Smokey Chipotle Beans

Cold winter evenings demand meals to warm both body and soul. This scrumptious side dish of smokey chipotle beans does just that, and is perfect to accompany a range of main courses. Or served with a baked potato cooked in an open fire.

Smokey Chipotle Beans

10 mins prep
3 hours cook (mostly unattended)
8-10 servings
Serve with
Baked potato and smoked cheese
Wine match
Stags Leap Winery Petite Syrah


This recipe needs a Big Green Egg (or similar) to get the most out of it. You can make this on a stove in your kitchen as well, it will miss out on the smokey notes but that’s all.

In addition you’ll need:

  • Sharp knife
  • Chopping board
  • Casserole dish (preferably with a lid)
  • Stirring spoon
  • Colander


The recipe below uses a red and yellow pepper, we just happened to have these in the pantry. You can use an orange pepper as well or instead. In this recipe, all can sizes are 400g.

  • 2 large onion
  • 25g butter
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2-3 tbsp chipotle paste
  • 3 tbsp chipotle BBQ sauce
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • 1 tin cannellini beans
  • 1 tin pinto beans
  • 3-4 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 3-4 bay leaves
  • 3 gloves smoked garlic
  • 50ml white wine vinegar
  • 50 ml smokey bourbon
  • 150 ml cold water
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black and red pepper
  • 1-2 cherry smoking chunks

I used the Smokey Carter chiptole and bourbon BBQ sauce (affiliate link) for this recipe. It’s got a lovely warmth that harmonises effectively with the other ingredients. The chipotle paste came from Waitrose.

Smokey chipotle beans cooking in the Big Green Egg
Minimal smoke flowing from the daisy wheel (library pic)


If possible, cook this the previous day and store overnight in the casserole dish used (in a fridge once it has cooled down), then re-heat the following day. The beans taste better as the smoke flavours have had time to integrate.

  1. Set up the Big Green Egg (or other smoking unit) to 125°C/250°F, indirect setup. When the coals are glowing, toss on the smoking chunk(s) and look for the thin blue line of smoke.
  2. Meanwhile, drain the three types of beans from their tins into a colander, wash them gently under tap. Finely dice the white onion and peppers, crush the garlic cloves.
  3. On a hob over medium heat, melt the butter into the casserole dish and fry the diced onion and peppers until soft. Combine the smoked paprika and crushed garlic, then all of the beans and stir for 2-3 mins.
  4. Add bay leaves, water, drained beans and 3 tins of chopped tomatoes to the casserole dish and stir. Bring to the boil and then simmer uncovered for 10 mins, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the salt, pepper, chipotle sauce and paste, bourbon and white wine vinegar to the casserole dish and stir. Add some more bourbon and chipotle sauce/paste if necessary to get the flavour you want.
  6. Transfer the casserole dish to the Big Green Egg. Cook uncovered for at least 2 hours, stirring briefly every 40 mins. Taste after 2 hours, if you’d like more smoke and/or concentrated flavours then continue to cook.
    • It might need an extra tin of chopped tomatoes adding to keep it from drying out. I cook for around 3 hours, it needs the extra tin.
    • If you’re cooking on a stove, just keep it simmering at this stage.
  7. Remove the bay leaves, heat up some beans whilst preparing the main meal.
Smokey chipotle beans with a baked potato and grated cheese

Hints, Tips and Pictures

  1. Get the water for this recipe by washing out the tins of tomatoes, thus ensuring maximum flavour from the tins.
  2. Stir the contents of the casserole carefully and slowly so as not to break the beans.
  3. This can be cooked in conjunction with a low and slow cook, I did some during an 11 hour smoked short rib cook.
    Cooking smokey chipotle beans with smoked short ribs
  4. Some shredded smokey bacon can be added to bring some extra flavour to the dish. Of course this means it won’t be vegetarian.
  5. This can be stored in a fridge for up to a week after cooking for further meals, or frozen in batches.


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