8690384450 a95d4aa76a z Five Days of Cinco de Mayo: The Side Dish

Whenever I order a meal at a Mexican restaurant, it arrives with what seems like an obligatory side of rice and beans. I sometimes get to choose what type of beans arrive, but that is about as exciting as it gets. Until now. Enter baked Mexican-style beans.

Let’s be honest. Unless we’re talking jelly beans, no one is ever going to scream for beans the way they do for ice cream. This recipe takes those beans up a few notches on the totem pole of  things that delight.

There is not a whole lot of pretty to this dish, but I am of the mind (hope!) that the taste makes up for the presentation. Tomatoes and chiles add flavor and bite as sour cream and cheese layer on the deliciousness.

Perhaps I am giving rice and beans a tough time because I eat them at least three times per week. Rice and beans, along with some sort of scrambled egg and rice bowl or egg sandwich, are common lunches and dinners in my world. After a while, plain beans begin to become tiresome, so I was happy to find this recipe.

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As for things you should know if you want to make this dish, first off, it makes a lot of beans. The recipe says the yield is four, but I would say that is a conservative estimate.

For leftovers, I have resorted to eating the beans along with rice, of course, but I have also found I like it as a sandwich spread. I simply used a fork to mash some of the beans before spreading it over toasted bread. I don’t know that I would eat just the mashed beans and bread, but it definitely adds to a sandwich as a condiment.

In the write up of the recipe itself, the author suggested making this dish a go-to for potlucks since it yields a good amount and is easily doubled for larger parties. I modified the recipe a bit, choosing to use pinto beans and black beans along with the kidney beans called for in the recipe. This can be baked in an 8 x 8 or a 9 x 13 baking dish depending on what you have available.

Overall, I liked the way this recipe gave me a new, but simple, way to prepare flavorful beans for use throughout the week. I hope you will find the same. If not, I hope you will stick around until tomorrow when we start getting to the really good stuff. Enjoy!

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For more Cinco de Mayo menu ideas, check out my Cinco de Mayo Pinterest board or visit the Cinco de Mayo page to see last year’s menu.

Mexican Baked Beans
Serves: 4
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ cups onion, diced (from 1 large onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1, 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1, 4-ounce can diced green chilies, drained
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3, 15-ounce cans beans (I used one can each of kidney beans, pinto beans and black beans)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups grated cheese (I used a Mexican blend)
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Saute the onions and garlic until the onions are soften and the garlic is fragrant, about five minutes
  3. Add the tomatoes, chilies, tomato paste, chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper.
  4. Raise the heat to high and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid from the tomatoes has for the most part evaporated, about another five minutes.
  5. Combine this skillet mixture with the beans, either in the skillet if it is large enough, a bowl, or the baking dish (8 x 8 or 13 x 9 will work) you plan to use.
  6. Layer half the combined bean and tomato mixture in the baking dish (if you combined the mixture in the dish itself, you will simply want to transfer half back to the skillet for a moment) and top with ½ cup of the sour cream and 1 cup of the cheese.
  7. Add the remaining bean and tomato mixture, followed by the remaining sour cream and cheese.
  8. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes until the mixture is hot and bubbly.



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