Pinto Beans and Kielbasa Stew in the Slow Cooker

It was the perfect day ~ a chilly rainy day ~ to pull out the slow cooker, and let it do its magic!

This stew is filled with lots of good flavors, from the pinto beans, to the spices and veggies, to the kielbasa.  To cut the fat content, I used turkey kielbasa.  Do not add it until the last hour of cooking, in order to keep it firm.  

Ground ancho chile pepper has a smoky, fruity flavor, with tones of licorice and coffee and a little woodsiness, that is a great addition to this stew.  It’s actually made of dried poblano peppers and is the sweetest of the dried chiles, having mild heat. 

Along with a little heat and lots of flavor, ancho chile pepper adds a nice red color to marinades, rubs and sauces, such as the great Mexican mole sauce.  You can add it to beans and rice, sprinkle it on hot chocolate, include it in brownies, for a twist, and to stews such as this.  If you’ve never used it, I hope you give it a try ~ preferably, with this recipe!

Highly adaptable, the fresh Poblano becomes the Ancho when dried.


Slow Cooker Pinto Beans and Kielbasa Stew


1 pound dried pinto beans
2 quarts water
5 cups chicken broth
1 large tomato, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup molasses
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons ancho chile pepper, ground
2 teaspoons onion powder
Salt and seasoned pepper, to taste
1 pound turkey kielbasa, sliced


Rinse and sort through the beans, to remove debris.
Combine all ingredients, except kielbasa, in a 6-quart slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low setting for 6 hours.
Add kielbasa, turn heat to high and cook for another hour or so.
Serve with a good rustic bread, and…


Be sure to visit my friend, Linda’s blog, @My Kind of Cooking for great tips and delicious easy recipes! 


  1. Pam, nice sounding recipe. It will be on the list for this winter. Thanks also for the lesson on how the poblano becomes the ancho. I really need to learn more about peppers. Susan

  2. Did you make the ancho vinegar yourself or is it something you buy? I'm guessing you just blanch a dried ancho in cider vinegar for a bit?

  3. This sounds really yummy but no such think as turkey kielbasa here! Substitution of something else will have to do. Have a good day Diane

  4. This has my husband's name written all over it.

  5. Sounds so good... I'm so ready for "soup weather"!

  6. Susan, thanks! I had no idea about the peppers, that ancho is actually poblaono.

    Chris, I used cider vinegar and the ancho chile pepper is ground. I will add that. Here's a link for it:

    Diane, probably a sausage you like could be substituted.

    Glenda, good! It's tasty~

    Karen, this is definitely good for cooler weather.

  7. Love kielbasa, yummy! Never had it in a soup though, will have to try it out!

  8. Ooohh.. I love kielbasa!! And this soup sounds wonderful! Everyone is posting soup recipes... I just need it to cool off here now so I can start making them too!!

  9. Dear Pam, what a delicious autumn dish...I love kielbasa stew...there are so many hearty ingredients in this. Very delicious. Blessings my dear. Catherine xo

  10. My husband would go crazy for this recipe! I am sure he would make me add bacon; that man wants to add it to everything!

  11. Hummmm, this look delicous Pam! it is 1.31pm and i'm starving looking at this dish:) kisses my dear

  12. I LOVE kielbasa and I love ancho chile, what an awesome combo. Just waiting for it to get really chilly here!

  13. This really is my kind of food and the looking of it its just amazing!!

  14. Mmmm. I'm browsing through all of your recent recipes and this one just hit the spot. So comforting! Can't wait to try something like this.


Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts!
~ James Beard

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