and was a TPS kid of the 60's & 70's and longed to taste it again!! Just as I remembered. I only wish I had that cheesy noodle casserole recipe from Tulsa Public Schools from that era as well. It was my 2nd fav. If anyone reads this and has it, please post it as TPS Cheesy noodle casserole! THANKS


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  • Calories
  • 253 kcal
  • 13%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 34.9 g
  • 11%
  • Cholesterol
  • 23 mg
  • 8%
  • Fat
  • 5.8 g
  • 9%
  • Fiber
  • 9.8 g
  • 39%
  • Protein
  • 16.6 g
  • 33%
  • Sodium
  • 1117 mg
  • 45%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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