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Bean Dip

Posted by Denise on January 25, 2011

bean dip from oven


We call this messy, delicious concoction “Bean Dip” for lack of a better description, but it is almost like inside-out nachos. It has most of the same ingredients.

Years ago, one of the bistro-style chain restaurants that used to be in our area (I think it was Bennigans) had a layered bean-based appetizer eaten with corn tortilla chips on their menu. We loved the flavor and simplicity of it. It used to be our favorite item on the menu to order. Eating out was a luxury that we could not justify very often, so it would be quite a while between visits. One day we went there to celebrate a special occasion and it was no longer on the menu! Well, they say necessity is the mother of invention, so we got busy and made up a similar dish to satisfy our craving for it. Our version is not quite the same, but we like it even better.

Don’t let the pictures scare you off. It is delicious and very easy to fix even though it looks like a mess. You can easily add other things that you like to it, such as sliced black olives and pre-cooked chicken or ground beef made with taco seasoning. It can be a great way to use up leftovers. Just add it under the cheese and maybe the sour cream layers. If you prefer it to be milder, use canned chili peppers instead of the jalapenos, or leave the spicy stuff out altogether. A mild salsa can be used also.

We treat it as a main dish and normally fix it on a Friday night when we are tired from a long work week and want something easy and hot for dinner. It comes together very quickly and makes enough that if you happen to have a stray kid or two staying for supper, you will have enough. Leftovers can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days, then re-heated in the oven or microwave. Just make sure you have enough tortilla chips!

Oh, and Bennigans? We stopped going there because their dip was our favorite thing on the menu and we didn’t like too much else there. I don’t think we have eaten there in nearly 15 years!



Bean Dip


Serves 4-6 hearty portions depending on the amounts of ingredients you use



Note: It is important to only use pre-cooked meat in this dish since we are only heating it through, not cooking the ingredients.


bean dip ingredients




1          16 oz. can of refried beans or similar amount of homemade beans

1/2       Onion, chopped

½-1       Cup sour cream

1/4        Cup, pickled jalapenos, chili peppers or fresh hot peppers to your taste

1-2        Cups, Colby-jack cheese or Mexican blend cheese

             Corn tortilla chips, large



1.     Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Spread beans on bottom of oven-proof dish.

bean dip adding beans

3.  Layer onion, sour cream, any other ingredients you are using on top of bean layer.

bean dip adding onions

bean dip adding sour cream

4.  Add jalapenos, other peppers or salsa on top of sour cream.

bean dip adding the jalapeno peppers

5.  Add shredded cheese over the top of everything, covering completely. This keeps the sour cream from melting away and also keeps the meat or other ingredients from drying out.

bean dip adding cheese

6.  Heat in oven for 25 minutes or until the top of the cheese gets slightly browned and is hot and bubbly.

7.  You can set the dish in the center of the table and let everyone use chips to dig in. Or, if you are adverse to the whole “double-dipping” dilemma as we are, we use a spatula to cut through the cheese and scoop out the mixture onto each person’s plate. 



bean dip in baking dish

Yes, this looks like a mess but it is soooo good!


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