Sunday, March 27, 2016

Beef and Bean Nachos

I've been making this dish since I was 17. Prior to that, I thought nachos were chips with melted fake cheese sauce that you bought at the basketball game concessions. But then, I had a life changing experience. Ok, it wasn't that life changing, but I remember it clearly. I went out to dinner with a friend's family and they ordered a large nacho dish. It was that dinner that I realized you could create some amazing variations of everyday dishes. No more chemically made cheese sauce. This nacho variation had refried beans and ground beef as the base with melted cheddar cheese on top. The came all the other fresh toppings. Amazing!  I went home and duplicated that dish for my parents. I have not really changed it up much over the years except to make my own taco seasoning. My kids now request this dish any time they have friends over. It's always a hit.

1 lb ground beef
1 can refried black beans
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
2 cups iceburg lettuce, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes, diced

Other optional toppings:
black olives
sour cream
hot sauce or salsa

My taco seasoning:
1 T paprika
1 T chile powder
2 T cumin
1 T salt

Coat the bottom of a large pan with cooking oil spray. Cook ground beef until no longer pink, breaking it up as it cooks. Add taco seasoning and mix thoroughly. Once fully browned, add refried beans. Mix until thoroughly blended and heated through.

At this point you can decide if you want everyone to have their own individual plates or make one large dish to share. I use a large baking dish and spread the bean and beef mixture onto it. Add the cheese and place in oven just until cheese is melted. If you want individual dishes, you can serve it directly onto plates and microwave the cheese on each. This is especially helpful if everyone likes different toppings or if someone can't have cheese (my husband).

Top with shredded lettuce, tomator and any other toppings of your choice. Serve with tortilla chips.

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