Savory Delight: Joe Woodhouse’s Spiced Cowboy Beans Recipe

When it comes to hearty, comforting meals that evoke images of crackling campfires and the open range, few dishes can rival a pot of spiced cowboy beans. With their robust flavors and satisfying textures, cowboy beans have become a beloved staple in American cuisine. Today, we delve into the kitchen of culinary aficionado Joe Woodhouse to uncover his tantalizing recipe for spiced cowboy beans.


  • 2 cups dried pinto beans
  • One onion, finely chopped
  • Four cloves garlic, minced
  • One bell pepper, diced
  • One can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • One tablespoon chili powder
  • One teaspoon smoked paprika
  • One teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth or water
  • Optional toppings: chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream


  1. Soak the dried pinto beans overnight in a large bowl of water. Drain and rinse the beans the following day.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and diced bell pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are softened and aromatic, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the soaked and rinsed pinto beans, canned diced tomatoes, tomato paste, maple syrup, molasses, apple cider vinegar, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.
  4. Pour in the vegetable broth or water, ensuring that the beans are fully submerged. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer gently for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender and the sauce has thickened.
  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. If the beans are too thick, you can add more vegetable broth or water to reach your desired consistency.
  6. Once the beans are cooked to perfection, remove the pot from the heat. Allow the beans to cool slightly before serving.
  7. Ladle the spiced cowboy beans into bowls and garnish with your favorite toppings, such as chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado, shredded cheese, or a dollop of sour cream.
  8. Serve the beans hot alongside crusty bread, cornbread, or fluffy rice for a complete and satisfying meal.

Joe Woodhouse’s Tips:

  • For a smokier flavor, you can substitute smoked paprika with chipotle powder or add a few drops of liquid smoke to the bean mixture.
  • Feel free to customize the recipe to suit your taste preferences. You can adjust the level of spiciness by adding more or less cayenne pepper, and you can experiment with different types of beans for variety.
  • Leftover cowboy beans can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for future enjoyment.

With its rich blend of spices and wholesome ingredients, Joe Woodhouse’s spiced cowboy beans recipe is sure to become a favorite in your culinary repertoire. Whether you’re serving them up at a backyard barbecue, cozying up by the fireplace, or simply craving a hearty and satisfying meal, these beans are guaranteed to hit the spot. So grab your apron and get ready to enjoy a taste of the Wild West with this delicious and comforting dish!

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