Pinto Beans with Ghee and Lean Ham


  • 2 cups dried pinto beans, soaked overnight
  • 4 cups water or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup lean ham, diced
  • 3 tbsp ghee butter
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika (optional for smokiness)
  • Salt, to taste (be cautious with salt since the ham will also add some saltiness)
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped (for garnish)


  • Preparation of Pinto Beans: After soaking the pinto beans overnight, rinse and drain them.
  • Sauté Onions and Ham: In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the ghee over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and diced ham. Sauté until the onions are translucent and the ham begins to brown slightly, around 5-7 minutes.
  • Add Garlic and Spices: Add the minced garlic, black pepper, and smoked paprika (if using). Stir for about 1 minute until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Cook Pinto Beans: Add the soaked pinto beans to the pot along with the water or chicken broth, ensuring the beans are submerged. Toss in the bay leaf.
  • Simmer: Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours, or until the beans are tender. Occasionally stir to prevent sticking and check to make sure there's enough liquid. If the beans become too dry, add more water or broth.
  • Season & Serve: Once the beans are tender, adjust the seasonings if needed. Be careful with the salt, as the ham will already impart some saltiness. Remove the bay leaf. Serve the beans in bowls, garnished with chopped fresh parsley or cilantro.
  • This dish is a meal in itself, but you can also enjoy it with a side of cornbread or over steamed rice. The ghee gives the pinto beans a rich, buttery flavor, and the lean ham adds a savory depth. Enjoy your hearty and comforting meal!
Back to blog

Become a Member of Faithfully Fit Club