How We Do Fast Food: Bean Dip

Our family rarely eats fast food.  Unless we are on a road trip and there is nothing else available we tend to avoid it at all costs. Okay, by we, I mean me. I avoid it. My husband misses it (we used to grab some sort of fast food every Sunday before we had kids). He has been known to run over to Taco Bell on special occasions with his dad when my in-laws are in town. Oh, and then there is Chipotle… does that count? They seem to be getting better and better ingredients each day as they get rid of GMOs. But I digress…

My point is, we don’t usually go out to get fast food but I often would like to make a fast meal for dinner or a quick side for a get together. That’s when I make up a quick batch of my “bean dip”.

Fast and Easy Bean Dip

This recipe could not be simpler. It can be made with canned beans (Trader Joes has some great beans that don’t have additives in them). Or you can soak and prepare your own beans. I like to make lots of black beans in one setting and freeze them in 2 cup portions (about how much is in a can) for use anytime in the future. Soaking beans makes them more easily digestible. Here is post on how to soak and cook your own beans if you are interested. And here is a great recipe by “Food Renegade” for soaked refried beans I have been meaning to try.

What I also love about this is that I can sneak in a bit of bone broth when I have it on hand. My daughter doesn’t enjoy bone broth but will eat it in recipes where she can’t taste the difference. Bone broth has many health benefits. You can read more about how and why to make bone broth in my post here.

I also love that this recipe can be eaten with chips or as is. My husband loves organic blue corn chips.

You can double this recipe if it’s the main dish (just put it in a larger Pyrex pan) or if you need more for a large party. I have also cooked this in my crockpot when going off to a party. This makes for easy transportation and it can stay warm in the crock pot once you arrive at the event.

Here is my finished bean dip in a 8×8 Pyrex pan. I ran out of my block cheese that I usually shred over the top so I used some sting cheese. I pulled “strings” of cheese and put them on top. So the bean dip looks a little different than is would with shredded cheese. Maybe not quite as pretty but hey… it’s “fast food” right? 😉

bean dip

Sure this isn’t burgers and fries fast food but it is a fast meal. We do burger and fries at our house too it’s just usually lettuce wrapped grass fed burgers with fermented pickles and sweet potato fries.

bean dip for dinner


  • 1 can of refried beans (I really like Trader Joes brand due to lack of additives) or you can make your own (you will need 2 cups)
  • 1 can of black beans (or 2 cups of homemade soaked/cooked black beans)
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup salsa (preferably organic and/or sugar free)
  • optional: a few TBS bone broth (don’t add too much or your dip will be too liquidy)
  • ¼ cup shredded cheese: you can use more if you like (I really like Trader Joes Monterrey Jack Cheese if I don’t have cheese on hand from the farmer’s market)
  • 2 heads of  (preferably organic) romaine lettuce
  • 4-6 (preferably organic) tomatoes
  • other optional toppings (avocados, olives, sour cream etc…)
  • optional: organic corn chips or sweet potato chips


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine all the beans, salsa, and some bone broth (if using). If you are a cheese lover you can mix in extra cheese here too.
  3. Place the mixture in to a 9×9 Pyrex dish and spread it evenly.
  4. Add shredded cheese to the top.
  5. Place in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes (till the cheese is melted the way you like it).
  6. While your dish is cooking chop up lettuce and place in a serving bowl.
  7. Dice your tomatoes and place in another serving bowl.
  8. Set your lettuce and tomatoes in the fridge until it’s time to eat.
  9. After 30 minutes take out your cooked bean dip. Allow it to cool a bit.
  10. Dish up and top with lettuce and tomatoes.
  11. Serve with chips or eat it by itself.

My kiddos love this dish and they really enjoy getting to dish up their own lettuce and tomatoes on top of their dip.

So there you have it. That’s our families take on “fast food”. This meal isn’t super high in protein but for a meatless meal it’s not bad. And it’s a nice quick easy meal that’s also easy on the pocketbook. And if you pair this with some chicken or seasoned ground beef you have a perfect protein/carb combination.

Here are my favorite sweet potato chips with the link to the recipe.

sweet potato chips

Tip: If you use a mandolin to cut the sweet potatoes rather than a knife they will all be uniform slices and they will all take about the same time to cook. Otherwise you have to watch the sweet potatoes more carefully in the oven and take out the skinnier cut ones before they burn.

What are some of your favorite quick meals? Feel free to comment below.

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2 Responses

  1. Rochelle says:

    I wanted to ask you for the recipe for several months. Now I don’t have to! 🙂

    • Kristine says:

      ha! awesome! It’s funny because people have often asked for this “recipe” and it’s somewhat embarrassing just how easy it is… not much to it. But SO good!

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