Easy Black Bean Soup

This creamy black bean soup recipe is easy to put together with canned beans! It makes a deliciously quick lunch…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This creamy black bean soup recipe is easy to put together with canned beans! It makes a deliciously quick lunch or dinner idea.

Black Bean Soup

Want to make black bean soup and don’t have time to cook dried beans? Try this Quick Black Bean Soup recipe! Using canned beans makes it possible to whip up this tasty soup in 30 minutes. It’s creamy, garlicky and hearty, and a big bowl feels positively restorative. Top it with pico de gallo for a bright and zingy contrast in flavors. Then take it over the top with crushed tortilla chips and pickled peppers, or serve it with a baked quesadilla.

Ingredients in this black bean soup recipe

Many black bean soup recipes use dried beans: and they’re incredibly delicious. If you’ve got time, we highly recommend a recipe cooked from dried beans. But if you’re in a hurry, canned beans make deliciously creamy soup. In fact, you can use the can liquid to make the soup lusciously creamy. Here’s all you need for the base recipe of the soup:

  • Olive oil
  • Vegetables: onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeño pepper (optional)
  • Canned black beans
  • Cumin, oregano, fennel seed, salt
  • Vegetable broth
  • Butter
  • Lime zest
Black Bean Soup

Tips for making it creamy

This black bean soup recipe is ultra creamy because it uses a few tricks! Here’s what to know about the secrets behind the creamy body:

  • Use the can liquid from 3 cans black beans. In fact, we recommend canned beans for this recipe! The can liquid is very thick, which makes the perfect thickener for a soup.
  • Pulse with an immersion blender a few times (or normal blender). It’s optional, but you can pulse with an immersion blender to make it even thicker. Just blend until some beans puree but most are still whole. You can also use a standard blender: just be careful not to over-blend.

Toppings for black bean soup

This black bean soup recipe looks pretty monochrome as is. So make sure to step it up with garnishes and toppings when you serve it! The pico de gallo or salsa fresca is required in our opinion: it adds just the right zip to the flavor. We’ve got a few more ideas for decking it out with toppings. Here are the toppings we recommend:

  • Pico de gallo, aka salsa fresca: This is required. Find it in the refrigerated section at most grocery stores, or you can make your own homemade pico. (Or for a cheater version, chop tomatoes and a little onion and add cilantro and a squeeze of lime.)
  • Cilantro: Torn fresh leaves add just the right fresh flavor
  • Crushed tortilla chips or strips: Make Tortilla Strips for a little crunch
  • Pickled peppers: Use Pickled Jalapenos for spicy or Pickled Banana Peppers for mild (we had a jar of banana peppers on hand and it was perfect)
Black Bean Soup Recipe

Is this a spicy black bean soup?

This black bean soup recipe is not spicy, but it can be! The base recipe is very mild, even though it calls for ¼ jalapeno pepper (it’s just enough to add flavor but not heat). If you’d like a spicy black bean soup, here are a few things you can do to bring the heat:

  • Use a whole jalapeño pepper with seeds, instead of 1/4
  • Add 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo (this also adds more flavor nuance)
  • Load on the hot sauce, which is the easiest way to customize the heat level

Make it a meal! Sides to serve

This black bean soup is pretty filling, but we’d suggest adding a few side dishes to make it into a full meal.

Black Bean Soup

More bean soup recipes

A few cans of beans make dinnertime easy! Here are a few more soup recipes we love featuring other types of beans:

This black bean soup recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

Print
Black Bean Soup

Easy Black Bean Soup


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This creamy black bean soup recipe is easy to put together with canned beans! It makes a deliciously quick lunch or dinner idea.


Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 jalapeño pepper* (optional)
  • 3 15-ounce cans black beans (don’t drain)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seed, crushed with fingers
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter (or vegan butter or refined coconut oil for vegan)
  • 1/2 lime, zested
  • Pico de gallo (salsa fresca)*, for serving
  • Fresh cilantro (optional)
  • Other toppings: Crushed tortilla chips, tortilla strips, sour cream, pickled jalapenos or banana peppers, etc

Instructions

  1. Finely dice the onion and green bell pepper. Mince the garlic. Finely mince the ¼ jalapeño pepper (take care to wash your hands afterwards). 
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeño and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Once softened, add the black beans including their can liquid, cumin, oregano, fennel seeds, kosher salt, and broth. Bring to a simmer and cook about 20 to 25 minutes until the beans start to break down. Stir in the butter and lime zest. If desired, pulse a few times with an immersion blender to thicken the soup, just until some of the beans puree but most are still whole (be careful not to over-blend; you can also pulse 1 to 2 times with a standard blender).
  4. Ladle the soup into bowls (it thickens more once in the serving bowls). Garnish with pico de gallo, torn cilantro leaves, and any of the optional toppings. Serve immediately. Leftovers last 3 to 4 days refrigerated. 

Notes

*This soup is mild with ¼ jalapeno. Want a spicy black bean soup? Use a full jalapeno pepper with seeds. Or, stir in about 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers. 

**Pico de gallo aka salsa fresca is sold in the refrigerated section at most grocery stores. If you can’t find it, make Homemade Pico de Gallo or a cheater version: top with minced tomato. white onion and cilantro, spritzed with a little lime juice. 

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican inspired

Keywords: Black bean soup, black bean soup recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

A Week’s Worth of Black Beans Without Any Boredom

You may think it’d be impossible to eat black beans every day for five days without getting bored, but beans are so versatile, you won’t believe what you’ll be able to come up with. If you need some inspiration, here are my favorite ways to make additi…

You may think it'd be impossible to eat black beans every day for five days without getting bored, but beans are so versatile, you won't believe what you'll be able to come up with. If you need some inspiration, here are my favorite ways to make additions and variations to a big pile of black beans to get you through the workweek.


5 Days of Beans

Day 1

Make the beans! And take a look below at how I doctor them up.

Read More >>

A Love Letter to the Vastly Underrated Kidney Bean

One unexpected consequence of this year and a half of relentless home cooking is that I’ve developed an affinity for ingredient deep dives. It usually goes as follows: I’ll stumble upon a new-to-me or long-overlooked ingredient, and spend a week or so …

One unexpected consequence of this year and a half of relentless home cooking is that I’ve developed an affinity for ingredient deep dives. It usually goes as follows: I’ll stumble upon a new-to-me or long-overlooked ingredient, and spend a week or so cooking it in as many ways as possible using (mostly) what I have on hand.

A few months back, while sleepwalking through my weekly grocery store trip, an unassuming bag of dried kidney beans jolted me to attention. Why do I almost never cook with kidney beans when I’ve never met a bean I don’t like? I wondered, hopefully not out loud.

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Ten Best Bean Recipes

A round-up of the best bean recipes on my site. I’ve cooked a lot of beans over the years, and these recipes are ones I often circle back to.

Continue reading Ten Best Bean Recipes on 101 Cookbooks

Wayne and I (and Polly!) have been camping our way down the California coast this week. It has been lots of shimmering ocean vistas, moody morning fog followed by glorious afternoon sunshine, French press coffee at picnic benches, and visits to two places I’ve wanted to see for a long time: Ganna Walska Lotusland & the Malibu Hindu Temple. I hope to have some pics and a new recipe to share soon! In the meantime, I thought a round-up of the best bean recipes in the archives might be helpful. I’ve cooked a lot of beans over the years, and these recipes are ones I often circle back to. Enjoy!

How to Cook Beans

How to Cook Beans that are Tender, Creamy & Nearly Perfect:

The best way I know to cook beans, and the one I always return to. A version of the much-loved Tuscan bean recipe – fagioli al fiasco. Traditionally, beans were baked overnight in a Chianti bottle placed near the embers of that night’s fire. While not exactly authentic (no fire here), I do a riff on the general idea, using a low-temperature oven and enamel-lined pot. Get the recipe.

Homemade Refried Beans

Homemade Refried Beans:

If you’ve only ever had refried beans from a can, this should be the next recipe you cook. Homemade refried beans are a game-changer. Use just the right amount of olive oil to cook well-minced onions along with the beans and plenty of their broth. Smoked paprika adds a hint of smoky depth you can’t quite put a finger on, my secret ingredient is a finishing splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice. I think it’s the element that helps keep the beans from seeming too heavy, and the acidity counters the starchiness of the beans. Get the recipe.

Giant Chipotle White Beans

Giant Chipotle White Beans:

A riff on Laurence Jossel’s fantastic NOPA beans – plump, creamy beans baked in a bright, chunky chipotle tomato sauce, topped with crunchy breadcrumbs, plenty of oozy queso fresco, and an emerald drizzle of cilantro pesto. Get the recipe.

Fire Broth Noodle Soup

Fire Broth Noodle Soup:

Soup of the year in our house. It’s loaded with good things like beans, greens, and pasta and the broth is spicy and invigorating with lots of pepper, garlic, ginger, and chiles. Get the recipe.

Fire Broth Noodle Soup

Mung Bean Hummus:

To get the smoothest, creamiest hummus using chickpeas, you have to peel them. For creamy hummus, without the extra effort, I use mung beans instead. They work beautifully. Top the hummus with shallot oil, fresh chives, and za’atar. Get the recipe.

Heirloom Bean and Mushroom “Carnitas” Casserole

Heirloom Bean and Mushroom “Carnitas” Casserole:

A favorite Rancho Gordo heirloom bean casserole recipe. The smell of garlic and herbs baking alongside the beans, simmering tomatoes, and mushrooms will bring neighbors in off the sidewalk. Get the recipe.

Carrot, Dill & White Bean Salad

Carrot, Dill & White Bean Salad:

Warm, coin-shaped slices of pan-fried carrots, white beans, and herbs tossed with a tangy-sweet lemon shallot dressing. It tastes good the day you make it, even better the day after. Get the recipe.

Ribollita

Ribollita – The Tuscan Stew you Should be Eating Regularly:

Ribollita, a beautifully thick Tuscan stew made with dark greens, lots of beans, vegetables, olive oil, and thickened with day-old bread. One of my favorites. Get the recipe.

How to Cook Beans

Dried Fava Soup with Mint and Guajillo Chiles:

Easily one of the best, most interesting soups I’ve cooked in years. Adapted from a recipe in Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen – a dried fava bean and roasted tomato base topped with a fascinating cider-kissed tangy/sweet quick-pickled chile topping. Get the recipe.

Pan-fried Corona Beans & Kale

Pan-fried Corona Beans & Kale:

Love these – white beans pan-fried until they’re golden, with kale, Parmesan, lemon, walnuts, and nutmeg. Get the recipe.

And a little bonus! The lead photo image is these beautiful Giant Lemon Fennel Beans. Enjoy!

Continue reading Ten Best Bean Recipes on 101 Cookbooks

The Smokiest, Spiciest Baked Beans for Your End-of-Summer Barbecues

We’ve teamed up with our friends at All-Clad to bring you Pans With a Plan—a series sharing smart techniques, tasty recipe ideas, and all sorts of handy tips for cooking novices and seasoned pros alike. Here, food writer and recipe developer Asha Loupy…

We’ve teamed up with our friends at All-Clad to bring you Pans With a Plan—a series sharing smart techniques, tasty recipe ideas, and all sorts of handy tips for cooking novices and seasoned pros alike. Here, food writer and recipe developer Asha Loupy shows us how to make the ultimate summer side dish—smoky, spicy baked beans with ham hock—using All-Clad’s FUSIONTEC™ 4.5-Quart Universal Pan.


As a kid, I never liked Labor Day. It always seemed to mark the end of carefree summer fun—slip-and-sliding in the front yard, late-night sleepovers with friends, food-filled barbecues in the Sacramento sun—and signaled the start of the school year. Even as an adult, that back-to-reality dread still sneaks in as Labor Day approaches.

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44 Recipes From Black Food Bloggers to Celebrate Juneteenth

This year marks the 156th commemoration of Juneteenth. The holiday has largely been celebrated in Texas and certain pockets throughout the American South, but in recent years, people across America and even around the world have taken an interest in wh…

This year marks the 156th commemoration of Juneteenth. The holiday has largely been celebrated in Texas and certain pockets throughout the American South, but in recent years, people across America and even around the world have taken an interest in what Juneteenth, shorthand for June 19th, is all about.

On that day in 1865, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, news reached enslaved African Americans in Texas, finally ending legalized slavery. The day represents freedom, hope, and new beginnings for the Black community, and it is celebrated with parades, educational events, and communing around special foods.

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Three Bean Salad (Better Than Grandma’s!)

Here’s how to make the best three bean salad recipe: a fresh spin on Grandma’s! It’s so easy to throw together for picnics and potlucks. OK, Grandma: don’t be offended. But we’ve got an even fresher spin on that classic Bean Salad! You know, the kind that’s at picnics and potlucks long into the cicada-buzzing summer? This American classic has been gracing tables for generations, and everyone has their own take on it. Here we’ve taken the bean salad of our youth and transformed it into a fresh spin, with a little less sugar and more fresh ingredients. But it’s still an easy three bean salad that requires little more than dump and stir. Give it a try and let us know…is it actually better than Grandma’s? The anatomy of a bean salad! Bean salad is a classic American salad of canned beans marinated in a vinaigrette. It’s a staple at picnics and potlucks, because it doesn’t require refrigeration! It’s a side dish that can sit out in the heat for hours. The origin story of this classic is hazy, but it’s safe to say it originated in the 1950’s because that’s when recipes started appearing in cookbooks (per this […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Here’s how to make the best three bean salad recipe: a fresh spin on Grandma’s! It’s so easy to throw together for picnics and potlucks.

Bean Salad

OK, Grandma: don’t be offended. But we’ve got an even fresher spin on that classic Bean Salad! You know, the kind that’s at picnics and potlucks long into the cicada-buzzing summer? This American classic has been gracing tables for generations, and everyone has their own take on it. Here we’ve taken the bean salad of our youth and transformed it into a fresh spin, with a little less sugar and more fresh ingredients. But it’s still an easy three bean salad that requires little more than dump and stir. Give it a try and let us know…is it actually better than Grandma’s?

The anatomy of a bean salad!

Bean salad is a classic American salad of canned beans marinated in a vinaigrette. It’s a staple at picnics and potlucks, because it doesn’t require refrigeration! It’s a side dish that can sit out in the heat for hours. The origin story of this classic is hazy, but it’s safe to say it originated in the 1950’s because that’s when recipes started appearing in cookbooks (per this source). Either way: Alex and I have been enjoying it for our entire lives.

Bean salad recipes vary and most cooks have their own regional spin. The most common ingredients are kidney beans, green beans, and garbanzo beans (it’s often called three bean salad). Other ingredients you’ll often see are pinto beans, wax beans, and onions. It’s almost always marinated in a dressing of vinegar, oil, sugar and salt.

Bean salad recipe

How to make this three bean salad recipe

Our spin on Grandma’s three bean salad is just as easy to make as the 1950’s style classic. That means the main steps are “dump and stir:” open the bean cans and stir everything together! At the same time, we wanted to freshen up the classic by cutting back on the sugar and adding a little freshness. Here are the elements we added to this three bean salad to make a modern spin:

  • Kidney beans and pinto beans: Why no chickpeas? They can have a tough texture and don’t soak up the marinade as quickly. We prefer pinto beans in a bean salad.
  • Green and yellow beans: Use just green beans for a classic three bean salad. But we like the color contrast of adding yellow wax beans to the mix.
  • White onion and red onion: White onion is standard and has the most classic flavor. Red onion adds brightness with the lovely purple! It’s optional but makes a nice visual statement.
  • Curly parsley: The green confetti adds a fresh flavor and visual flair. Use curly parsley if you have it, but Italian also works.
  • White vinegar and olive oil: The salad where it’s appropriate to use white vinegar instead of white wine vinegar? Bean salad. (And German cucumber salad, of course.) It adds just the right astringent punch, balanced by the salt and sugar.
  • Dill and garlic powder: These spices aren’t standard, but they amp the flavors just enough.
Three bean salad

Eat immediately, or marinate at least 1 hour

You can eat your bean salad recipe right away and it’s very tasty. Or pop it in the refrigerator to let it marinate for at least 1 hour, and it’s even better. The refrigeration time really lets the flavors soak in.

The end result? This recipe has half the sugar as the standard, but it’s just as delicious! It’s got all the classic elements so you feel like you’re eating Grandma’s. We’ll be eating this for years to come.

Tip: how to slice the onions

One area where home cooks can be tripped up: how to cut the onions into slivers! The cut that looks best in this bean salad recipe is different from the standard half-moon shape. Some people call it French cut: it’s a way of making the onion slivers look attractive instead of long and floppy.

  • How to do it? It’s easiest to explain by showing you. Go to minute 1:40 of this How to Cut an Onion video!
  • The basic explanation? Cut slices from the tip to the root (instead of through the middle).

Storage info

How long does homemade bean salad last? Store it refrigerated for 3 to 5 days. Like a pickle, the flavor intensifies over time! It’s great for lunches throughout the week. Beans don’t last indefinitely refrigerated, so make sure not to leave it longer than the storage recommendation.

Three bean salad recipe

When to serve bean salad (really anytime!)

Last but not least: how to serve bean salad! We’re huge fans of this easy salad and we think it works anytime: picnics, potlucks, and meals any time of the year. It’s a great protein-packed vegan side dish, and it helps to make any vegetarian or plant-based meal more filling. It also is great for summer grilled meals. Here are a few other salads you could pair with it for a stellar summer salad spread:

This bean salad recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

Print
Bean Salad

Classic Bean Salad (Better Than Grandma’s!)


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Here’s how to make the best three bean salad recipe: a fresh spin on Grandma’s! It’s easy to throw together for picnics and potlucks. 


Ingredients

  • 15-ounce can kidney beans
  • 15-ounce can white beans or pinto beans
  • 15-ounce can green beans
  • 15-ounce can wax beans (or another 15-ounce can green beans)
  • 1/2 medium white onion
  • 1/4 medium red onion (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped curly parsley (or Italian parsley)
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar*
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon each dried dill and garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse the beans. 
  2. Thinly slice the onions into slivers (go to minute 1:40 of this How to Cut an Onion video to see how!). Finely chop the parsley. 
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the white vinegar, olive oil, sugar, dill, garlic, powder, and kosher salt. Add the beans, onions and parsley and stir until coated. You can eat immediately, but for best results refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the salad to marinate. Store leftovers refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Notes

*Use standard white vinegar, not white wine vinegar! 

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Raw
  • Cuisine: Salad

Keywords: Bean salad, bean salad recipe, three bean salad, three bean salad recipe

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Costco’s Recalling Canned Black Beans—Here’s Why

If you’ve recently bought a can of beans from Costco, you may want to keep reading. Faribault Foods, Inc., who sell many of their foods at the chain, have issued a voluntary recall on some of their canned goods due to a potential compromise of their he…

If you’ve recently bought a can of beans from Costco, you may want to keep reading. Faribault Foods, Inc., who sell many of their foods at the chain, have issued a voluntary recall on some of their canned goods due to a potential compromise of their hermetic seals.

A compromised hermetic seal may cause a can to bloat, leak or even support the growth of certain bacterias like Clostridium botulinum, which can lead to botulism. According to the FDA, botulism “poisoning in humans can begin from six hours to two weeks after eating food that contains the toxin. Symptoms may include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, and muscle weakness.”

Read More >>

27 Black Bean Recipes For Every Kind of Dinner Craving

Beans, beans, the magical fruit (or technically, legume). The more you eat, the more…protein, iron, and fiber in your system (so, yes, maybe also more toots.) We love beans indiscriminately—for their nutritious benefits, sure, but mostly for their vers…

Beans, beans, the magical fruit (or technically, legume). The more you eat, the more…protein, iron, and fiber in your system (so, yes, maybe also more toots.) We love beans indiscriminately—for their nutritious benefits, sure, but mostly for their versatility and adaptability when it comes to cooking.

But let’s focus on black beans, given they’re arguably one of the most multifaceted in bean-genre. These little guys span dishes in cultures from East Asia to South America. Black beans are found in various forms, from dried, to canned whole beans, to refried, and, one of our favorites, fermented paste used in comforting stir-fried noodles, that simply can’t be replicated or replaced.

Read More >>

5-Minute Bean Dip

This intensely delicious bean dip recipe takes literally 5 minutes. You won’t believe how easy it is to make this party favorite! This recipe happened by accident. That’s where many great recipes come from, right? Happy accidents. From this most recent accident came our famous 5-Minute Bean Dip recipe! It’s not superlative when I say it might be the very easiest recipe we’ve ever created. Beans, salsa, and cheese come together into the creamiest, gooiest piping hot mess. Dunk in crunchy chips and it tastes remarkably like the queso from your favorite Mexican joint. With just 3 ingredients, the flavor is more irresistibly complex than you’d imagine. But to really understand the magic here: you’ve got to taste it. Ingredients in the fastest, easiest bean dip recipe Alex whipped this up on a whim one night to go with some tacos, and it was so unexpectedly delicious that we decided it needed to go public. We’ve made this so many times, we’ve lost count. The greatness is in its simplicity, because all you need is 3 ingredients (plus salt): Canned borlotti or pinto beans Salsa Shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese Pinto beans vs borlotti beans Oddly enough, we first […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This intensely delicious bean dip recipe takes literally 5 minutes. You won’t believe how easy it is to make this party favorite!

Bean dip

This recipe happened by accident. That’s where many great recipes come from, right? Happy accidents. From this most recent accident came our famous 5-Minute Bean Dip recipe! It’s not superlative when I say it might be the very easiest recipe we’ve ever created. Beans, salsa, and cheese come together into the creamiest, gooiest piping hot mess. Dunk in crunchy chips and it tastes remarkably like the queso from your favorite Mexican joint. With just 3 ingredients, the flavor is more irresistibly complex than you’d imagine. But to really understand the magic here: you’ve got to taste it.

Ingredients in the fastest, easiest bean dip recipe

Alex whipped this up on a whim one night to go with some tacos, and it was so unexpectedly delicious that we decided it needed to go public. We’ve made this so many times, we’ve lost count. The greatness is in its simplicity, because all you need is 3 ingredients (plus salt):

  • Canned borlotti or pinto beans
  • Salsa
  • Shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese
Borlotti beans recipe

Pinto beans vs borlotti beans

Oddly enough, we first made this bean dip recipe with a unique variety of beans: borlotti beans! Alex found them on a whim at our local grocery and we accidentally loved them. This bean dip tastes amazing with the creamy, meaty texture of borlotti beans, but they can be hard to find. Pinto beans work just as well as a substitute! Here’s some info about both:

  • What are borlotti beans? Borlotti beans are a bean related to kidney and pinto beans. They’re common in Italy and Mexico, and also referred to as cranberry beans or cacahuate beans (in Mexico). In their dried state they’re a beautiful dappled white and pink color, but when cooked they look the same color as pinto beans, a sort of pinkish brown. We found them in 13-ounce jars in our local grocery.
  • Pinto beans are the best substitute for borlotti beans! You can easily make this dip with pinto beans and it tastes just as good!
Bean dip recipe

How to make bean dip: the fast way

This dip couldn’t be easier or faster. (Have we emphasized that enough yet?) In fact, you don’t even need to drain or rinse those beans. Yep, just use them right from the can! Here’s the brief overview of how this bean dip recipe comes together:

  • Dump beans, salsa & cheese into a saucepan. Don’t drain or rinse the beans: the can liquid is important to getting just the right texture.
  • Heat until the cheese melts. You’ll see it go from mostly melted to becoming a sort of liquid cheese. That’s when it’s ready! Serve when it’s piping hot.

Can you substitute cooked dry beans?

Usually we’re all about cooking dried beans. But in this bean dip recipe, we do not recommend substituting cooked dry beans. Why? Canning beans makes their membranes very tender, almost mushy. Canned beans also have thickened can liquid, which is impossible to obtain at home when you cook from dry. You need both of these things in order for this bean dip to come together so quickly with just the right texture. Save those beans for one of these bean recipes!

Bean dip

Add a garnish for some flair

Typically we serve this bean dip without a garnish. But if you want to take it over the top for parties, add a garnish! Throw a few chopped veggies in the center of the dip, and the color contrast looks lovely. Here are a few ideas for the garnish:

  • Tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • Red onion or green onion, finely chopped
  • Cilantro
  • Pickled jalapenos
  • Hot sauce (like Cholula)

Vegan variation (and healthy option!)

Wait, you don’t want a gooey cheesy bean dip? We’ve got an option for you too. This Easy Refried Bean Dip is vegan and full of flavor! You’ll use storebought canned refried beans instead of whole beans, and mix it with green chiles and seasonings. It’s terrifically delicious and a smidge healthier than this bean dip recipe, if you’re looking for something lighter.

How to make bean dip

What to pair with bean dip

That’s it! You’ve got your bean dip faster than the time it takes you to read this article. Lastly, here are a few things we’d pair with bean dip. You can likely think of these yourself, but we wanted to point to a few specific recipes:

This bean dip recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, see the substitutes above.

Print
Bean dip

5-Minute Bean Dip


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This intensely delicious bean dip recipe takes literally 5 minutes. You won’t believe how easy it is to make this party favorite! 


Ingredients

  • 2 13 or 15-ounce jars borlotti beans or cans pinto beans
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
  • 8 ounces mild or medium salsa
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Tortilla chips, for serving

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan: no need to drain or rinse the beans (add the can liquid too)! Warm it over medium heat until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Mash beans gently with a masher if you’d like a smoother texture. Taste and add another pinch of salt if necessary.
  2. Serve immediately with tortilla chips. If desired, you can garnish with chopped veggies: we used a bit of finely chopped tomato, red onion and green onion with a drizzle of Cholula hot sauce.

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican inspired

Keywords: Bean dip, bean dip recipe

More great dip recipes

We love to dip, over here! Here are some of our top favorite dip recipes if you’re looking for more inspiration:

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes