This intensely delicious bean dip recipe takes literally 5 minutes. You won’t believe how easy it is to make this party favorite!

Bean dip

This recipe happened by accident. That’s where many great recipes come from, right? Happy accidents. From this most recent accident came our famous 5-Minute Bean Dip recipe! It’s not superlative when I say it might be the very easiest recipe we’ve ever created. Beans, salsa, and cheese come together into the creamiest, gooiest piping hot mess. Dunk in crunchy chips and it tastes remarkably like the queso from your favorite Mexican joint. With just 3 ingredients, the flavor is more irresistibly complex than you’d imagine. But to really understand the magic here: you’ve got to taste it.

Ingredients in the fastest, easiest bean dip recipe

Alex whipped this up on a whim one night to go with some tacos, and it was so unexpectedly delicious that we decided it needed to go public. We’ve made this so many times, we’ve lost count. The greatness is in its simplicity, because all you need is 3 ingredients (plus salt):

  • Canned borlotti or pinto beans
  • Salsa
  • Shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese
Borlotti beans recipe

Pinto beans vs borlotti beans

Oddly enough, we first made this bean dip recipe with a unique variety of beans: borlotti beans! Alex found them on a whim at our local grocery and we accidentally loved them. This bean dip tastes amazing with the creamy, meaty texture of borlotti beans, but they can be hard to find. Pinto beans work just as well as a substitute! Here’s some info about both:

  • What are borlotti beans? Borlotti beans are a bean related to kidney and pinto beans. They’re common in Italy and Mexico, and also referred to as cranberry beans or cacahuate beans (in Mexico). In their dried state they’re a beautiful dappled white and pink color, but when cooked they look the same color as pinto beans, a sort of pinkish brown. We found them in 13-ounce jars in our local grocery.
  • Pinto beans are the best substitute for borlotti beans! You can easily make this dip with pinto beans and it tastes just as good!
Bean dip recipe

How to make bean dip: the fast way

This dip couldn’t be easier or faster. (Have we emphasized that enough yet?) In fact, you don’t even need to drain or rinse those beans. Yep, just use them right from the can! Here’s the brief overview of how this bean dip recipe comes together:

  • Dump beans, salsa & cheese into a saucepan. Don’t drain or rinse the beans: the can liquid is important to getting just the right texture.
  • Heat until the cheese melts. You’ll see it go from mostly melted to becoming a sort of liquid cheese. That’s when it’s ready! Serve when it’s piping hot.

Can you substitute cooked dry beans?

Usually we’re all about cooking dried beans. But in this bean dip recipe, we do not recommend substituting cooked dry beans. Why? Canning beans makes their membranes very tender, almost mushy. Canned beans also have thickened can liquid, which is impossible to obtain at home when you cook from dry. You need both of these things in order for this bean dip to come together so quickly with just the right texture. Save those beans for one of these bean recipes!

Bean dip

Add a garnish for some flair

Typically we serve this bean dip without a garnish. But if you want to take it over the top for parties, add a garnish! Throw a few chopped veggies in the center of the dip, and the color contrast looks lovely. Here are a few ideas for the garnish:

  • Tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • Red onion or green onion, finely chopped
  • Cilantro
  • Pickled jalapenos
  • Hot sauce (like Cholula)

Vegan variation (and healthy option!)

Wait, you don’t want a gooey cheesy bean dip? We’ve got an option for you too. This Easy Refried Bean Dip is vegan and full of flavor! You’ll use storebought canned refried beans instead of whole beans, and mix it with green chiles and seasonings. It’s terrifically delicious and a smidge healthier than this bean dip recipe, if you’re looking for something lighter.

How to make bean dip

What to pair with bean dip

That’s it! You’ve got your bean dip faster than the time it takes you to read this article. Lastly, here are a few things we’d pair with bean dip. You can likely think of these yourself, but we wanted to point to a few specific dips for chips:

This bean dip recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, see the substitutes above.

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Bean dip

5-Minute Bean Dip


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 0 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This intensely delicious bean dip recipe takes literally 5 minutes. You won’t believe how easy it is to make this party favorite! 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 15-ounce cans or jars borlotti or pinto beans*
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese**
  • 8 ounces mild or medium salsa
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Tortilla chips, for serving

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan: no need to drain or rinse the beans (add the can liquid too)! Warm it over medium heat until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Mash beans gently with a masher if you’d like a smoother texture. Taste and add another pinch of salt if necessary.
  2. Serve immediately with tortilla chips. If desired, you can garnish with chopped veggies: we used a bit of finely chopped tomato, red onion and green onion with a drizzle of Cholula hot sauce.

Notes

*We used 2 13-ounce jars of borlotti beans we found at our local grocery, but pinto beans work just as well!

*For a healthy spin, use half the cheese or go to Refried Bean Dip (no cheese). 

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican inspired

Keywords: Bean dip, bean dip recipe

More great dip recipes

We love to dip, over here! Here are some of our top favorite dip recipes if you’re looking for more inspiration:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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2 Comments

  1. This looks amazing! Do you have any recommendations on the salsa type/brand? I’m guessing the jarred ones might be better here, but curious what you like to use!

    1. Hi! We’ve made it with many brands with good luck. Any jarred type without too big of chunks will work great.