Do you strain the beans for the chili? – Better

Chili is one of the most popular Mexican dishes. And you can do it very easily at home, provided you have the right recipe.

Most people use canned beans to make chili because it’s easier. And they add a lot of flavor to your final dish. However, the most common dilemma is whether to drain the beans before adding them to the chili recipe. Or you have to add them with the water that comes in the box.

Using drained or undrained beans is a matter of personal preference. Some chili recipes recommend draining the beans, while others recommend using them undrained.

There are also recipes that do not mention anything about this aspect. So, let’s see what you need to know about whether or not to add drained beans to your chili!

Should You Drain Kidney Beans When Making Chili?

When deciding whether or not to drain the beans for the chili, you also need to consider the type of liquid your beans are soaked in while they sit in the can.

If the liquid in the can contains a lot of salt, you may want to drain them and also rinse them to remove any excess salt. This is especially important if you are watching your salt intake.

However, if you are not concerned about salt intake, you can add the beans with the water from the can and adjust the flavor based on their saltiness.

There’s no hard and fast rule, so you don’t have to drain the beans unless you want to. Moreover, it also depends a lot on the chili recipe you want to make.

Can I add chili dipped beans?

Adding chili-dipped beans is one way to skip the draining step and it won’t negatively affect your final dish.

Since you’re giving your ingredients time to simmer anyway, you’ll want to add your soaked beans if you want to save time. And if you don’t mind the salt in the bean liquid.

If you soak the beans yourself, change the water at least once and add them to your chili with the second water. At the same time, you can add different seasonings to bean water if you want to enhance the flavor of your food.

Forgot beans for chili?

If you wanted to drain your beans but didn’t, don’t worry. You can add the beans with your chili liquid and cook your recipe as you normally would.

However, if you’re worried that there’s too much liquid in your chili, let it simmer a bit longer. Excess water will evaporate, giving you the texture you want.

At the same time, if your bean water was high in salt, you can avoid adding extra salt to your chili. And the taste will be balanced in the end.

So also if you want to drain your beans for the chilli recipe. But you haven’t drained them, so you don’t have to worry because you can adjust your recipe as it cooks.

Do you drain tomatoes for chili?

canned tomatoes

If you’re using fresh tomatoes for your chili, there’s no reason to drain them. But if you use canned tomatoes, you will find that they are more watery than fresh ones. And you might be tempted to deflate them.

The truth is, you don’t need to drain your tomatoes for chili unless you’re worried about getting a runny dish. If your tomatoes are too juicy, you can simmer them longer while you cook your chili.

Do you drain the beans after cooking?

Once you cook your chili or any other bean dish, don’t drain the beans. You can choose to cook your beans separately before adding them to different dishes. And if you do, you can also deflate them.

It’s important to note that you don’t drain the beans after cooking them in different seasonings. If you drain them, you change their taste. And you waste even more spices and seasonings to add to your recipe. But if you simply boil the beans in water, you can drain them however you like before using them in your recipe.

What happens if you don’t drain the beans?

Of course, if you decide not to drain your beans before adding them to your chili or any other dish, you’ll end up with a runnier dish.

By simmering, you can still control the watery aspect. Or let your ingredients cook a little longer so the moisture evaporates.

On the other hand, beans that sit too long in water without being in a sealed container like a tin can will become mushy and lose their crunch.

However, it also depends on the type of beans you use, how they are drained, and how you cook them.


Cooking chili is easy and you can choose to do it with ground beef or vegan using ground soybeans. Either way, the type of beans you add, drained or not, is up to you. Soaked beans can add flavor to your chili as well as an interesting texture.

At the same time, drained beans give you more control over the texture of the dish, as you can decide how much water to add and how much salt to add to your food.

Ultimately, your personal cooking style and personal tastes will play a large role in how you use your beans for your chili.