Mexican Beans


Mexican Beans

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Mexican beans with nachos and 'guacamole'


  • 3T olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 red, yellow or green pepper, diced
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 1 tin butter beans
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • 1 tin whole-kernel corn
  • 2 tins peeled tomatoes, either whole or chopped
  • 1-2 packets tomato paste
  • 6t ground cumin
  • 4t ground coriander
  • Chilli to taste (optional), cut up fine and with seeds removed
  • 1t sugar
  • 1t salt
  • 1T vinegar

Optional extras to serve:

  • Cheese, grated (cheddar works well)
  • Nachos
  • ‘Guacamole’ – a mix of mashed avocado, chopped cucumber, olive oil, lemon juice and salt


Heat the olive oil in a large pot and add the diced onions, garlic, celery and pepper. Cook on low heat, stirring regularly, until the onions start to look a bit transparent. Meanwhile, open all the tins.

If you are using tins of whole, peeled tomatoes, jiggle a sharp knife around inside to cut up the tomatoes a bit (they don’t need to be small – even roughly cutting each one in half helps speed the cooking process). Make sure you don’t lose any of the tomato juice in the tin though as you want to use it.

Drain the tins of beans and corn, and dispose of their liquid – you don’t need that. Some of them may need rinsing too, especially the kidney beans, which tend to get a bit stodgy. The easiest way to do this is to simply empty each tin into a sieve and run water over them until the water runs clear.

When the onion mix is ready, put all the beans and corn into the pot and stir to mix them. Add the contents of the tomato tins, tomatoes and juice included, and 1 tin of tomato paste. Now add the cumin, coriander, chilli (if using), sugar, salt and vinegar. Stir to mix it all together.

Turn the heat up to bring to the boil, then turn it down so it is just simmering – on medium, or even low, if necessary. You don’t want it to cook too fast or the beans will break down into mush. Bear in mind that the beans are already cooked, so you are really just cooking the tomato sauce.

Cook for about 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so to stop the beans sticking on the bottom, and gently breaking up the tomato pieces as you stir. Taste after 30 minutes and if you feel it could be more tomatoey, add some more tomato paste, half a packet at a time. You could also add more cumin, coriander or chilli at this point, if you like.

You will know the beans are ready when the tomato pieces are mostly broken down and you have your own rough version of beans in tomato sauce.

Serve as desired: plain or with melted cheese; on toast; with poached or fried eggs on top; as a side dish with meat – it goes particularly well with sausages; or in true Mexican fashion, with nachos and a simple ‘guacamole’.

If you want to add cheese, decant the beans into an oven-proof container. Sprinkle grated cheese over and put under the grill until the cheese is just melted – not too long or it will go tough.

To make the ‘guacamole’, for each person mash up a quarter to half an avocado and add about a tablespoon of chopped cucumber, then a squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of olive oil and salt.

Left-overs can be frozen, then defrosted and gently reheated on the stove.


© Alexandra Lawrence and Inspired Nourishment, 2014


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