7 Ranch Style Beans Substitute

7 Ranch Style Beans Substitute

If you’re fond of Texan food, you might be familiar with the delicious ranch-style beans. It’s popular in Texas, so not that many people from the rest of the world know that such kind of dish exists. People of Texas are said never to forget to include ranch-style beans in most of their recipes.

Ranch-style beans are a famous texas food, so it’s easy to find them there but not in other countries. So if you’ve moved out of Texas or are a fan of ranch-style beans but can’t find them in your nearby stores, we’ve got some substitutes available for you here.

What are ranch-style beans?

Those people who aren’t familiar with this term, let us tell you that it’s not some stylish beans. Actually, it’s not any type of beans either. Ranch-style beans are food or an item included in a recipe. For example, pinto beans are used in ranch-style beans.

Ranch-style beans come in cans originally from Texas. If you’re lucky, you can find the canned version in your nearby stores. Otherwise, you have the option of making your own ranch-style beans or using its alternatives.

Ranch-style beans are a delicious combination of oregano, tomatoes, Pinto beans, cumin, and chili. When these ingredients come together, it gives a magical flavor used with ranch huevos or street tacos.

This is a bean pods

Here are 7 substitutes to ranch style beans

As we mentioned earlier, ranch-style beans aren’t a single type of beans; instead, it’s a combination of ingredients, so we’ll talk about what you can use in place of each ingredient.

1. Kidney beans

The main ingredient in ranch-style beans is pinto beans, defining the whole flavor. Unfortunately, pinto beans are not that easy to find anywhere out of Texas, so if you can’t find them in your area, you need something very similar to it in texture and taste.

Kidney beans are the closest substitute to pinto beans. Both the dark and light types of kidney beans would work here. Their flavor and texture are pretty similar to pinto beans. Kidney beans are packed with flavors, so when you add them into your recipe, it brings out the dish’s flavor without hiding the flavor of other ingredients.

2. Chili

Yes, we know that chili is already an ingredient of ranch-style beans, but we also know that there are so many types of chilies in the market. Each type of chili has a different flavor and heat than the other, so it would be stupid to just swap one for the other without considering anything.

In the case of ranch-style beans, we particularly aim to get the smoky flavor. So that leaves out a lot of options. Now we’re being pointed towards choosing ancho chilies. They’re available in powder and whole forms, so you can use any of them to make ranch beans. You should not forget to remove the beans from the whole ancho chilies because it will make your ranch beans very spicy.

3. Tomatoes

Okay, this can look silly because tomatoes are available in every store. But, it’s better to have a backup plan than sorry. There may come a time when someone in your house used the few tomatoes left or your nearest store sold out all the tomatoes. That’s when you can use canned tomatoes.

They work fine when you have to make a paste or sauce. Just make sure you’ve drained all the liquid before using the tomatoes. Ketchup can also be used in place of tomatoes, and the taste would be “OK.”

This is a different variety in beans

4. Coriander

We all know how pleasant the smell and taste of cumin are. It has its unique flavor while it brings out the flavor of all the other ingredients too at the same time. It gives a smoky flavor to anything it’s added. But there will be times you run out of this magical ingredient.

Powdered coriander would come to your rescue this time. However, some may not prefer coriander to use caraway seeds in this case.

5. Garlic and Onion

Onion and garlic are two commonly used ingredients in a lot of dishes. So there are chances that you probably run out of it before making ranch-style beans. While whole onion and garlic are popular choices, you can use their paste versions if you don’t have the whole version with you.

Garlic and onion give a tangy flavor to ranch beans, so you obviously can’t skip using them. Of course, fresh things always work better, but we’re focused on the flavor here, so paste also gives the same flavor as the whole would give.

6. Oregano

Oregano has a very unique flavor, and it’s not that easy to find a perfect replacement in terms of flavor. But it’s not impossible to do that. You can use thyme or basil if you can’t find any oregano for your recipe.

A quick tip: Never replace oregano and cumin at the same time for a recipe. Both of these ingredients have a unique flavor, so when you replace both of them at the same time, you will get a very odd flavor from the replacements. So replace only one at a time.

7. Sweetener

Ranch beans use chilies to expect your mouth to get burnt if you don’t add anything to control the spiciness. Sweetener would be a wise choice here. Also, if you’ve used ketchup instead of tomatoes for the recipe, you should limit the amount of sweetener you would be using as ketchup is already sweet.

Most of the recipes of ranch-style beans demand brown sugar as its versatile ingredient. It will thicken the sauce and also balances the spiciness that will come from chilies.


At last, we would like to say that when you find the perfect replacement for the ingredients used to make ranch-style beans, there’s nothing to be worried about. Just take care of a few things we mentioned, and we assure you that you’ll not have to compromise on the taste, color, and texture of your ranch beans.


  1. https://tulsaworld.com/lifestyles/food-and-cooking/dive-into-a-hot-bowl-of-homemade-chili-for-national-chili-day/article_3e53b866-9427-11ec-b7bf-f7276e475ce0.html
  2. https://www.news-journal.com/features/columnists/barbara_mcclellan/mcclellan-a-chili-dish-for-chilly-days/article_2b1c9b82-8829-11ec-8bec-5f0dea547916.html

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