Refried Bean and Beef Nachos

Homemade Nachos are fun to make and we especially love them with this combination of Refried Beans and Beef with Avocado and Lime Wedges.

Plate of Refried Bean and Beef Nachos with Lime Wedges

I’ve been asked on more than one occasion (like a million occasions?) where I get my inspiration for dishes I prepare in my kitchen. While some food bloggers run a system that is super organized and intentional and they plan 6 months in advance, my system as evidenced by these Refried Bean and Beef Nachos is much simpler.

I have always and will always present dishes that mirror what I make as if I were simply cooking for family or friends.

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Case in point are these Refried Bean and Beef Nachos. This tower of yummy goodness only happened because I had SO many refried beans from my venture last week when I made my belated Cinco de Mayo offering of Homemade Refried Beans with Bacon.

A full recipe of refried beans for one during quarantine for Covid-19 would require that I prepare Mexican for dinner at least 7 nights in a row or that I punt and make nachos. This was a good call; heck I needed something special for Mother’s Day right?

When I mentioned my project to a friend in Southern California; she commented that they were a weekly occurrence. Whoa…and I was impressed I was making them just this once!

In truth my habit would be to meet friends for dinner at a favorite Mexican haunt and share a plate of nachos before I would prepare them at home; this effort seems better suited for a crew of people, not one person. But quarantine…and I wanted some!

Serving Size Plate of Refried Bean and Beef Nachos With a Margarita

Nachos are super simple to make but they remind me a bit of fajitas. You do have to have a conglomeration of different foods on hand to make them be successful; in this case (full recipe at the bottom of post):

  • Corn tortillas (always my preference since they are gluten free)
  • Cheese – I used a Mexican mixture of shredded Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Asedero and Queso Quesadilla along with crumbled Quesco Fresco cheese
  • Refried Beans with Beef (I used homemade refried beans but canned beans are fine too)
  • Diced tomatoes (cherry tomatoes are best)
  • Diced onion
  • Minced jalapeno
  • Avocado chunks
  • Sour cream on the side (optional)

I know that many recipes, if you can call this a recipe, would include guacamole but I like to simply dice an avocado and scatter those on top after the nachos are removed from the oven. I could eat avocado with nothing but salt and pepper and often do when served on the side of a dish so it’s simply personal preference; make guac if that is yours!

Closeup of Refried Bean and Beef Nachos with Lime Wedges

When I first ‘tested’ a small plate of these last week, I only used the refried beans and while they were good, I thought they needed more substance so ground beef it was. That was a good call; just enough to easily turn these into more than an appetizer; or at least I did…they were dinner!

Of course modify away with your personal preferences too. Try all Monterey Jack or all Cheddar cheese. Red onion maybe? I almost dabbed on some salsa but I wanted to make sure they stayed crisp so I would offer that on the side.

I rely on my neighbors to help me eat some of the more indulgent dishes I make. Since I made this stack for a crowd but clearly did not have one, a family of four got the call to see if they were interested in a big plate of Refried Bean and Beef Nachos. Funny they were waiting on a delivery of Chinese food and still were gungho…we turned their Chinese dinner into an International affair!

If there is any caveat for this dish of cheese goodness is that it’s simply not meant to be leftovers. Have your friends or family settled with their drinks in hand and ready to eat, it’s so good warm and crispy and melty with just enough heat from jalapenos. Waiting too long or even warming back up loses some of the crispness that is so perfect right out of the oven.

I think these are a great party dish but during the quarantine we find ourselves in, it’s also a fun way to shake things up. Set the table with a rustic candle, find the appropriate music and ask your family or roommates out to dinner at their favorite Mexican restaurant. Right at Home!

PIN IT! ‘Refried Beans and Beef Nachos’

White Serving Plate with Refried Bean and Beef Nachos
Plate of Refried Bean and Beef Nachos with Lime Wedges

Refried Bean and Beef Nachos

A warm and tasty tower of tortilla chips, refried beans and beef, onion, tomato, jalapeno and cheese all topped with chopped avocado.
5 from 50 or more votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Appetizers
Cuisine American, Mexican
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 227 kcal


For the Refried Beans and Beef

  • 1 Tablespoon bacon fat lard, or olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 – 15 ounce can of pinto beans drained
  • ½ cup broth chicken or vegetable

To Make the Nachos

  • Tortilla Chips
  • Mexican or other shredded cheese
  • Queso Fresco Cheese
  • Refried Beans with Beef
  • Onion diced
  • Jalapeno diced
  • Tomatoes sliced


  • To Make the Refried Beans and Beef
  • Heat fat in a large skillet over medium high heat until hot, add onions and saute for 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic, chili powder, and cumin and saute for another minute.
  • Crumble the ground beef into the skillet and cook until no longer pink. Remove the ingredients from the skillet into a bowl and set aside. Drain all but a tablespoon of fat from the skillet.
  • Add the pinto beans to the skillet and heat on medium heat until starting to dry. Mash the beans with a potato masher or other kitchen tool until they are chunky, adding broth as needed until the beans are the right consistency. They should be thick but just liquid enough that they do not hold a shape.
  • Add back in the aromatics and ground beef and mix well.
  • To Make the Refried Beans and Beef Nachos
  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees
  • Layer ingredients in this order on large oven-safe plate:
    Tortilla chips, Mexican Cheese, Queso Fresco Cheese, Refried Beans and Beef Mixture, Diced Onions, Diced Jalapeno, Chopped tomatoes
  • Put plate in over and heat for 10-15 minutes until cheese has melted.
  • Remove from oven and garnish with diced avocado.


I have not specified exact amounts for some ingredients. It depends on the number of people eating. You are better off making just what you will eat in one sitting, leftover beans and beef can be used on their own with eggs or as a side dish if all are not used in nachos.


Nutrition Facts
Refried Bean and Beef Nachos
Serving Size
1 Serving
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword Cheese, dinner, mexican, refried beans
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  1. It was perfect the first time. I learn so much from you as well! Keep it up great post.

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