Ranch Style Beans Substitute: The Surprising Ingredients You Need to Know

If you want to be familiar with some of the best ranch style beans substitute then you have to read this article! You will be provided with ample alternatives to choose from!

Considered as a staple to Texan cuisine, ranch style beans provide deep taste and aroma making them as among the most sought after South-western dishes. But, ranch style beans aren’t popular in some area and so finding canned products or even a restaurant that offers such dish could be quite a challenge. So, if you are facing such hardship, why not opt to consider ranch style beans substitute instead?


Well, there are numbers of ingredients out there that could be considered in order for you to enjoy ranch style beans. You only need to be very careful on choosing the right alternative.

But, what do you think is the reason why ranch style beans are so special? Well, simply said it is because of their flavor.

Ranch style would mean a very specific combination of certain ingredients based on the person that will cook it. So, the list of ingredients that will help you come up with the best flavor like the ranch style beans will be provided below.

Ranch Style Beans Substitute Ingredients

Here are the best ingredients for you to savor the same great taste of the ranch style beans:

Pinto Beans

pinto beans

For those who are expert in culinary, you might know that every kind of beans would have their own distinct texture and flavor. And these distinctions would contribute immensely to the overall flavor of the dish. With this, choosing a substitute bean having flavor and texture is as close as possible to that of the Pinto beans is indeed very crucial.

The light red kidney beans are considered to be very close relatives to the Pinto beans and would have a flavor and texture which is quite the same with the pinto bean. But, if these beans aren’t available, the dark beans could work though they would have an impact on the overall dish color.

Garlic and Onion

garlic onion

These are two ingredients referred to be very important since they are responsible with regards to giving the dish its characteristic tang. Fresh ones are advised but you might also consider powdered garlic and onions.

You need to make sure that you buy onion and garlic powder separately in order to have some freedom on the ratio of every ingredient put into the recipe.


This is considered as a seasoning base for sauces and soups made by cooking down bones, meat and vegetables. And the cooked-down product could be a base of flavor or fat to the stews, sauces, and soups.

Based on the recipe, you might try making ranch style beans with beef stock or with chicken stock. Some would also create an in-sauce stock through adding a ham hock. As for adding more depth to the sauce, you might add a large chunk of bacon fat which could be removed prior to eating.


vegetables tomatoes

The flavor and acid in tomatoes are just part of the reason why they are considered as basic ingredients of most sauces. There is something about the texture and tang of tomatoes which blend so well to sauce bases.

As ranch style beans substitute ingredients, tomatoes could be added in varied ways and at varied times too based on the other ingredients you will add. For canned tomatoes, take note that some brands could be sweeter and could help in avoiding the bitterness of the sauce.

Once using a vinegar for sour flavor component, tomatoes might be added a lot earlier. You could use either fresh or canned tomato. Cooking time would break down the tomatoes into stewed one. But if there is no vinegar, you might get some acidity by adding tomatoes during the last half an hour of cooking and using the fresh canned puree acidity as the vinegar alternative.


bell pepper

This one is created by drying then pulverizing one or many different kinds of pepper. It could be smoky, sweet or savory based on the preparation and the kind of peppers used. The paprika is added to the ranch style beans for more depth of flavor.

There is certain smokiness you will get once paprika is added whether or not smoked. And as a bonus, paprika could also offer numbers of health benefits such as reducing cramps, increasing circulation, helping digestion and combating fever. This will definitely add to the overall nutrition of the ranch style beans substitute.

Salt And Pepper

salt and pepper

As for improving taste, this pair of culinary staples must be added but the amount and also the kind might vary based on the personal preference and some other ingredients to use. Salt will slow the cooking time significantly once you try to cook dried beans to soften them.

On the other hand, most experts would soak beans overnight in a cold and salted water or brine. And this could take almost 8 to 12 hours. For some, the type of salt matters a lot so better choose the right one.

In connection, pepper must be added in order to improve taste as well. White pepper might be common in most gourmet sauces, still, it is advised to use classic black pepper.



Referred as a classic Italian herb, oregano is a crucial ingredient in ranch style beans having a distinct taste. Dry oregano is advised as it is most commonly used for sauces wherein you put everything in at once then just let it cook for hours. For fresh oregano, it would taste best once you add it during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

This is considered as the case for almost all the herbs once added to the sauces or soups. Though you can’t taste the oregano originally, it is a classic ingredient in chili sauces wherein you can use as you make the ranch style beans substitute.

Chilli Or Chili Powder

chili or chili powder

There are many chili types and they could have different things to offer to the ranch style beans recipe. As for getting the closest flavor as possible, you would need a chili having a smoky flavor. This could be achieved through buying chilies which carry the flavor naturally like chile California, Chile Guajillo and Chile Ancho.

This ingredient might come as a whole, dried or in powder. For the whole chili, soak it in water for a few minutes then cut the stem and remove the seeds before you use so the beans aren’t that spicy. If there is no chili at all, consider enchilada sauce or red chili sauce but this must be your last option.

And if you have chili powder, there are many options to choose from and this one is readily available so you will not have any trouble looking for this one.


what is cumin

This one will help in adding more flavor as well as smokiness to the recipe and it is also one of the hardest items to replace. But, powdered coriander or caraway seeds would do the trick in a pinch if you don’t have cumin.

If in a case that you couldn’t find these yet you need your dish the soonest then a nice alternative is the taco seasoning mix. You just need to take a look at the included ingredients since it might already have oregano and chili powder so consider altering the recipe to reflect on this mix.


Brown sugar is the most popular sweetener if you want to make a ranch style beans substitute because of its ability to mask burnt flavors, thicken the sauce and complement the spiciness of the chilies. If there is no brown sugar, you can use molasses or some other kind of unrefined sugar.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! The list of ingredients you should definitely have for you to come up with the best ranch style beans substitute knowing that you can’t have the original one. The list is quite long and some ingredients might be hard to find, but there are other given alternatives too. With these ingredients and spices, you will surely enjoy the flavor and taste that is almost the same with the very popular ranch style beans.

Please leave your thoughts below or share with us your experience about cooking this recipe. You can also share this article with your family and friends! Happy cooking!

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Hi there! My name is Cindy Mari and cooking is definitely my passion. I love looking for interesting topics about cooking and share them with everyone. Aside from being passionate about cooking, I am also a foodie at heart.

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