Hearty Southern Beans Recipe: Perfect Comfort Food

Welcome, y’all! Today, I’m sharing with you my favorite Southern Beans Recipe. As a Southern chef, I’ve made my fair share of beans, and this recipe is one of my most cherished. Trust me when I say that once you try these Southern pinto beans, you’ll want to make them again and again.

There’s something special about the way a bowl of flavorful beans can bring people together. Whether it’s during a family dinner or weekend barbecue, these southern-style pinto beans are the perfect side dish for any occasion.

This recipe is simple and easy to follow, but it’s packed with flavor. The combination of savory hock meat and crispy bacon makes each bite a delight to savor. Not to mention the subtle tanginess of ketchup and mustard – this recipe will surely impress your tastebuds.

So get ready to become the master of your kitchen and cook these Southern Beans like a pro!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Beans
Southern Beans

Greetings, my fellow food enthusiasts! If you’re looking for a hearty, flavorful and affordable southern-style meal, I’ve got just the recipe for you. Let me introduce you to my “Southern Beans Recipe”, a true classic from down south that will leave your taste buds singing with joy.

What makes this dish so special? First and foremost, its main stars – southern pinto beans and ham hocks – really bring out the essence of southern cooking. The beans are simmered to perfection with savory herbs and spices, while the ham hocks add a smoky, meaty depth that will make you feel like you’re sitting right in the front porch of a cozy southern home.

But don’t worry if you’re not a big fan of ham. This recipe is versatile enough to accommodate different tastes and preferences. You could easily swap the ham hocks for smoked bacon or ground beef to give it a different twist. Plus, it’s gluten-free and packed with protein, making it an ideal choice for those who are health-conscious.

Oh, and did I mention how easy it is to make? Simply soak the dried beans overnight, then let them cook on low heat in a crockpot or on the stovetop until they’re soft and tender. Add some chili powder, red pepper flakes, chopped onions, garlic cloves, ketchup, mustard and red wine vinegar to create a bold and zesty sauce that complements the beans perfectly.

And last but not least, this dish is perfect for feeding a crowd or meal prepping for the week ahead. It pairs well with all kinds of sides like cornbread, collard greens or mac and cheese just to name a few, making it perfect for potluck dinners or family gatherings. Trust me when I say that once you try this recipe out yourself, you’ll understand why it’s such a beloved staple in southern households everywhere.

So what are you waiting for? Grab some dried pinto beans, ham hocks, and a few other pantry staples, gather your loved ones around the dinner table and get ready to fall in love with this southern-style bean recipe. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.

Ingredient List

 These Southern Beans will transport you to the heart of the South with just one taste.
These Southern Beans will transport you to the heart of the South with just one taste.

Southern Style Pinto Beans are slow-cooked over low heat until they are tender and packed with flavor. Here is what you need to create an authentic southern-style pinto beans recipe.


  • 16 oz. Dried Pinto Beans

  • 1 Smoked Ham Hock

  • 1 Large Onion, diced

  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced

  • 2 Bay Leaves

  • 6 cups Water or Chicken Broth

  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Optional ingredients for additional flavor:

  • ½ cup of Barbeque Sauce or ketchup

  • 1 tablespoon of mustard

  • 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar, for tanginess

  • 1 teaspoon of Chili Powder or Red Pepper Flakes, for spiciness

These simple ingredients can be found at any grocery store, but what makes them special is how they cook together in the pot.

The Recipe How-To

 Simple ingredients – great taste! That’s what these Southern Beans are all about.
Simple ingredients – great taste! That’s what these Southern Beans are all about.

Southern Pinto Beans Recipe

Are you ready to cook up a hearty, filling dish of southern pinto beans? Here’s how you can make it happen!


  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 1 smoked ham hock (or any other meat of your choice)
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. First, start by soaking the dried pinto beans in cold water for at least 8 hours or overnight. Then, drain and rinse them thoroughly.

  2. Heat up a pot on medium-high heat and add olive oil to sauté diced onion garlic for up to three minutes.

  3. Add your ham hocks or any other chopped meat into the pot and cook together with the onions until they are browned and almost crispy.

  4. Put in the rinsed beans into the pot, pour in six cups of hot water and bring the mixture to a boil (You could still use a crock pot on low heat if preferred for stand-and-cook method).

  5. Reduce the heat to simmer and add bay leaves, chili powder, salt, and pepper to the mixture.

  6. Cook the beans slowly until they are tender for approximately two hours. You could also use a slow cooker set it up to cook on high heat for about four-six hours, or on low for about eight.

  7. Once cooked, remove the meat and discard if preferred but reserve if desired.

  8. Serve hot as a side dish or as a meal by itself topped with crisp bacon bits, green onions red peppers pepper flakes dressed in red wine vinegar mixture of barbecue sauce ketchup and mustard (optional).


  • For extra flavor, add some canned diced tomatoes or red pepper flakes into the mix.
  • For a vegan or vegetarian version, omit the meat and use vegetable stock instead of chicken broth.

Now that you know how to make southern pinto beans from scratch like a pro, go ahead and give it a try. You won’t be disappointed with this tasty and filling dish.

Substitutions and Variations

 Dive into a bowl of comforting soul food with these Southern Beans.
Dive into a bowl of comforting soul food with these Southern Beans.

When it comes to beans, the possibilities for substitutions and variations are endless. You can add your own spin to this southern-style pinto beans recipe by incorporating different kinds of beans or meats.

If you don’t have ham hocks on hand, smoked ham or bacon will do just fine. Alternatively, you could use ground beef to make a hearty chili with a similar flavor profile.

For those looking to mix up their bean game, try swapping out pinto beans for navy beans, butter beans, or even lima beans. You could also add in some green beans or string beans to balance out the texture and flavor.

In terms of seasonings, feel free to play around with different spices such as chili powder, red pepper flakes, or cumin. You could also give the dish a tangy twist with a dash of red wine vinegar or a dollop of ketchup and mustard.

Overall, this southern-style beans recipe is highly adaptable and can be tailored to suit your tastes and ingredients in your pantry. Just remember that small adjustments can go a long way towards elevating your dish from good to great.

Serving and Pairing

 Delicious South-inspired goodness, it’s all in the bowl of these Southern Beans!
Delicious South-inspired goodness, it’s all in the bowl of these Southern Beans!

When it comes to the serving and pairing of these southern-style pinto beans, there’s nothing quite like a big bowl of these delicious beans paired with some warm cornbread straight from the oven. You could also serve these beans as a side dish with baked ham, pork chops, or grilled chicken. For a vegetarian option, pair them with roasted vegetables or a crisp salad dressed in red wine vinegar and olive oil.

These beans are always a welcome addition to barbecues, picnics, and potlucks where they can be served as a standalone dish or as a side with burgers and hot dogs. You could also take them tailgating for an easy and tasty meal on-the-go.

For an elevated twist on this classic dish, try serving the pinto beans over rice or quinoa garnished with diced tomatoes, chopped green onions, and a dollop of sour cream. If you prefer something spicier, add some crushed red pepper flakes to your bowl.

No matter how you choose to serve and pair these southern-style pinto beans recipe ingredients, they’re sure to be a hit at any gathering. So grab a spoon and dig in!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 You won’t be able to resist the savory, mouth-watering aroma of these Southern Beans.
You won’t be able to resist the savory, mouth-watering aroma of these Southern Beans.

Now that you’ve got your delicious Southern Pinto Beans recipe all cooked up and ready to enjoy, it’s important to know how to properly store and reheat them for future meals. You can make these beans ahead of time, and they’re perfect for meal prepping or bringing to a potluck.

To store Southern Pinto Beans in the fridge, transfer them to an airtight container or zip-top bag once they’ve cooled down. They can be stored in the fridge for up to five days without losing too much flavor or texture. When it’s time to enjoy them again, simply reheat the beans on the stovetop in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until fully heated through.

If you have more leftovers than you’ll be able to use within five days, consider freezing them instead. Transfer the cooled pinto beans into an airtight freezer-safe container or bag, leaving enough room at the top for expansion during freezing. They can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

When reheating frozen Southern Pinto Beans, let them thaw overnight in the fridge first before reheating on the stovetop over medium heat. Add water if needed to prevent the beans from drying out or sticking to the pan. Don’t forget to stir occasionally until heated through!

Whether you’re making this pinto bean recipe for a big gathering or just for yourself, it’s always great to have some leftovers that you can enjoy later with minimal effort. Just follow these simple guidelines and you’ll be able to keep your Southern Pinto Beans tasting their best no matter when you decide to enjoy them next!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Get ready for a serious flavor explosion with these Southern Beans!
Get ready for a serious flavor explosion with these Southern Beans!

Southern-style cuisine is all about flavor, and this recipe for Southern Beans is no exception. To ensure your beans turn out perfectly every time, I’ve compiled some tips that will help you cook like a pro.

1. Soaking the beans

If you are using dried pinto or kidney beans, soaking them overnight in cold water not only helps reduce the cooking time but also allows the beans to absorb more flavor. Make sure to discard the soaking water and rinse the beans before cooking.

2. Ham hock or smoked ham for flavor

Ham hock or smoked ham is a secret ingredient in many Southern bean recipes, as it imparts rich, smoky flavors into your dish. Make sure to use high-quality ham hocks or smoked ham to take your beans to the next level.

3. Add salt later

Adding salt too early in the cooking process can prevent beans from softening, so it’s best to wait until they are tender before seasoning with salt and pepper.

4. Don’t skimp on the seasoning

Southern-style beans are loaded with flavors like chili powder, red pepper flakes, garlic cloves, and onions. Make sure not to skimp on the seasonings, as they are necessary to add depth and complexity to your dish.

5. Slow cooked is key

The slow cooker or crock-pot is ideal for cooking Southern Beans as it allows ingredients to cook at a low temperature for several hours. This method ensures that all the flavors have time to meld together while keeping the beans tender and not mushy.

Incorporate these tips into your cookery routine and watch your Southern-style pinto beans become an instant family-favorite and must-have addition to your recipe repertoire.


Before you get cooking, make sure to check out these frequently asked questions. They might just save you from any hurdles and ensure your Southern Beans Recipe turns out perfectly every time. Keep reading to get all the answers you need.

How can I make my beans more flavorful?

Let me tell you about a secret ingredient for making the perfect southern-style beans. After draining, rinsing and drying the beans, toss them in some olive oil (or avocado oil if you have it), along with your favorite seasonings. Get creative with it and experiment, adding crushed whole seeds like coriander, cumin, fennel, or mustard, along with woodsy herbs like thyme, oregano, rosemary or sage. For a little kick, add some red pepper flakes and crushed garlic cloves. Finally, don’t forget to season with salt and pepper to taste.

How to season beans to taste like meat?

When it comes to enhancing the taste of a pot of simmering beans, relying on traditional seasoning meats like bacon, salt pork, and ham is the key.

What goes with Southern baked beans?

I am thrilled to share with y’all some yummy Southern-style recipes that will leave your taste buds wanting more. We’ll be cooking up some delicious BBQ ribs, creamy mac and cheese, juicy hot dogs, classic hamburgers, succulent pulled pork or chicken, savory Shepherd’s Pie, mouth-watering baked ham, and tender brisket. So, grab your apron and let’s get cooking!

BBQ Ribs:

To start with, let’s prep the ribs. I prefer baby back ribs, but you can use any kind you like. Remove the membrane from the underside of the ribs and season them with salt and pepper. Then, generously rub BBQ seasoning all over the ribs. Preheat the grill between 225-250°F, and then slow cook the ribs for around 4-5 hours covered with aluminum foil. Afterward, brush the ribs with your favorite BBQ sauce and cook them for an additional 15 minutes, flipping them once. The meat should be super tender and should fall right off the bone.

Mac and Cheese:

Next up, a classic favorite – mac and cheese. Boil macaroni according to package instructions. In another pot, melt some butter and whisk in flour to create a roux. Then, whisk in whole milk and heavy cream. Add salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and Dijon mustard to flavor the mixture. Once it thickens up, stir in some shredded cheddar cheese, gouda cheese, and parmesan cheese. Mix in the cooked macaroni, and then bake the dish in the oven at 375°F for around 20-25 minutes. The mac and cheese will turn golden and bubbly with a perfectly crispy topping.

Hot Dogs and Hamburgers:

Now onto the grill favorites! For hot dogs and hamburgers, simply season the meat patties with salt and pepper and grill them to perfection on a preheated grill or skillet. Add your favorite toppings like onions, tomatoes, lettuce, mustard, and ketchup. Serve the hot dogs with some baked beans or coleslaw, and the hamburgers with potato chips or fries.

Pulled Pork or Pulled Chicken:

For some pulled meat, season the pork or chicken with salt, black pepper, and paprika. Preheat the oven to 325°F, then cook the meat for around 3-4 hours until it’s tender and can be easily shredded with a fork. Let the meat cool, then shred it into little pieces. In a bowl, mix some BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, and worcestershire sauce. Pour it over the shredded meat and mix well. Reheat the meat in a pan over medium heat until it’s heated through. Serve on a bun or with some rice or baked beans.

Shepherd’s Pie:

For some hearty shepherd’s pie, sauté onions, carrots, and celery over medium heat. Add in some ground beef or lamb and cook until brown. Stir in some tomato paste, beef broth, and frozen peas. Add salt, black pepper, garlic, and thyme to flavor the mixture. Transfer the beef mixture to a baking dish and top it with mashed potatoes. Bake it in the oven at 375°F for around 20-25 minutes until it’s heated through and the potatoes turn golden.

Baked Ham:

For some baked ham, preheat the oven to 325°F. Score the ham with a knife in a diamond pattern. Mix some brown sugar, honey, and dijon mustard together in a bowl. Spread the mixture over the ham, making sure to get it in the scored parts. Cover the ham with foil and bake it in the oven for around 1-2 hours, depending on the size of the ham. The ham should be heated through and have a lovely caramelized glaze on top.


Last but not least, brisket. Season the brisket with salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Preheat the oven to 225°F, and then cook the brisket covered with foil for around 4-6 hours. Afterward, remove the foil and pour some BBQ sauce on top of the meat. Cook the brisket uncovered for another 30-45 minutes until the sauce glazes over. Let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing the meat against the grain.

These Southern-style dishes will surely satisfy any appetite, whether it’s for a family dinner or a summer BBQ party. With these easy-to-follow recipes, you’ll be able to impress your guests with your culinary skills in no time!

How do you make Paula Deen pinto beans?

If you’re looking to cook a delicious batch of Southern-style beans, make sure to give them a good wash and then soak them in cold water overnight. Once you’re ready to start cooking, get your slow cooker out and toss in the drained beans. To give your beans an extra kick, add in some chili powder and oregano. It’s always best to add a ham hock to your beans; this will help infuse them with the perfect flavor. Don’t forget to add enough liquid to cover the beans, then toss in a whole onion to cook alongside. Finally, season everything off with some salt, pepper, and garlic salt.

Bottom Line

“To sum it up, my Southern Beans Recipe using dried pinto beans or kidney beans combined with ham hocks or bacon will take you on a journey to the South with every bite. This comfort food recipe is perfect for any occasion whether it’s a barbecue, potluck or even if you just want to enjoy a warm bowl of beans and memories from your childhood. The flavor profile is unbeatable with ingredients such as ketchup, mustard, and red wine vinegar. I highly recommend this recipe to anyone looking for a classic Southern-style cuisine that will make you feel at home. So don’t wait any longer, gather your ingredients 1-2-3 and cook like a pro! Trust me, once you have tried my Southern Beans Recipe, it will be hard to go back to anything else.”

Southern Beans

Southern Beans Recipe

This is a delicious, savory, quick meal that my mom used to make when I was little and it even won a local contest once. It's great with a salad and some hot buttered bread. Enjoy!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 629.8 kcal


  • 1 lb hamburger, browned and drained
  • 1 (15 1/2 ounce) can kidney beans
  • 2 (11 ounce) cans pork and beans
  • 1 (1 ounce) envelope onion soup mix
  • 5 -6 slices crisp bacon, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In casserole put hamburger, all three cans of beans, bacon, and onion soup mix, stir well.
  • Mix together in a bowl, ketchup, vinegar, mustard, and salt and pepper, mix well. Pour into hamburger and bean mixture, stir well.
  • Bake for 45 minutes.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 455gCalories: 629.8kcalCarbohydrates: 70.8gProtein: 43.8gFat: 21.3gSaturated Fat: 7.5gCholesterol: 99.6mgSodium: 2677.6mgFiber: 15.2gSugar: 17.3g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Beans, Easy, Inexpensive, Meat, One-Dish Meal, Pork, Savory
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