Super Simple Dukkah Seasoning (Egyptian-Inspired)

Crunchy, flavorful, savory… What’s not to love?! This Egyptian-inspired dukkah is a delicious and easy spice mix that adds instant flavor and nutrition to nearly any dish! We love it on roasted vegetables (recipe coming soon!), salads, avocado toast, d…

Super Simple Dukkah Seasoning (Egyptian-Inspired)

Crunchy, flavorful, savory… What’s not to love?! This Egyptian-inspired dukkah is a delicious and easy spice mix that adds instant flavor and nutrition to nearly any dish! We love it on roasted vegetables (recipe coming soon!), salads, avocado toast, dips, bowls, and more! 

While hazelnuts are most commonly used in dukkah, we found pepitas to be equally delicious, simpler, more affordable, and suitable for nut-free eaters too.

Super Simple Dukkah Seasoning (Egyptian-Inspired) from Minimalist Baker →

Stacked Vegetable Enchiladas

Roasted vegetables are my favorite. I make a pan every single week to eat and to use in recipes. I love using roasted veggies to make these Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas. I love stacked enchiladas because they are easy to make. You just layer th…

Roasted vegetables are my favorite. I make a pan every single week to eat and to use in recipes. I love using roasted veggies to make these Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas. I love stacked enchiladas because they are easy to make. You just layer the roasted veggies, black beans, enchilada sauce, corn tortillas, and cheese…

Easy Shakshuka (with Fresh or Canned Tomatoes)

This savory and saucy shakshuka is MB at its finest, friends! Made in 1 pot with simple ingredients, it’s the perfect quick and satisfying meal suitable for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s subtly spicy, super comforting, and pairs well with toasted b…

Easy Shakshuka (with Fresh or Canned Tomatoes)

This savory and saucy shakshuka is MB at its finest, friends! Made in 1 pot with simple ingredients, it’s the perfect quick and satisfying meal suitable for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It’s subtly spicy, super comforting, and pairs well with toasted bread, grilled cheese sandwiches, roasted potatoes, and beyond. 

It’s especially perfect for tomato season (we see you, summer gardeners drowning in tomatoes!) but can be enjoyed any time of year by subbing canned tomatoes.

Easy Shakshuka (with Fresh or Canned Tomatoes) from Minimalist Baker →

Tomato Rice

Tomato rice is an easy yet flavorful side dish that uses only a few simple ingredients, and it’s sure to liven up any dinner plate!

The post Tomato Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I love a big ol’ bowl of hot rice. Rice is filling, cozy, and CHEAP. 🙌 Plus, it’s super easy to add different flavors to rice, so it never gets boring. This easy and flavorful tomato rice uses really simple ingredients that I often have on hand, and it has the most delicious bright yet savory flavor. Plus you can use it as a base for bowl meals, or you can serve it as a side to liven up your dinner plate.

Tomato rice in a bowl with limes and green onion.

What’s in Tomato Rice?

This tomato rice is similar to what a lot of people call Spanish rice or Mexican rice, although I can’t say that my technique is authentic to either culture. It’s simply rice that has been cooked with onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, a couple of spices (cumin and chili powder), and a flavorful broth. So simple, yet SO good! I couldn’t stop taking forkfuls right out of the pot. 😅

What Else Can I Add?

There are a lot of ways you can modify this rice to make it your own. You can swap the vegetable broth for chicken broth for a slightly different flavor, or replace the diced tomatoes with salsa or Rotel. You can also experiment with adding some extra spices, like cayenne or smoked paprika, or even squeeze a little lime juice in with the broth before cooking. Want more vegetables? Try stirring in some frozen peas or diced bell pepper.

I like to garnish the tomato rice with some sliced green onions and lime wedges, but they are not required to make the rice taste great.

Can I Use Brown Rice?

Brown rice requires more liquid and a longer simmer time (2-3 times longer) than white rice. So while I’d need to test this with brown rice before offering exact recommendations, it is definitely possible to make this tomato rice with long grain brown rice.

How to Store the Leftovers

If you plan to use your rice for meal prep or if you want to freeze the leftovers, make sure to divide the rice into single portions before refrigerating to make sure it cools down quickly once in the refrigerator. Once completely cooled, it can be transferred to the freezer for longer storage (make sure it’s in an air-tight container).

The tomato rice can be reheated quickly in the microwave. Add a sprinkle of water or an ice cube before reheating to prevent the rice from drying out.

Close up side view of a bowl of tomato rice.

Tomato Rice

Tomato rice is an easy yet flavorful side dish that uses only a few simple ingredients, and it's sure to liven up any dinner plate!
Course Dinner, Side Dish
Cuisine Southwest
Total Cost $2.40 recipe / $0.30 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 1 cup each
Calories 186kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 yellow onion $0.37
  • 2 Tbsp cooking oil $0.08
  • 1.5 cups long grain white rice $0.56
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin $0.02
  • 1 15oz. can petite diced tomatoes $0.79
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste $0.08
  • 2 cups vegetable broth $0.26
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.03

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic and finely dice the onion. Add the onion, garlic, and cooking oil to a saucepot and sauté over medium heat until the onions are soft and translucent.
  • Add the rice, chili powder, and cumin to the pot. Continue to stir and cook for a couple of minutes more to toast the rice and spices.
  • Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), tomato paste, and broth to the pot. Stir to combine and dissolve and spices that are stuck to the bottom.
  • Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and let the broth come up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low (or just above low) to bring the broth down to a gentle simmer.
  • Let the rice gently simmer for 20 minutes without lifting the lid or stirring. After 20 minutes, remove the pot from the heat, and let the rice rest for five minutes without lifting the lid.
  • After resting, fluff the rice with a fork to redistribute the tomatoes throughout. Serve hot!

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Sodium: 471mg | Fiber: 2g
Overhead view of a pot full of tomato rice with limes and green onion.

How to Make Tomato Rice – Step by Step Photos

Chopped onion and garlic on a cutting board.

Start by mincing two cloves of garlic and finely dicing one onion.

sautéed onion and garlic in the pot.

Add the onion and garlic to a sauce pot with 2 Tbsp cooking oil. Sauté over medium until the onions are soft and translucent.

Rice and spices added to the pot.

Add 1.5 cups long grain white rice, ½ tsp chili powder, and ¼ tsp cumin to the pot.

Rice and spices cooked in the pot.

Cook and stir the rice and spices for a couple of minutes more to slightly toast the rice and spices.

Tomatoes and broth added to the pot.

Add one 15oz. can of petite diced tomatoes (with juices), 1 Tbsp tomato paste, 2 cups vegetable broth, and ½ tsp salt to the pot. Stir to combine and dissolve any spices stuck to the bottom of the pot. I like to keep frozen tomato paste on hand in one tablespoon portions, just for recipes like this!

Tomato rice before simmering.

Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and allow the broth to come up to a full boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to low (or lightly above low) to bring the broth down to a gentle simmer.

Simmered rice in the pot with tomatoes on top.

Let the rice gently simmer for 20 minutes without stirring or lifting the lid. After 20 minutes, remove the pot from the heat (lid still on) and let the rice rest for 5 minutes. This is what it looks like after simmering.

Fluffed tomato rice in the pot.

Fluff the rice with a fork to redistribute the diced tomatoes, which float to the top as the rice simmers.

Lime being squeezed over the rice in a bowl.

Serve hot! I like to garnish with a little lime and green onion, but it’s not necessary! The rice tastes great on its own, too. :)

Try These Other Flavored Rice Recipes:

The post Tomato Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Quick Pickled Jalapeños

Ever find yourself with a surplus of jalapeños around (CSA box, anyone)? One of our favorite solutions is quick pickled jalapeños. They’re easy to prepare, last for weeks, and add a delicious kick to quesadillas, tacos, bowls, and beyond! We even…

Quick Pickled Jalapeños

Ever find yourself with a surplus of jalapeños around (CSA box, anyone)? One of our favorite solutions is quick pickled jalapeños. They’re easy to prepare, last for weeks, and add a delicious kick to quesadillas, tacos, bowls, and beyond! We even like them straight from the jar.

This tangy, spicy, versatile condiment awaits with just 1 pot, 6 ingredients, and 10 minutes of hands-on time required.

Quick Pickled Jalapeños from Minimalist Baker →

Sheet Pan Portobello Fajitas

Sheet Pan Portobello Fajitas are an easy and flavorful vegetarian dinner idea that all cooks on one pan for easy cleanup!

The post Sheet Pan Portobello Fajitas appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I got that craving for fajitas the other day and just had to have ’em. I decided to switch things up a bit from my usual sheet pan fajitas and use portobello caps in place of the chicken. I also added a little smoky chipotle powder to the spice mix to keep things interesting. These Sheet Pan Portobello Fajitas are a new and welcome twist on the classic. A little squeeze of lime on top and a slice or two of creamy avocado, and you have a really tasty veggie-filled dinner.

Originally posted 6/11/2016, updated 8/8/2022.

Three Portobello Fajitas on a plate.

Portobello Mushrooms on a Budget

Portobello mushrooms aren’t the cheapest item in the produce aisle, so it’s important to use some of our budget byting principles here. First, make sure you compare prices both between available grocery stores and even within the store. If your grocery store sells them both packaged together and loose, be careful to compare the per-pound price because it might be cheaper to buy them loose! 

Second, we’re going to combine the portobello mushrooms with other ingredients that are much less expensive, like onions, bell peppers, and tortillas to balance out the total price and keep the price per serving on the low side. 

Make it Spicy or Mild

The recipe, as written below, is a little smoky and spicy thanks to the chipotle powder in the fajita spice mix. If you prefer a mild fajita, skip the chipotle powder and make sure to use a chili powder blend that is mild. If you want your fajitas to be smoky but not spicy, replace the chipotle powder with smoked paprika. 

Meal Prep It!

The filling for the fajitas works great as a meal prep. Just pack up the roasted mushroom, pepper, and onion mix in a lunch container with a slice of lime and a couple of tortillas. When it’s time for lunch, remove the tortillas and lime, reheat, then fill the tortillas, squeeze your lime, and enjoy!

For the avocado, I suggest slicing a few slices off the whole avocado each day. Only the exposed surface will darken, and it only darkens slightly (it doesn’t turn completely black like mashed avocado). The darkening of the avocado does not mean it is spoiled, it just means that it has been exposed to oxygen (like a brown apple), and is still perfectly safe to eat.

What to Serve with Portobello Fajitas

Sweet Corn Salsa or Summer Sweet Corn Salad would be a wonderfully light and fresh contrast to these portobello fajitas. And if you want to dress them up a little bit more you could whip up a quick batch of Guacamole or Pico de Gallo

Roasted portobello and vegetables on a sheet pan.

Three portobello fajitas on a plate.

Sheet Pan Portobello Fajitas

Sheet Pan Portobello Fajitas are an easy and flavorful vegetarian dinner idea that all cooks on one pan for easy cleanup!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Southwest
Total Cost $10.81 recipe / $2.70 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 (two fajitas each)
Calories 423kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

FAJITA SPICE MIX

  • 1 Tbsp chili powder* $0.30
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder $0.05
  • 1 tsp cumin $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder $0.05
  • 1 tsp sugar** $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.03

FAJITAS

  • 2 portobello mushroom caps $3.99
  • 2 bell peppers (any color) $2.29
  • 2 yellow onions $0.64
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil $0.38
  • 8 small flour tortillas (6-inch) $1.00
  • 1 avocado $1.09
  • handful cilantro (optional) $0.25
  • 1 fresh lime $0.59

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF. In a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients for the fajita spice mix
  • Slice the portobellos, bell peppers, and onions into 1/4 inch wide strips. Place the sliced vegetables on a large sheet pan. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables then sprinkle the fajita spice mix over top. Use your hands to toss the vegetables until everything is well coated in oil and spices.
  • Roast the vegetables in the fully preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are slightly wilted and the edges have a nice brown color. Stir the vegetables half way through the roasting time to make sure everything gets even exposure to the hot air.
  • After removing the vegetables from the oven, squeeze fresh lime juice over top. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over the vegetables. To serve the fajitas, scoop a small amount of the roasted vegetables into each tortilla and add a slice of avocado.

Notes

*The chili powder I use is a mild blend made by McCormick. It is not spicy at all and contains barely any salt. If using a different brand, make sure to adjust the salt and/or chipotle accordingly.
**The small amount of sugar in this recipe helps caramelize the vegetables and give everything that grilled or charred flavor that is characteristic of fajitas.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving | Calories: 423kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 23g | Sodium: 782mg | Fiber: 9g

side view of three portobello fajitas on a plate.

How to Make Sheet Pan Portobello Fajitas – Step by Step Photos

Fajita spices in a wooden bowl.

Begin by preheating the oven to 400ºF. In a small bowl, stir together 1 Tbsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp chipotle powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt. 

Whole vegetables on a cutting board.

I used 8 oz. portobello caps (2-3 depending on their size), two bell peppers (any color), and two yellow onions for my fajitas.

Sliced vegetables on a baking sheet.

Slice the vegetables into strips about ¼-inch wide. I also cut the portobello strips in half, so the pieces aren’t quite so large. Place the sliced vegetables on a large sheet pan.

Spices being sprinkled over the sliced vegetables.

Drizzle 3 Tbsp olive oil over the vegetables, then sprinkle the prepared fajita seasoning over top.

Seasoned vegetables ready to roast.

Use your hands to toss the vegetables in the oil and spices until everything is evenly coated, then make sure the vegetables are spread out over the baking sheet in an even layer.

Roasted vegetables on the sheet pan.

Roast the vegetables in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until they are slightly wilted and have browned on the edges. Stir the vegetables halfway through the roasting time to make sure everything gets even exposure to the hot air. 

Finished fajita vegetables on the baking sheet with lime and cilantro.

After roasting, squeeze lime juice over the vegetables and top with chopped cilantro.

Three portobello fajitas on a plate.

To serve, scoop a small amount of the fajita vegetables into each small tortilla and add a slice of fresh avocado.

Overhead view of the fajita vegetables on a sheet pan.

Seriously, these Chipotle Portobello Oven Fajitas are probably one of my favorite vegan recipes!

Chipotle Portobello Oven Fajitas are an easy and flavor packed dinner perfect for summer. BudgetBytes.com

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Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy Caviar is a deliciously fresh bean salad with a colorful mix of beans and vegetables, plus a zesty lime dressing.

The post Cowboy Caviar appeared first on Budget Bytes.

This super fresh and colorful Cowboy Caviar combines two types of beans, delicious summer vegetables, and a sweet and tangy lime dressing to make a bold and versatile dish that you’ll find yourself making over and over. From a party dip to a salad topper, Cowboy Caviar has become a go-to healthy meal prep item in my kitchen. It’s the O.G. refrigerator salad. 😄 Read on for more ideas on how to use this amazing cross between bean salad and salsa!

Originally posted 7-19-2016, updated 6-1-2022.

Close up overhead view of cowboy caviar in a bowl with chips on the side.

What is Cowboy Caviar?

Cowboy Caviar, sometimes called Mexican Caviar, is like a cross between a bean salad and a fresh salsa. It combines two types of beans (black beans and black eyed peas) with a colorful medley of fresh vegetables and a tangy balsamic-lime vinaigrette.

Where Do You Find Black Eyed Peas?

If you can’t find black eyed peas in the canned bean aisle, check with the canned vegetables. Because they’re a “pea” they’re sometimes found with the canned vegetables rather than the beans. And if you can’t find black eyed peas, you can substitute pinto beans or navy beans.

How Long Does it Last?

Well, if you don’t eat it all in one sitting (it can happen!), Cowboy Caviar holds up extremely well in the refrigerator and will be just as tasty after about 4-5 days of refrigeration. While the vegetables will let off a little water, most of the ingredients are very sturdy. Just be sure to stir the salad before serving to redistribute the dressing. This salad will probably not freeze well, due to the fresh herbs and vegetables.

Close up of Cowboy Caviar on a chip.

How to Serve Cowboy Caviar

There are SO many ways to eat Cowboy Caviar that you’ll probably find yourself adding it to everything you eat. But here are a few ideas anyway:

  • Serve it as a side dish with dinner
  • As a chunky dip for chips
  • As a topping for tacos
  • Stuffed into a burrito or as part of a burrito bowl
  • Sprinkled over a green salad
  • Spooned on top of scrambled eggs
  • Stuffed into a quesadilla with some cheese

…and so much more. If you have a favorite way to eat your Cowboy Caviar, feel free to share it with the rest of us in the comments below!

Recipe Variations

One of the best things about Cowboy Caviar is that it is extremely versatile. You can customize this recipe to give it your own personal touch. Here are a couple of substitutions and add-ins that will make it your own:

  • Add avocado for a creamy finish
  • Skip the jalapeño to make it mild, or keep the jalapeño and add a few dashes of hot sauce to make it extra spicy
  • Substitute green onion for the red onion to make the salad milder
  • Add sweet corn for more color and flavor variation
  • Add ½ tsp smoked paprika to the dressing for a smokier finish

Can you Freeze Cowboy Caviar?

I don’t suggest freezing this dish because it has multiple delicate fresh vegetables that will become limp and soggy upon freezing and reheating. You want those veggies to be fresh, juicy, and crunchy to give the salad its amazing texture! :)

close up side view of cowboy caviar in a bowl.

Close up overhead view of cowboy caviar in a bowl with chips on the side.

Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy Caviar is a deliciously fresh bean salad with a colorful mix of beans and vegetables, plus a zesty lime dressing.
Course Dinner, Dip, Lunch, Salad
Cuisine Southwest
Total Cost $5.30 recipe / $0.53 serving
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 10 (1/2 cup each)
Calories 140kcal

Ingredients

DRESSING

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 fresh lime (2 Tbsp juice) $0.33
  • 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder* $0.05
  • 1 tsp ground cumin $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 1/2 tsp sugar $0.02

Salad

  • 1 15oz. can black beans $0.89
  • 1 15oz. can black eyed peas $1.09
  • 1 bell pepper (any color) $1.50
  • 2 Roma tomatoes $0.86
  • 1 jalapeño $0.12
  • 1/4 red onion $0.20
  • 1/4 bunch fresh cilantro $0.20

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, 2 Tbsp of juice from the lime, balsamic vinegar, chili powder, cumin, salt, and sugar.
  • Rinse and drain both cans of beans in a colander. Once well drained, transfer them to a large bowl.
  • Finely dice the bell pepper, tomatoes, jalapeño, and red onion. Try to dice the vegetables into pieces that are roughly the same size as the beans. For a less spicy salad, scrape the seeds out of the jalapeño before dicing. Roughly chop the cilantro.
  • Add the chopped vegetables to the bowl with the beans.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad, then stir until everything is well coated. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Video

Notes

*This chili powder is a mild blend of chiles and other spices.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5Cup | Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 3g | Sodium: 122mg | Fiber: 7g

How to Make Cowboy Caviar – Step by Step Photos

Dressing ingredients in a bowl with a whisk.

Make the dressing first so the flavors have a few minutes to blend. Whisk together 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp lime juice, ½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tsp cumin, ½ tsp chili powder, ½ tsp sugar, and ½ tsp salt.

Rinsed and drained beans in a bowl.

Rinse and drain one 15oz. can of black beans and one 15oz. can of black eyed peas in a colander. 

Fresh vegetables on a cutting board.

Gather one bell pepper (any color), two Roma tomatoes, one jalapeño, 1/4 of a red onion, and 1/4 bunch of cilantro. While any color bell pepper can be used, I like the colorful pop of a yellow or orange bell pepper. 

Chopped vegetables in the bowl with the beans.

Finely dice the bell pepper, tomatoes, jalapeño, and red onion. The idea is to get the pieces close in size to the beans so that you have a “caviar” type appearance in the end. Roughly chop the cilantro leaves. Place the chopped vegetables in the bowl with the rinsed beans.

Dressing being poured over the salad in the bowl.

Pour the prepared dressing over the salad.

Finished cowboy caviar in the bowl.

Stir the salad until everything is coated in the dressing. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat. This is one of those salads that tastes even better after it has time to chill in the fridge, so it’s great to eat over the course of a few days!

Finished cowboy caviar in a bowl with a chip.

Cowboy Caviar makes a great snack with tortilla chips, a topper for tacos, bowl meals, or salads, or spoon some onto baked or grilled fish for a nice light meal!

Try These Other Bean Salad Recipes:

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Black Bean Tacos

These Black Bean Tacos are one of my all-time favorite taco recipes. They are restaurant quality tacos that are EASY to make at home. The black bean filling is made with basic ingredients, but the flavors are outstanding. We serve the black beans in cr…

These Black Bean Tacos are one of my all-time favorite taco recipes. They are restaurant quality tacos that are EASY to make at home. The black bean filling is made with basic ingredients, but the flavors are outstanding. We serve the black beans in crispy, crunchy, cheesy taco shells that will WOW you. We also…

Shrimp Fajitas

We are all about quick and easy dinner recipes at our house and one of our favorites, FAJITAS! We are a fajitas family because they are easy to make and fun to eat. Chicken fajitas and Vegetarian Fajitas have always been a staple at our house, but our …

Easy Shrimp FajitasWe are all about quick and easy dinner recipes at our house and one of our favorites, FAJITAS! We are a fajitas family because they are easy to make and fun to eat. Chicken fajitas and Vegetarian Fajitas have always been a staple at our house, but our boys are currently loving Shrimp Fajitas. Shrimp…

Cheesy Pinto Beans

Cheesy Pinto Beans are a quick and satisfying meal made with simple pantry staple ingredients, like canned beans.

The post Cheesy Pinto Beans appeared first on Budget Bytes.

We’re getting back to the basics with this one! I love exploring really simple ways to transform pantry staples, like canned beans, into a filling and satisfying meal. For these Cheesy Pinto Beans, I simply seasoned up some canned beans, puréed half to make the beans nice and creamy, then stirred in a little cheese to make it extra flavorful and satisfying. Serve them over rice and you’ve got an easy and satisfying meal for pennies.

A bowl of cheesy pinto beans over rice.

What Are Pinto Beans?

Pinto beans have been a staple ingredient in many parts of the world, including Mexico and the Southwest U.S., for generations, so if you live in those areas you’re probably very familiar with this delicious bean. But if pinto beans aren’t already part of your regular diet, this recipe will be a great introduction. Pinto beans are a small, tan-colored bean that has a speckled appearance when dried. They have a deliciously creamy texture once cooked, which makes them great for refried beans, soup, burritos, or just enjoying over rice, like I did here.

Can I Use Dry Beans?

Dry beans will always be more budget-friendly, usually lower sodium, and oftentimes have better flavor, but they can definitely a little more time and work to prepare. This Cheesy Pinto Bean recipe is designed for convenience, so we’re using canned beans this time around. If you want to use pinto beans that you’ve cooked from dry, you’ll need about three cups of cooked beans. You’ll likely need to add a little more salt to your recipe at the end, as well.

How to Serve Cheesy Pinto Beans

This deliciously simple recipe can be eaten a few different ways. I served mine over a bowl of rice, but you could also purée more of the beans and serve it as a beany chip dip! I think it would also be good served in a bowl then scooped up with some fluffy naan or pita. Or, simply serve them alone as a side dish with your favorite meal.

What Else Can I Add?

Beans are such a flexible ingredient, so there are several other ingredients you can add to these cheesy pinto beans. Here are some other ingredients that you can stir into your beans:

  • Diced Hatch green chiles
  • Salsa
  • Diced red onion
  • Diced ham or bacon
  • Sour cream (makes the beans EXTRA creamy)
  • Cilantro
  • Green onions
Cheesy Pinto Beans on a serving spoon in the pot.
Overhead view of a bowl of cheesy pinto beans over rice.

Cheesy Pinto Beans

Cheesy Pinto Beans are a quick and satisfying meal made with simple pantry staple ingredients, like canned beans.
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican, Southwest
Total Cost $2.96 recipe / $0.74 serving
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 ⅔ cup each
Calories 268kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 jalapeño (optional) $0.08
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 2 15oz. cans pinto beans $2.00
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika $0.03
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin $0.03
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.02
  • 2 dashes hot sauce $0.10
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese $0.50

Instructions

  • Mince the garlic and finely dice the jalapeño (remove the stem and seeds).
  • Add the onion, jalapeño, and cooking oil to a pot. Sauté the garlic and jalapeño over medium heat for about one minute, or just until the garlic is very fragrant.
  • Add one can of pinto beans to a blender, with the liquid in the can, and purée until smooth.
  • Add the puréed beans and the second can of beans (drained) to the saucepot with the garlic and jalapeño. Stir to combine.
  • Season the beans with the smoked paprika, cumin, pepper, and hot sauce. Stir to combine, then heat through over medium, stirring occasionally.
  • Finally, add the shredded cheddar and stir until it has melted smoothly into the beans. Taste the beans and adjust the seasoning to your liking. Serve over rice or with your favorite meal.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.66cup | Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 10g | Sodium: 664mg | Fiber: 10g

How to Make Cheesy Pinto Beans – Step by Step Photos

Garlic and jalapeño in a pot.

Mince two cloves of garlic and finely dice one jalapeño (seeds and stem removed). Add them to a pot along with one tablespoon of cooking oil. Sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, or just until the garlic becomes really fragrant.

Puréed pinto beans in a blender.

Add one 15oz. can of pinto beans to a blender (with the liquid in the can) and purée until smooth. Alternately, you can use an immersion blender in the pot with the beans.

Pinto beans in the pot, puréed beans being poured into the pot.

Add the puréed beans to the pot along with a second 15oz. can of pinto beans (drained). Stir to combine.

Seasonings added to the pot.

Season the beans with ¼ tsp smoked paprika, ¼ tsp ground cumin, ⅛ tsp freshly cracked black pepper, and a couple of dashes of hot sauce. Stir to combine and then allow the beans to heat through, stirring occasionally.

Shredded cheese added to the beans.

Once the beans are hot, add ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese.

Cheesy pinto beans being stirred.

Stir the beans until the cheese has melted smoothly into the beans.

Finished cheesy pinto beans in the pot.

Taste the beans and adjust the seasonings to your liking. Because canned beans and cheese contain a fair amount of salt, I did not find that I needed to add any to the beans. Serve the beans over rice, with chips, or as a side to your favorite meal!

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