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Santa Maria Style Beans Recipe

User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)


Santa Maria Style Beans Recipe

Santa Maria Style Beans Recipe

Photo (c) John Mitzewich
This Santa Maria style beans recipe is a classic side dish for California's famous grilled Santa Maria tri-tip. Santa Maria style beans are traditionally made using pinquito beans, which are small pink beans native to that part of California, but any dried bean will work for this great barbecue side dish.

Makes 8 Servings Santa Maria Style Beans

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes


  • 1 pound dry pinquito beans, pink beans, or pinto beans
  • 2 strips bacon, diced
  • 1/2 cup smoked cooked ham, diced
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5-oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle pepper, optional
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water


Check through beans for small stones. Place in a pot and cover with cold water; soak overnight. Drain beans and return to the pot. Cover by 3-inches with fresh cold water, and simmer for 1 hour, 45 minutes, or until tender.

While the beans are cooking, saute bacon in a saucepan over medium heat until lightly browned. Add the ham and garlic; saute 2 minutes longer. Add the tomato, ketchup, mustard, paprika, chili powder, chipotle, sugar, salt, and water. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes. Reserve.

When beans are ready; drain, but reserve one cup of the cooking liquid. Return beans and cup of liquid to the pot and stir in the sauce. Simmer on low for 30 minutes. Serve hot with grilled Santa Maria tri-tip.
User Reviews

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 5 out of 5
, Member kipperoo15

this recipe was exactly what I remember being served at Tri-tip dinner fundraisers when I was growing up in SoCal. I live in Seattle now so most of the southern california style foods I used to love eating, I now have to make for myself or be horribly disappointed. This recipe was easy, and is absolutely delicious.

5 out of 5 people found this helpful.

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