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If You Don’t Like Beans, Skip This Post

Frugal FridayFrugal FridayFrugal FridayOne thing I’ve been trying to do lately to stretch both our grocery budget and my time is to really plan ahead.  One dish that both Steady Eddie and my girls both like is the old Southern standby, pinto beans and cornbread.  Because I usually cook too many beans anyway (and I thrive on variety, so I don’t love leftovers), I often use the extra beans as the basis for another dish.  While I usually follow recipes fairly closely, this one is based on a recipe that I got a few years ago that I have modified.  The original pinto bean casserole included ground beef, and when I made it without it, we decided we liked it even better as a vegetarian dish.  Of course, that makes it even more frugal, so it’s all the better.  What I’m giving you here is more of a transcript of what I do to make this than a real recipe.  I apologize in advance for those of you who need a real recipe.

pinto bean


  • approximately two cups of cooked pinto beans
  • one can of cream of mushroom soup
  • one can of diced tomatoes or Rotel
  • approximately 3/4 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • spices to taste:  cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, etc.

Mix all of the above ingredients together and pour into a prepared 9 X 13 dish.  Next, prepare the Mexican cornbread topping.  What follows is roughly what I do; you may, of course, use your own favorite Mexican cornbread recipe.

  • approximatley two cups corn meal mix
  • approximately one cup of buttermilk
  • approximately 1/2 cup of oil
  • one egg
  • 1/2 can of cream style corn
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of diced onion
  • approximatley one cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Mix all of the above ingredients together.  Add more buttermilk if needed to bring to a thick liquid consistency.  You may also add jalapeno peppers if you like.  Pour on top of the bean mixture.  Bake for 30-40 minutes in a preheated, 400 degree oven.

This recipe makes a casserole that is heavy on topping; you will likely have more cornbread than you have beans on your plate.  If you like a different proportion, adjust the amounts accordingly.

I think this is a good way to use up leftovers in a rather frugal way.  Most of the necessary ingredients are what I consider staples.  Enjoy!

For more frugal ideas, head over to Crystal’s blog, Biblical Womanhood.

6 Responses

  1. Your recipe sounds good! I fixed ham and beans with cornbread last week, and I was nervous that my kids wouldn’t eat it, but they all ate it right up! Yea! It’s such an inexpensive meal!

  2. Sounds tasty! We love beans in our home…I like the idea of combining the cornbread right with the beans.

  3. Yum, this sounds really good! Do you think you could make it with a bixed cornbread mix? I like to use those because they are so cheap and faster than cooking it from scratch.

  4. Hmmm, this sounds delicious! I love the quote at the top of your blog by the way! 🙂

  5. thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting on my book review–I’ll have to check out Peck’s other writings–somewhere in my back posts is a recipe for cornbread as well as ideas of what to do with beans… I often make my beans in a pressure cooker–it’s the fastest way to get dry beans cooked. When I was younger and single, I use to weekly fix a variation of beans and rice (with tomatoes and cabbage and onions and stuff). It was easy to fix and I could eat for the whole the week doing any more cooking.

  6. What an interesting recipe! My husband is allergic to tomatoes, so I’d have to drop those. But it sounds like a nice, hearty meal.

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