How to Cook Aunt Bessie’s Chitterlings: A Soul Food Delight

Hello, Good News! Welcome to our blog, where we share with you the best recipes, tips, and tricks for cooking delicious soul food dishes. Today, we are going to talk about one of the most popular and controversial soul food delicacies: chitterlings, also known as chitlins.

Chitterlings are the small intestines of pigs, and they have a long history in the African-American cuisine. They were brought to the Americas by enslaved Africans, who had to make do with the unwanted parts of the pig that the slave owners discarded. Over time, they developed ways to clean, season, and cook chitterlings to make them tasty and tender. Chitterlings became a staple of soul food, especially during holidays and celebrations.

What Are Aunt Bessie’s Chitterlings?

Aunt Bessie’s chitterlings are a brand of pre-cleaned and pre-cooked chitterlings that are sold in buckets or bags. They are named after Aunt Bessie, a company founded in the early 20th century by an African-American entrepreneur. The company’s mission was to provide high-quality, traditionally prepared chitterlings with an emphasis on taste and convenience.

Aunt Bessie’s chitterlings are popular among many soul food lovers, as they save time and effort in cleaning and cooking the chitterlings. They also have a milder smell than raw chitterlings, which can be quite pungent and unpleasant. However, some people prefer to buy raw chitterlings and clean and cook them themselves, as they believe this gives them more control over the flavor and texture of the dish.

How to Buy Aunt Bessie’s Chitterlings

Aunt Bessie’s chitterlings can be found in most grocery stores or supermarkets that sell soul food products. They are usually located in the refrigerated or frozen section. You can choose between buckets or bags of chitterlings, depending on how much you want to cook. A bucket of chitterlings usually weighs 10 pounds, while a bag weighs 5 pounds.

When buying Aunt Bessie’s chitterlings, make sure to check the expiration date and the seal of the package. Avoid buying chitterlings that are past their expiration date or have a broken seal, as this may indicate spoilage or contamination. Also, look for chitterlings that have a light pink color and a firm texture. Avoid chitterlings that are grayish or slimy, as this may indicate poor quality or freshness.

How to Store Aunt Bessie’s Chitterlings

Aunt Bessie’s chitterlings should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer until you are ready to cook them. If you store them in the refrigerator, make sure to use them within 2 days of opening the package. If you store them in the freezer, make sure to use them within 6 months of freezing them.

To thaw frozen chitterlings, place them in the refrigerator overnight or in a bowl of cold water for a few hours. Do not thaw chitterlings at room temperature or in hot water, as this may cause bacteria growth or spoilage. Once thawed, do not refreeze chitterlings, as this may affect their quality and safety.

How to Cook Aunt Bessie’s Chitterlings

Aunt Bessie’s chitterlings are pre-cooked, so you don’t need to boil them for hours like raw chitterlings. However, you still need to heat them up before serving them. You can heat them up in different ways, depending on your preference and equipment. Here are some common methods:

  • Oven: Preheat oven to 375°F. Place chitterlings in a baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
  • Microwave: Place chitterlings in a microwave-safe dish and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 15 minutes or until hot, stirring occasionally.
  • Stovetop: Place chitterlings in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until hot.
  • Crockpot: Place chitterlings in a crockpot and add enough water to cover them. Cook on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 hours or until hot.

No matter which method you use, make sure to drain the excess liquid from the chitterlings before serving them. You can also season the chitterlings with salt, pepper, garlic, onion, vinegar, or hot sauce to enhance their flavor.

How to Make Aunt Bessie’s Chitterlings Recipe

Now that you know how to buy, store, and cook Aunt Bessie’s chitterlings, you may be wondering how to make a delicious dish with them. Well, there are many ways to enjoy chitterlings, but one of the most popular and traditional ways is to serve them with spaghetti or turnip greens. Here is a simple and easy recipe for Aunt Bessie’s chitterlings with spaghetti:


  • 1 bucket or bag of Aunt Bessie’s chitterlings
  • 1 package of spaghetti
  • 1 jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat up the chitterlings using your preferred method (oven, microwave, stovetop, or crockpot).
  2. Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions. Drain and return to the pot.
  3. Heat up the spaghetti sauce in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Drain the chitterlings and cut them into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Add the chitterlings and the cheese to the spaghetti and toss to combine.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve with the spaghetti sauce on the side or on top of each plate.

This recipe serves 6 to 8 people and takes about an hour to make. You can also add other ingredients to the spaghetti, such as mushrooms, olives, or meatballs, if you like. Enjoy your Aunt Bessie’s chitterlings with spaghetti!

Aunt Bessie’s Chitterlings Nutrition Facts

Aunt Bessie’s chitterlings are a rich source of protein, iron, and vitamin B12. However, they are also high in fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Therefore, they should be consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. Here is a table that shows the nutrition facts for one serving (4 ounces) of Aunt Bessie’s chitterlings:

| Calories | Fat | Saturated Fat | Trans Fat | Cholesterol | Sodium | Carbohydrates | Fiber | Sugar | Protein |
| 208 | 19g | 9g | 0g | 172mg | 212mg | 0g | 0g | 0g | 8g |

As you can see, one serving of Aunt Bessie’s chitterlings provides 10% of your daily value (DV) for protein, 15% for iron, and 60% for vitamin B12. However, it also provides 29% of your DV for fat, 45% for saturated fat, 57% for cholesterol, and 9% for sodium. Therefore, you should limit your intake of chitterlings to no more than one serving per week.

To reduce the fat and cholesterol content of chitterlings, you can trim off some of the visible fat before cooking them. You can also rinse them with hot water after cooking them to remove some of the grease. To reduce the sodium content of chitterlings, you can use less salt when seasoning them or choose a low-sodium spaghetti sauce.

Aunt Bessie’s Chitterlings FAQ

What are chitterlings made of?

Chitterlings are made of pig intestines. They are usually cleaned and cooked before being sold as a soul food delicacy.

How do you pronounce chitterlings?

The correct pronunciation of chitterlings is /ˈtʃɪt(ə)lɪŋz/. However, many people also pronounce it as /ˈtʃɪtlɪnz/ or /ˈtʃɪtlənz/, which is where the shortened form “chitlins” comes from.

Why do chitterlings smell bad?

Chitterlings smell bad because they are pig intestines that contain fecal matter and bacteria. The smell becomes stronger when they are cooked or heated up. To reduce the smell of chitterlings, you can add onions, garlic, vinegar, or other aromatic ingredients to the cooking water or sauce.

Are chitterlings good for you?

Chitterlings can be good for you if you eat them in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. They are a rich source of protein, iron, and vitamin B12, which are essential for your health. However, they are also high in fat, cholesterol, and sodium, which can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. Therefore, you should limit your intake of chitterlings to no more than one serving per week.

How do you clean chitterlings?

If you buy raw chitterlings, you need to clean them thoroughly before cooking them. Cleaning chitterlings involves removing the fecal matter, fat, and membrane from the intestines. Here are the basic steps for cleaning chitterlings:

  1. Rinse the chitterlings under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Turn the chitterlings inside out and scrape off any fecal matter or fat with a knife or spoon.
  3. Cut off any excess membrane or tissue that may be attached to the chitterlings.
  4. Soak the chitterlings in a large bowl of cold water with salt and vinegar for an hour to disinfect them.
  5. Rinse the chitterlings again under cold running water and drain them well.
  6. Repeat the process until the chitterlings are clean and odorless.

Cleaning chitterlings can take several hours, depending on how many pounds you have. You can also use baking soda, lemon juice, or bleach instead of vinegar to soak the chitterlings. However, be careful not to use too much bleach, as it may leave a chemical taste in the chitterlings.

How do you know when chitterlings are done?

You can tell when chitterlings are done by checking their color, texture, and temperature. Chitterlings are done when they are:

  • Light brown or golden in color.
  • Tender and easy to cut with a fork.
  • At least 165°F in internal temperature.

You can use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the chitterlings. You can also taste a small piece of the chitterlings to see if they are cooked to your liking. Do not eat undercooked or raw chitterlings, as they may contain harmful bacteria or parasites that can cause food poisoning or infections.

What do chitterlings taste like?

Chitterlings have a mild and slightly sweet taste that resembles pork. However, their flavor also depends on how they are seasoned and cooked. Some people like to add onions, garlic, vinegar, hot sauce, or other spices to the chitterlings to give them more flavor and aroma. Some people also like to serve chitterlings with other dishes, such as spaghetti, turnip greens, cornbread, or rice, to complement their taste and texture.

What are some other names for chitterlings?

Chitterlings have different names in different regions and cultures. Some of the most common names for chitterlings are:

  • Chitlins: A shortened form of chitterlings that is widely used in the United States.
  • Tripas: A Spanish word for intestines that is used in Mexico and other Latin American countries.
  • Andouillette: A French word for a type of sausage made from intestines that is popular in France and Belgium.
  • Haggis: A Scottish word for a dish made from sheep intestines that is stuffed with oatmeal, spices, and organ meats.
  • Motsunabe: A Japanese word for a hot pot dish made from beef or pork intestines that is cooked with vegetables and broth.

Can you freeze chitterlings?

Yes, you can freeze chitterlings if you want to store them for a longer time. However, you should only freeze raw or cooked chitterlings that have not been seasoned or sauced. To freeze chitterlings, follow these steps:

  1. Clean the chitterlings if they are raw or drain them if they are cooked.
  2. Cut the chitterlings into smaller pieces if they are too large.
  3. Place the chitterlings in a freezer-safe container or bag and label it with the date.
  4. Squeeze out as much air as possible from the container or bag and seal it tightly.
  5. Freeze the chitterlings for up to 6 months.

To use frozen chitterlings, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight or in a bowl of cold water for a few hours. Do not thaw chitterlings at room temperature or in hot water, as this may cause bacteria growth or spoilage. Once thawed, do not refreeze chitterlings, as this may affect their quality and safety.

Can you eat chitterlings while pregnant?

It is not recommended to eat chitterlings while pregnant, as they may pose a health risk for you and your baby. Chitterlings may contain harmful bacteria or parasites that can cause food poisoning or infections, such as listeria, salmonella, or toxoplasma. These can lead to serious complications, such as miscarriage, premature birth, stillbirth, or birth defects.

If you crave chitterlings while pregnant, you should only eat them if they are well-cooked and from a trusted source. You should also avoid eating chitterlings that are raw, undercooked, or have been left out for too long. You should also wash your hands and utensils thoroughly after handling chitterlings to prevent cross-contamination.

Can you eat chitterlings on a keto diet?

Yes, you can eat chitterlings on a keto diet, as they are low in carbohydrates and high in protein and fat. However, you should be careful about how much and how often you eat chitterlings, as they are also high in cholesterol and sodium. Too much cholesterol and sodium can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.

You should also be mindful of what you serve with chitterlings, as some dishes may contain high-carb ingredients that can kick you out of ketosis. For example, spaghetti, cornbread, and rice are not keto-friendly, as they are made from grains that are high in carbs. Instead, you can serve chitterlings with low-carb vegetables, such as turnip greens, cauliflower, or broccoli.

Can dogs eat chitterlings?

No, dogs should not eat chitterlings, as they can be harmful for their health. Chitterlings may contain bacteria or parasites that can cause diarrhea, vomiting, or infections in dogs. They may also contain bones or sharp pieces that can damage their teeth or digestive system. Moreover, chitterlings are high in fat and sodium, which can lead to obesity, pancreatitis, or kidney problems in dogs.

If your dog accidentally eats chitterlings, you should monitor their symptoms and contact your vet if they show any signs of distress or illness. You should also keep chitterlings out of your dog’s reach and dispose of them properly to prevent your dog from eating them again.

Can vegetarians eat chitterlings?

No, vegetarians cannot eat chitterlings, as they are made from animal intestines. Vegetarians do not eat any meat or animal products that involve killing or harming animals. Therefore, chitterlings are not suitable for vegetarians.

However, there are some vegetarian alternatives to chitterlings that can mimic their taste and texture. For example, some people use tofu skins, seitan, or mushrooms to make vegetarian chitterlings. These ingredients can be seasoned and cooked similarly to chitterlings and served with vegetarian dishes.


Aunt Bessie’s chitterlings are a soul food delicacy that can be enjoyed by many people who love pork intestines. They are pre-cleaned and pre-cooked for convenience and taste. However, they are also high in fat, cholesterol, and sodium, so they should be eaten in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. They can be heated up using different methods and served with various dishes, such as spaghetti or turnip greens. They can also be frozen for longer storage or made into different recipes.

We hope you learned something new about Aunt Bessie’s chitterlings from this article. If you want to know more about soul food recipes or other topics related to food and cooking, please check out our other articles on our blog. Thank you for reading and happy cooking!

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