October 28, 2019

Maple Bourbon Pinto Beans

Sweet and spicy these Maple Bourbon Pinto Beans are a delicious fall meal -- a great way to eat some plant-based protein.

Maple Bourbon Pinto Beans

I can't believe it's almost November. But here we are in the heart of fall. The leaves are beautiful colors and I'm still dreaming about all things PSL (like pie and granola).

I'm looking out my apartment window as I write this and I'm seriously amazed at the beauty of fall. The trees are green and yellow and orange and red. And I'm watching the leaves blow in the air. It makes me want to curl up with a warm mug of tea and eat something steamy and warm. Like these pinto beans!

My recipe for Maple Bourbon Pinto Beans is an adaption from a dish that my mom made a few months ago. The original recipe had a couple ingredients, like oil, that I'd rather not eat. So I made a few tweaks to the recipe (to make it healthier and quicker and more delicious). The dish is incredible.

The flavors of this recipe work together so well. There are so many things going on!

Maple Bourbon Pinto Beans


Pinto Beans: First, we've got the pinto beans, but really they are just the vessel for the intense flavors of the other ingredients.

Onion and Garlic: These ingredients add depth of flavor in most recipes but for this one they are just the base layer. We'll get a nice caramelized flavor from the onion to add to the rest of the flavor profile.

Tomato Sauce: Tomato sauce adds sweetness and liquid, which makes the recipe more of a mixture and less individual ingredients thrown together.

Molasses: A beautiful fall flavor that adds tons of sweetness and that thick, syrupy texture.

Chipotle Chiles + Chili Powder: If you like spice, you will loooooovee this recipe. I added two chiles, some of the chile sauce, and chili powder and WOW is it spicy. Feel free to tone down the spice if you don't want so much. Or add another chile or two for an intense flavor!!

Cumin: There's just something about cumin where it tastes amazing in almost every savory recipe. This one included.

Bourbon: We add a dash of bourbon in before the beans cook and then some more after for that sweet, almost butterscotch-like flavor! You can omit if you do not want alcohol in your recipe.

Maple Syrup: I don't cook with maple syrup a lot because it's a more refined sugar, but I got this incredible bourbon barrel aged maple syrup and it was too good not to put it in this recipe. I added it at the end to balance out the spice from the chiles. If you don't want refined sugar, feel free to sub with date syrup.

Maple Bourbon Pinto Beans Ingredients

These ingredients together create a wonderful flavor profile that is so delicious you'll want to eat the entire recipe in one sitting. (I may or may not have eaten the entire batch by myself in two days.)

These Maple Bourbon Pinto Beans are easy to cook, too!

Maple Bourbon Pinto Beans in pot

How to make Maple Bourbon Pinto Beans

Step 1. Start by chopping the onion and garlic and sautéing them in a pot with some water. Then add the beans, tomato sauce, molasses, chiles, adobo sauce, spices, and bourbon.

Step 2. Let the beans cook on medium low heat for about 40 minutes, until the flavors meld together and the beans are soft.

Step 3. Then, stir in additional bourbon and the maple syrup. Enjoy!

Recipe Prayer

Thank you God for tasty, nourishing food. Let us enjoy this delicious creation. Amen.

Maple Bourbon Pinto Beans

Maple Bourbon Pinto Beans

Sweet and spicy these Maple Bourbon Pinto Beans are a delicious fall meal -- a great way to eat some plant-based protein.















  • 1 Medium Onion `
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Cans Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 8 Ounce Can Tomato Sauce
  • 1/3 Cup Molasses
  • 2 Chipotle Chiles in Adobo*
  • 1 Tablespoon Adobo Sauce* (from chiles)
  • 1 Teaspoon Chili Powder*
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons Bourbon, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup**


  1. Chop the onions and garlic. In a large pot, saute them in water over medium heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Add in the pinto beans, tomato sauce, molasses, chiles, adobo, spices, and two tablespoons of the bourbon. Stir to combine. Let simmer over medium low heat for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove the beans from the heat and stir in the remaining two tablespoons of bourbon and the maple syrup.

Recipe Notes

*Adjust the spice level to your taste.

**If you want to make this recipe completely fruit-sweetened, replace the maple syrup with an equal amount of date syrup.

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November 15, 2021
Elizabeth | The Plant-Based Catholic
Hi Becky - thanks for pointing this out. I have removed mention of vegetable broth from this post. You do not need any vegetable broth. The mushrooms will release natural liquid which will prevent any sticking.
November 15, 2021
You mention using vegetable broth in your introduction but it isn’t included in the recipe
September 23, 2021
Tracy Henry
Hi Elizabeth, LOVE you recipes. Please keep them coming. :)I was wondering, can you share what is the vegan chocolate bar you used in this recipe?
August 28, 2021
Henry (Hank) Mader
thank you for the oil free recipe. I'm getting introduced to wild Bolete mushrooms here in Colorado, and everyone sautes Bolete's in butter or olive oil. I'm on a veggie, oil free regimen for heart health reasons. and your recipe suggestion may fill the bill. I can't wait to give it a try.
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This is so fun! Loving your creamy photography :)
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This looks incredible! So yummy and pretty photography