Basic Mexican Bean Filling

Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 30 minutes

Serves:Makes 6 cups

This is a basic bean mixture that I use rolled up in a corn tortilla, as a topping for a salad, as a spicy stew base, to top a baked sweet potato, added to Bean Enchiladas, or even as a topping for pizza. Ideas on how to use the filling for all of these follow this basic recipe. This may be made ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen for later use. This basic filling is easy to make over the weekend for several quick meals during the week.


  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 4-15 ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup enchilada sauce


Place the water and onions in a large pan. Cook, stirring frequently until onions soften slightly. Add garlic and jalapenos, stir and cook until slightly softened. Add chili powder, cumin and coriander. Mix well. Add the beans and tomatoes, stir and continue cooking for about 15 minutes. Slightly mash the mixture with a bean masher while still in the pot. Stir well. Add the enchilada sauce (recipe in Sauces) to taste and heat through.

Variation: You can also make this with small red beans or black beans, or use a combination of different beans.