Whoops–you walked away from your grill for a few seconds, and dinner wound up ever so slightly overcooked. Lean proteins like fish, pork and chicken are especially prone to drying if they spend even an extra minute hanging out over the heat. But don’t order pizza just yet. One simple way to salvage that slightly dry supper is with a great, flavorful sauce. Sauce adds moisture back to the food and pumps up the flavor so no one will notice a little extra char.

Many sauces use cream and flour as thickeners, but during the summer, those can be far too heavy. Instead, we use pureed pinto beans. They give the sauce that luxurious thickness every good sauce needs, but without the accompanying heaviness. Sharp jalapenos and bright lime juice further cut through the slight fattiness of the pinto beans. Try this sauce on grilled meat of any kind, or toss grilled veggies in this sauce for a spicy kick–with thin ribbons of zucchini or squash, it makes for a fun take on mock pasta.

Whether you’re using this sauce for its delicious taste or to cover up for a grilling disaster, you’ll end up with a great lunch or dinner with little fuss and lots of taste.


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced
  • 2 cups chopped, peeled, and seeded fresh ripe tomato
  • 2 cups Randall Pinto Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (canned may be used)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and hot pepper sauce, to taste

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet. Add the onion and peppers. Sauté, stirring constantly for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook over high heat for 5 minutes longer, stirring. Stir in the Randall Beans and chicken broth and cook for 5 minutes more.

Pour into a blender and puree. Return to wiped out skillet and reheat. Stir in the lime juice and sugar and season to taste with salt and hot sauce. (If necessary, add more chicken broth for a sauce of the proper thickness.)

Serve hot over grilled meats. Garnish with a slice of lime and pickled jalapeno pepper. Also good sprinkled with some freshly chopped cilantro.

Makes about 3 cups.