Ranchero Black and Pinto Beans

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on January 28, 2010

At this point, we’re just throwing things together…a little of this from the freezer with a little of that from the pantry! But I must say…this is a WINNER!!!

(You know it’s a winner when you arrive at the dinner table half full because you’ve been sneaking bites from the skillet!)

Video Disclaimers

  • Please excuse the t-shirt and sweatpants (just keepin’ it real)
  • Sorry about the sci-fi alien lights in the background…will explain those soon
  • I apologize if the spinning skillet makes you dizzy
  • And finally, forgive the loud saute noise…I’ll learn to talk louder!

Pantry(Rotel + Onions) + Freezer(Brown Rice + Black Beans + Pinto Beans + Holiday Ham) = Ranchero Black and Pinto Beans

Mouthwatering Goodness!!!

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Ranchero Black and Pinto Beans

Yield – 4 servings

Preparation Time – 10 minutes

Cooking Time – 15 minutes


  • 1 small onion, chopped ($.30)
  • 2 cups leftover ham, diced ($1)
  • 2 cups cooked black beans ($.40)
  • 2 cups cooked pinto beans ($.40)
  • 1 10 oz. can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies (free) Sale plus doubled coupon!
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice ($.40)
  • About 1 lb. garden green beans (free)

Substitutions: Sub. 1 15 oz. can of black beans and 1 15 oz. can pinto beans, both drained.


1. Cook black and pinto beans. (Because they take so long to cook, I prefer to cook these in large batches and freeze them in 2 cup portions.)

2. Thaw ham and beans. Dice ham. Chop onion.

3. Add oil to skillet, then add onion and ham. Toss in partially or completely thawed beans. Add can of Rotel, undrained. Stir and saute for 4-5 minutes.

4. Steam garden green beans for 4-5 minutes in microwave.

5. Thaw brown rice in microwave. (Just like the beans, I prefer to cook up a big batch of brown rice and freeze in 3 cup portions…enough for our family!)

6. Serve Ranchero Black and Pinto Beans over Rice with Green Beans.

Cost $2.50

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Phoebe @ GettingFreedom January 28, 2010 at 9:20 pm

This looks really good! We’re trying to eat more beans around here, this is perfect!


Candi January 28, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Love this recipe. Cheap and easy. Fills your belly and no one goes to bed hungry! We might eat this with tortilla chips instead of rice.


Amy B January 28, 2010 at 9:52 pm

i thought it looked good..be nice bobbi


Allison January 28, 2010 at 9:57 pm

I think it looks great! And I have that same tshirt! Looks like we ran the same race! :-)


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom January 28, 2010 at 9:59 pm


It’s from Nov 08 Rock n Roll Half Marathon in San Antonio!!!


Allison January 28, 2010 at 10:00 pm

@Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom, Mine too! How fun!


Budgets are the New Black January 28, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Hmmm… I was just making a point to get on and tell you how AMAZING your photos are looking! And I am so putting this on my meal plan because it totally fits with what I still have in my pantry… except I’ll be using a sausage link instead. (Already used up the leftover ham we had) :)


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom January 28, 2010 at 10:32 pm

@Budgets are the New Black,

Sausage will work just the same! (Saw your email…and took action!)


Heather F January 28, 2010 at 10:16 pm

I thought this looked really good, and as we love to eat 10 bean soup, we would love this idea. I have frozed ham in the freezer, and lots of cans of beans! Good Idea! yum yum! I think i found supper for tomorrow!


Stephanie January 28, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Thanks for posting this–I think it looks great and I can’t wait to make it! We eat a lot of rice and beans, so I am always trying to get creative with new ways to make it! :)


Miss M! January 29, 2010 at 1:02 am

One thing I noticed from your video – you’re using quite the nice saute pan there! It’s good to show that being budget conscious includes not only being smart about the money you spend on your meals, but buying quality tools/items that will last as well.


Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom January 29, 2010 at 8:29 am

@Miss M!,

Yes…that was a wedding gift…and it will last a LONG time, I have no doubt!


Miriam January 29, 2010 at 7:12 am

Reminds me of ham and bean soup without the soup :) Looks very delish!!


Shelly January 29, 2010 at 8:56 am

If only my husband liked beans!!

It looks soooo good!
Maybe I’ll have to make this for myself and he can just have rice hehe!


Alta January 29, 2010 at 9:04 am

Sounds super easy and yum!


LisaB January 29, 2010 at 9:55 am

I love this also. I like it without the ham rolled up in a tortilla shell.

Another good recipe for pinto beans: http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Pinto-Bean-Stew
It’s good over rice and sometimes I just throw 1 cup of rice right into it. I’ll also use a slotted spoon to drain and roll this up into a tortilla shell adding a little cheese. :)


Heather @ (The Single Dish) January 29, 2010 at 10:23 am

Looks great! I made a similar recipe Chicken Santa Fe Rice & Beans- melted a cream cheese salsa sauce on the top. YUM. Love these types of dinners.


Tina January 30, 2010 at 9:12 am

Brown rice frozen. How? Do you have someone that shops a safeway? I notice everyone is Albertsons and Wal-mart.


Mandy February 3, 2010 at 5:03 pm

I made this recipe and we LOVED it. I added some frozen corn and topped it with some shredded pepperjack cheese. I served it with brown rice, chips, and tortillas so that everyone could choose their own method of serving. It was a great way to use up ingredients that I already had on hand. Thanks for another winner.


Megan April 7, 2010 at 6:55 pm

I made this and it was very good and SUPER simple. I added some garlic because I LOVE garlic and it was soooo very yummy!!!


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