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Chef John's Santa Maria-Style Beans

Chef John's Santa Maria-Style Beans

Chef John

"Classic Santa Maria-style beans are made with a special variety of pink beans called pinquitos. These 'little pink' beans are prepared in a spicy, smoky, tomato/chili sauce that's spiked with not one, but two kinds of pork. Santa Maria beans have come into my life relatively late, so I plan on making up for lost time this barbecue season."
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10 h 35 m servings 344 cals
Serving size has been adjusted!
Original recipe yields 6 servings


  • Calories:
  • 344 kcal
  • 17%
  • Fat:
  • 4.7 g
  • 7%
  • Carbs:
  • 56.4g
  • 18%
  • Protein:
  • 20.2 g
  • 40%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 10 mg
  • 3%
  • Sodium:
  • 839 mg
  • 34%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

See full nutrition

Nutritional Information

1 Serving
Servings Per Recipe:
Amount Per Serving
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  • ** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
  • (-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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  • Prep

  • Cook

  • Ready In

  1. Place pink beans into a large container and cover with several inches of cool water; let stand 8 hours to overnight. Drain.
  2. Place drained beans in a stockpot with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a simmer and cook until almost completely tender, about 1 hour 45 minutes.
  3. While beans are simmering, cook and stir bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat until cooked through but not crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Add ham; cook and stir until ham is heated through, about 1 minute. Stir garlic into ham mixture and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add tomatoes, 1/2 cup water, ketchup, sugar, dry mustard, paprika, chili powder, salt, chipotle chile powder, and oregano. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook until flavors blend, about 30 minutes.
  4. Drain beans, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Combine beans, reserved liquid, and tomato mixture in the beans stockpot; bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender and mixture has thickened, about 30 minutes.

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Read all reviews 11
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If I wasn't married I would be standing up holding a poster board that said Chef John Marry Me!! These were fantastic beans. Not baked beans, not pinto beans, not any kind of beans I've had be...

.Very good starter. We just like more spice. We found it was just a nice tomato flavour. After sampling the way it was intended I tweaked it. I added 1 tblsp of liquid smoke and a tblsp of anch...

The flavor of these beans was great! I did make a couple changes - I used two cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed, instead of the dried beans. I also skipped the mustard, but added a little ...

My previous attempts at cooking beans have been less than spectacular. I have made this recipe several times with amazing results. I recommend this recipe for any summer social gathering. Some...

These beans are fantastic! I doubled the recipe for a barbeque picnic and used half black beans and half pink beans. I prepared the dry beans and sauce as recipe directs, and then used a crock...

Spectacular bean recipe! Finally, something a little different for the outdoor grilling season! Three cheers, Chef John!

Only needed 1/2 T sugar; other than that, I made as directed. I put the beans in the bacon pan to get the extra flavor from the drippings - really good with bread.

Tasty for sure, but a bit heavy on the meat for my taste. Next time I will use either ham or bacon but not both.

Being from the central coast of CA, these beans are at every BBQ. And i am so glad to make them at home now, and this recipe is great, just perfect, and thanks for the recipe.

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