Kitchn Love Letters

This $2 Pantry Staple Is a Must-Have for Super Bowl Sunday

published Feb 9, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Pantry shelves with cans of food
Credit: Darryl Brooks/Shutterstock

I love beans. I think they are one of the most underrated food items out there. My interest in legumes began with

heirloom beans

beans of the canned variety are excellent, too. You just have to know where to look.

I think it was because of this part-time hobby that two years ago for Christmas, my partner’s parents mailed me a whole box of Ranch Style Beans. You have to try these, the note inside read. We saw them at the store and thought you might like them. While the postage was likely more expensive than the beans themselves, they were right: Ever since I heated up my first can, there’s no other bean I’d rather eat. 

Credit: Daniel Modlin

What’s So Great about Ranch Style Beans with Chopped Sweet Onions?

Don’t get me wrong — I love a good black bean, and refried beans are one of my favorite foods to put on anything (a sandwich can really be improved with a quick spread of beans). But Ranch Style beans reign supreme when it comes to canned beans, thanks to their versatility. 

They are pinto beans, and come in a rich tomato sauce that is filled with spices like paprika, onion, and garlic powder. Each bean is perfectly cooked, creamy, and explodes in your mouth, adding a heartiness to the already-sweet-and-smoky sauce. 

I frequently make them when I’m camping, and the wood from the campfire only adds to their rich, smoky flavor, but they taste just as good heated up on the stove on a cold winter’s day and slathered onto a crusty slice of sourdough. 

What’s the Best Way to Use Ranch Style Beans with Chopped Sweet Onions?

There are plenty of great ways to use Ranch Style beans — served over a bowl of warm rice or as a filling for tacos. But I think serving them as a side along with ribs or wings (or both) is the way to go. Simply add them to a pot, bring it to a boil and ladle them up alongside your spread for a filling, comfortable bowl worthy of eating on its own. If you want to zhuzh it up a bit, chop up a jalapeño and add it to the pot. It’ll make them spicy, and add a little depth of flavor to an already-flavorful bowl. 

Buy: Ranch Style Beans with Chopped Sweet Onions, $1.24 for 15 ounces at Walmart

What are you picking up for Super Bowl Sunday? Tell us in the comments below.