Sausage and Pinto Beans

Provided by the Auburn Interfaith Food Closet

RECIPE TYPE: Main – Side
SERVES: 6 – 8
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 21/2 hours


  • 2 cups dry pinto beans (~ 1 pound)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound sausage (mild or spicy, based on preference)
  • 4 medium carrots, scrubbed and diced (1 cup)
  • 1 whole onion, diced (1 cup)
  • 5 cups broth (or water)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheese (optional)


  1. Rinse pinto beans, removing broken beans and particles. Place in a large bowl with 6 cups water, bring to a boil in microwave oven on High (or bring to a boil in pan on stove). Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 15 minutes, then drain and rinse beans.
  2. Meanwhile, cut sausage in 1/2-inch pieces. Heat oil in a large heavy pot, sauté sausage pieces on medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add onions and garlic to the pot, and cook until onions are translucent, about 8 minutes. Then add carrots and beans, cover with broth (or water) by 1 inch.
  4. Add bay leaf, cumin, and chili powder. Bring to a boil on medium high. Reduce heat to simmer, cover with lid, and cook until beans are tender, 1 1⁄2 to 2 hours.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove bay leaf, sprinkle cheese on top, and serve hot.

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