Cheesy Pinto Bean Dip
I can identify the exact date that I stopped regularly using dried beans in my cooking and switched to canned beans: January 10, 2015. That’s when my first child was born and ever since then it’s like… WHO HAS THE TIME?!
To celebrate Crocktober, the team at Crock-Pot sent me their 6-Quart Express Crock Multi-Cooker and the very first thing I wanted to test in it was dried beans. Using the pressure cooking setting on the Multi-Cooker, I was able to cook dried beans in about 20 minutes. That includes heating time and cooling time. CRAZY. Even better though, because of the other cooking options on the multi-cooker, I can finish the entire dip and keep it warm in a single pot. Yes please!
Given all the different features, the Multi-cooker is a steal for under $100.
To be fair, you can make this Cheesy Pinto Bean Dip in a standard Crock-Pot slow cooker or a standard pot, but it’ll take at least an hour and probably closer to 90 minutes to get the beans tender enough to puree into a smooth dip. The Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker can cook meals up to 70% faster than traditional cooking, so I get to spend more time enjoying my friends and family than cooking in the kitchen. The Crock-Pot Express Crock is also available in a 4-Quart and 8-Quart size.
And there really is something special about using dried beans for a dip like this. I find they have more flavor and you can better control the texture on the dip.
Any way you make it, October (or Crocktober!) features any number of sports events that might go well with a big bowl of chips and this cheesy bean dip! Enjoy!
1) Soak pinto beans overnight in cold water. Drain beans before cooking.
2) Add soaked pinto beans to Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker along with water, garlic and red onion. Seal Multi-cooker and lock it for pressure cooking and press the BEANS setting. Set the time for 12 minutes.
3) When beans are done cooking, turn off Multi-cooker and let sit for a few minutes to let the pressure settle a bit, then use a spoon to release steam using the pressure release valve. Then open the lid and drain off the water.
4) Return the beans with onions and garlic to the Multi-cooker and add in butter, stock, and seasonings. Turn multi-cooker onto the sauté setting and let cook for a minute. Then puree the dip with an immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can actually mash this dip with a fork. The beans will be very tender and mashable.
5) Finally, stir in cheddar cheese and keep the dip warm until serving. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with fresh cilantro right before serving. Serve with tortilla chips.
Cheesy Pinto Bean Dip
Let’s take a brief pause to peek at this beautiful multi-cooker. I seriously can’t believe this device is less than $100. Crazy deal.
To speed up cooking, I did soak my beans overnight in cold water, but I think you could rinse them and pressure cook them for closer to 20 minutes straight from the bag. If you remember though, it’s better to soak them.
Then they all go in the pot with onion and garlic.
Lock the lid for pressure cooking and 12 minutes is all you need. The machine will automatically heat to pressurize the cooker.
When the timer goes off, it’s a good idea to let the cooker just sit for five minutes to let the steam settle a bit. This is recommended in the instruction booklet so I did it. Then you can use a spoon to release the pressure using the nifty pressure valve. (Seriously don’t use your hands. It’s very hot.)
The beans will be beautifully tender. If you were just simmering pinto beans, it would probably take close to 90 minutes to get them to this tender, which is what you want for a blended dip.
Next add the butter and spices into the cooker and turn the heat on sautee. If you have an immersion blender, you can blend the dip right in the cooker, or you can transfer it to a blender and then return it to the pot.
Don’t forget the cheese!
Now you can use the Keep Warm setting to keep the dip hot until you’re ready to serve. I recommend tasting it and seasoning it with salt and pepper to your liking.
When you are ready to serve, I like to transfer this Cheesy Pinto Bean Dip to a big bowl and garnish it with cilantro and chili powder. YUM.
Leftover Note: This dip makes a beautiful nacho topping! Honestly, it’s worth making a batch just for nacho possibilities!