One of the main staples in Tex-Mex and Mexican cuisine is beans, which form many dishes.
Ranch Style beans are made from pinto or black-eyed peas seasoned with onion, smokey bacon, and chili powder to create a highly flavorful dish that can be eaten alone or added into other dishes.
The most popular dish that most people eat is plain boiled beans, which are then eaten with salt and pepper added to the top.
Ranch-style beans can be used in many dishes, such as nachos or supersized burritos.
Ranch Style beans are generally easy-to-make from scratch, but if you can’t be bothered or don’t have the time to make beans from scratch, many store-bought alternatives will give a similar taste and texture.
In this article, we’ll take a look at five of the best substitutes for Ranch Style beans.
What are Ranch Style Beans?
Let’s first talk about pinto beans.
Pinto beans are tasty but sometimes bland, so it is always nice to find ways to make them more flavorful.
Ranch Style Beans are one way of doing this because they contain ranch dressing mix, which gives the dish an added kick of flavor.
These beans are special – and even more tasty- because they are cooked with bacon.
Not only does this add a depth of smokiness, but it also gives the beans more flavor.
The mix also includes other ingredients such as onion, garlic, and bell pepper.
This means that the beans are not just limited to being a side dish or even something you can eat on their own for lunch – they are an all-purpose meal.
Ranch Style Beans are great because they have all of these different flavors but are still really simple to make.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Ranch Style Beans
However, you don’t have to go out and buy Ranch Style Beans to get the flavors they offer.
Several other ingredients can be used instead in any recipe that calls for these beans.
The best part is that, when making the substitution, you will still get the unique flavors of the ranch and all of the added benefits of the other flavors in this mix.
1 – Bush’s Chili Beans
Bush’s Chili Beans are another great substitute for Ranch Style beans.
While they do not contain anything like ranch dressing mix, this is more than made up for the added flavors of tomato and chili powder.
Bush had originally launched his company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1865.
His first product was a baked bean dish that we would now recognize as Beanie Weenies.
Bush’s beans are known for their tangy flavor, typically nice when combined with other flavors such as chili powder.
The acidity helps to give your dish a unique depth of taste.
This also works well if you want the combination to have more heat.
2 – Rotel
Rotel is similar to Bush’s Chili Beans in that it offers a combination of beans and tomatoes.
However, instead of being flavored with chili powder, this product is flavored with diced green chili peppers.
The flavor is tangy and slightly acidic.
This product can be easily found at your local grocery store and is available everywhere.
The flavor is mild, and the heat level of the sauce can be adjusted by adding more or less depending on personal preference.
3 – Great Value Chili Beans
Great Value Chili Beans come from Wal-Mart and are another great substitute for Ranch Style beans.
At first glance, the beans look like regular pinto beans, but they smell distinctly different.
The smell is because of the chili powder flavor and no other ingredients like tomatoes or green chili peppers.
Because of this, Great Value Chili Beans don’t quite offer the same depth of flavor that Rotel or Bush’s Chili Beans do.
The beans are a little bit on the dry side and lack that gooey, smooth texture that Ranch Style Beans have.
4 – Dried Pinto Beans
Dried pinto beans can be used as a substitute, but there is a big drawback since it will take hours upon hours of soaking and cooking to get the beans ready for use.
This may be necessary if you are missing some other ingredients but want ranch-style beans badly enough.
Soaking pinto beans is better than canned beans because it will remove excess starch from the final product.
You can cook them in a slow cooker or boil them on low heat on your stovetop.
In addition to being a substitute for Ranch Style Beans, dried pinto beans can also be used to make refried beans.
Just mash them against the side of a pan, and they will turn into some tasty refried beans that you can put on your burrito or taco.
5 – Spicy Pintos from Old El Paso
Spicy Pintos from Old El Paso is another type of bean that can substitute for Ranch Style Beans.
These beans come pre-seasoned and need to be heated up to be ready to use.
They have a nice, salty flavor and go well with other Mexican flavors, such as cilantro and lime.
These beans are perfect if you are cooking for a Tex-Mex themed dinner.
While these beans are already flavored, they can also make refried beans, just like dried pinto beans.
You will have to factor in the added time that it takes to prepare them first before using them for this purpose.
Ranch Style beans are a must-have addition to any dish that you want to be a little bit spicy.
There are a variety of substitutes that can be used, so you will never have to worry about not being able to replicate your original recipe because you were missing an ingredient or two.
Depending on which substitute you end up going with, various flavors can be added to your dish.
Rotel offers a nice little bit of heat with its tangy flavor, Bush’s Chili Beans have the classic Mexican spiciness that comes from chili powder, Great Value Chili Bean has a flavor that almost borders on being sweet, Dried Pinto beans give a more earthy and hearty flavor to your dish.
In contrast, Spicy Pintos from Old El Paso offers a little bit of tanginess, saltiness, and spiciness to your dish, depending on how much seasoning you add.