Beans in BULK! BBQ Recipe from Scratch

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Canned beans can get expensive… since with 7+ at our house at any given time, we need 2 or more cans of beans as a side dish.

I have been buying my pinto beans in bulk for several years. They come dried and in 25 and 50 pound bags from Costco or Sam’s Club for less than $10. I store mine in recycled wheat buckets. (Another story… but I do grind my own wheat for flour)

After I make my beans, I freeze them in either mason jars or in zipper bags. (I will talk canning beans on another day!)

(THIS IS A LOT OF BEANS!!)  I add about 16 cups of dried beans to my stockpot and add water to just below the top of the pot to soak over night. The next morning, dump out the old water and refill the water to above the beans and cook on medium until tender.

8 5-cup bags of cooked plain pinto beans

This is where it gets FUN! You get to decide what kind of beans that you want.

Normally, I bag up half of them plain with no seasonings to use with tacos, in soups, etc.

Then the other half I add sauteed onions & garlic and italian herbs and BBQ Sauce, a can of tomato paste, a touch of brown sugar, salt and pepper. And stir is all in. (These remind me of “ranch” beans with onions.

For the BBQ Sauce, I get so many FREE off of the coupon list, buying them when they are 10 for $10 and having $1 coupons… But, you can easily make your own sauce as well.

My 16 cups of dried beans made 8 5-cup bags of pintos ready to use in tacos, etc. and 4 4-cup bags of beans with onions, garlic, tomato paste, BBQ sauce and salt and pepper.

Home-made BBQ Sauce(from foodnetwork):


Cooked Pinto Beans with BBQ Sauce mixture ready for the freezer.
  • 1 (7-ounce) jar or can  tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons spicy Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons BBQ seasoning mix
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 cups water


Whisk all the ingredients together in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by about half or to desired thickness, about 1 hour.

Cool completely before transferring to an airtight container and storing in the refrigerator.

Cook’s Note: Use the BBQ sauce within 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months.


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