Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pot of Pinto Beans ~ 12 Meals to Make ~ Free Menu Printable

"There's nothing like good hot bean soup on a cold day," said Pa.
~ Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Long Winter

Pinto beans are an absolute staple in our home. I make a large batch every few weeks. To prepare, soak dry beans overnight in warm water (I start off with about 1/3 full of dry beans in a 16 quart pot). The next day, drain the water and add a fresh batch of water (supposed to reduce potential stomach hazard) to just cover the beans. Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour or so. Then, add a large can of tomato sauce, a few taco seasoning packets, a cube of butter, five or so chopped onions, some chili powder and continue to simmer ingredients together for about 2-3 hours until they are tender.

"Rice and pinto beans served with cornbread or corn tortillas are often a staple meal where meat is unavailable; the amino acids in this combination make it a complete protein source."
~ Wikipedia

These are so simple and so forgiving but very versatile and healthy!

Twelve Meals to Make with Beans:
  • Tostadas: Serve the tostada shell with beans, along with sour cream, guacamole, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sliced chives, sliced olives and salsa.
  • Bean Quesadilla: Smear beans on flour tortilla, sprinkle with cheese and place another tortilla on top. Cook on both sides in a hot frying pan (without grease) until cheese is melted. Cut into triangles and serve with salsa, guacamole and a green salad.
  • Bean Enchiladas: Use beans in your favorite enchilada recipe in lieu of meat. I also usually add some sauteed bell pepper and onions to the filling as well. Serve with rice, guacamole and a green salad.
  • Bean Soup: Sautee whatever vegetables you have on hand including onions, add to the beans along with tomato sauce, a boullion cube. Simmer until flavors are blended and serve with shredded cheese, corn bread and green salad.
  • Fried Bean and Cheese Burritos: These are really good for on the go food. Simple place beans and cheese inside a flour tortilla, wrap them up and fry in oil until golden on each side. Serve with salsa, guacamole and a green salad.
  • Basic Bean Burritos: Reheat your beans and serve with warm tortillas along with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, shredded cheese, guacamole and salsa. You can also serve rice as a filling. Here is an easy flour tortilla recipe if you would like to try making them.
  • Bean Tacos: Use the same fillings as above and use beans in lieu of meat. It is also tasty with a coleslaw sprinkled on top.
  • Beans on Rice: Simply prepare some rice and place your beans on top. Add a sprinkle of shredded cheese. Serve with a green salad.
  • Nacho Style Bean Platter: Melt cheese on top of tortilla chips in the oven. Sprinkle warm beans on top along with fresh salsa if you choose. This is a tasty snack or light lunch if served with some guacamole.
  • Eight Layer Bean Dip: Smear beans on the bottom of a casserole dish above 1/2 inch worth. Next, smear some sour cream across the top of that. Spread guacamole on top of that layer. Spread salsa on the next layer. Now, sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Next, sprinkle sliced olives on top along with chopped chives. If you have cilantro or parsley, that can be added as the finally. Serve with tortilla chips and dip in.
  • Taco Salad: Create a basic green salad and add your beans, shredded cheese, avocados, olives, crushed corn chips, red bell peppers, baby corn and chives along with a salad dressing of your choice. Serve with corn bread.
  • Frozen Bean Burritos: This is what I do with my extra beans and love the look of them in my freezer, just waiting for that time of need! See below.

I like to make bean burritos for the freezer for those last minute needs such as road trips, field trips or an on the go day. We do not eat "out" for a variety of reasons so I create my own meals to be ready and available.

To prepare: Place 1/4 cup of beans on your tortilla, add 1/4 cup of rice on top of the beans (I cook my rice in chicken broth), sprinkle cheese to taste, and roll up your tortilla. Place on foil and wrap up your basic burrito.

Allot the amount you would like for your family servings into bags. I usually prepare two dozen at a time and place a dozen in one bag and a dozen in the other. What is also nice is you can just grab any amount needed from the bags for a quick lunch for hubby or you when necessary. Freeze for future use but don't forget to bring the hot sauce when you finally serve them!

Heating Instructions: If thawed first in refrigerator, bake with foil on in 300 degree oven for 30 minutes. If frozen, bake with foil on in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.

And finally, our newest favorite meal to make with beans is "chili cheese fries". Visit here for the simple recipe!

Below is a printable summary of these ideas for your recipe book (click on menu link below). Perhaps you will want to place this page behind the "main dishes" tab but in the very front. Look upon it on those days when you don't know what to make and hopefully have a stash of these tasty beans in your freezer!


  1. Your burritos look yummy! We makes those quite often in our home as well.

    LOL about the sound of sleeping dollars in your purse. I am just wondering, do they snore? Ha, ha! :)

  2. I love beans they are a quick and easy meal. One thing I learned recently from Melissa D'Arbian's 10 dollar dinners is to make up your beans and freeze them in one cup quantities. I don't know why I never thought of that!

    I make a modified version of the bean soup from the book "Splended Soups" that my family can't stay out of, it's also very easy and can be made with what you have in the pantry:

    1-2 cups of beans (pinto, black, kidney, whatever you got)
    pesto (I freeze these during the summer from my basil) cubes or 1 tsp basil
    1 jar of canned tomatoes (or about 2 15 oz jars)
    1 onion
    1 tsp minced garlic
    bacon, 1-3 slices

    Put in a crockpot and after 5 hours, grind soup with a submersible blender or a few cups at at time (fill in only about 1/4 of the size of the blender cup, I speak from experience, it's scary otherwise)
    Once you've ground it up, put back in crockpot with a couple of handfuls of whatever pasta you got and cook on high for about 11 mins. It's crockpot cooking at it's best and cheap!

    1. Thank you for sharing! I love crockpot recipes (especially the frugal bean ones)!

  3. I like to cook with beans and add them to lots of things too. If we have leftover chili or other bean type dish that doesn't leave us with a whole meal we like to serve it over baked potatoes.

    1. Great idea Abi! Thank you for sharing! :)

  4. Thank you so much! I just printed out the bean sheet so I can put it in my family planner. I tend to go blank when it comes time for meal planning so this will help.

    1. I am right there with you MamaHen! That is why I prepared it :)

  5. We buy beans in bulk and will make a huge batch! We freeze what we have left over and they are on hand for last minute meals or because grocery budget is tight :)

    1. We do the exact same thing for the exact same reasons :) Thanks for sharing!

  6. Thanks for such a handy list! Great ideas. It is printed out and will be shared on my social media. Thanks again!

    1. Thank you very much :) I appreciate you sharing!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...