smoked anasazi beans & fresh herbs

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Anasazi beans also known as adzuki beans, boy, oh, boy are they amazingly delicious! Now, there’s a little wait time to get these beans ready to eat, but, believe me, it’s worth all the time! Of course, you can do these beans in a slow cooker or pressure cooker. I’ve done them like that, but, in my opinion, you just don’t get the rich deep thick broth like ‘gravy’ that you do when cooking in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven.

What kind of amazes me about these beans? Well, they’re one of my most pinned and popular recipes. I have another on the website and the procedure is a tad bit different. Check out these spiced and seasoned ‘Adzuki Beans’

Food History Lesson

First cultivated thousands of years ago in New Mexico by the Indians in that area, anasazi beans are also known as adzuki and appaloosa beans. “The name Anasazi is a Navajo word given to another tribe thought to be ancient Pueblo Native Americans. It could mean “Ancient Ones” or “Ancient Enemies.” The Anasazi tribe existed from approximately 200-1300 A.D.”

Undocumented sources indicated that in the 1950s, during excavation of ruins, a clay pot with some of these beans was uncovered. Despite being in these ruins, these beans were able to sprout! Anasazi beans, kind of like a pinto, have more ‘beauty’ with their deep hues of maroon, flecks of white and speckling design. When they cook up, they resemble a small red kidney bean without the gorgeous speckling.

Essentially considered an ‘heirloom’ bean, they can be used in so many ways, stews, soups, chilis, refried and more. They’re infused with protein, good healthy starches and fiber. Anasazis are also rich in potassium, iron and folate.

The best thing about these beans is that they’re less gassy! Yes, they have about twenty-five percent less of the gas-producing properties of pintos! So, have a second bowl!

anasazi beans

smoked anasazi beans & fresh herbs

Yield: 6+ servings


  • 1 lb. Anasazi beans, dry, rinse several times to clean well
  • 2 Tbl. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 large ham shank
  • 3 tsp. smoked paprika
  • ½ cup fresh herb blend, chopped fine, combination of tarragon, basil, cilantro, rosemary (less of this herb), thyme, parsley, chives


  • In a large stock pot over high heat, put about 10 cups of water, add the beans, nutritional yeast, salt and ham shank. Cover and bring to a roaring boil for about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium high, put lid askew and let beans cook at a low boil, adding water as needed, for another about 60 minutes.
  • Cook the beans until tender adding water as needed. Remove ham shank and let it cool. Shred meat from the bone and put into the beans along with the smoked paprika. Blend, cover, turn heat to medium low for another about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Add the fresh herbs, turn off heat, cover and let the beans ‘steep’ about 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper as needed.


If you want a ‘kick’ to your beans, add red chili flakes or another hot ingredient to achieve this flavor.

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  1. Currently all that’s left in my pantry are pinto beans… that and several HUGE ham shanks in the freezer after recent church dinners. (The next one is coming up this Sunday.) The pastor gave them to me saying: “I know how much you love to cook.” Waste not, want not! I’ve yet to try anaszi beans, but they sure sound good, with fewer repercussions. 🙂 I plan to make this recipe with pinto beans thanks to your herb recommendations and smoked paprika addition, which I’m sure everybody will love! God bless us all for making do with what we have and gratefully putting up with the rest. 🙂 Thanks, Miss Ally, xo!

    • Dear Kimmmeeee! You have all the right ingredients for deliciousness! Your pantry runneth over with love, and bless our preacher! The herbs take the beans over the edge, in a good way. And, when you can, order some of those beans from Amazon…you won’t be disappointed, luv, plus fewer toots! lol! xoxo Love ya!

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