Oh my gosh! Is this good! If you like pinto beans you will like this for a change of pace. This makes an excellent side dish or a great casserole to take to pot lucks. It is one of those recipes that can be modified to fit your own likes and dislikes. It is simple and delicious. I got this from another site and modified it to make it my own. I hope you enjoy these.
In summer when it is too hot to cook, you can put these on the grill to bake while you are grilling burgers and steaks. I believe you will get raves for these.
Baked Cheesy Pinto Bean Casserole
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbls. butter or bacon grease
2-4 pieces bacon, fried, drained, and crumbled (optional)
2-15 ounce cans pinto beans (or equivalent of freshly made), drained, but not rinsed
1/2 cup chunky salsa (mild, medium, or hot, your choice!)
1 cup Cheddar cheese, divided*
Saute' onion, green peppers, chili powder, cumin, and garlic in butter in a small skillet till onions are opaque, being careful not to burn the garlic.
Combine cooked vegetable mixture with bacon, if used, beans and salsa. Pour into a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes; stir in half cup of cheese, bake another 15 minutes, sprinkle top with remainder of cheese and bake another 5 minutes to melt. Makes 4-6 servings.
*If you don't like this much cheese, do not add cheese halfway through baking and just add 1/2 cup of cheese to top during last 5 minutes of baking.
* You can use any kind of cheese you'd like such as Co-Jack or Blanco Queso, but my favorite is Cheddar.