Taco Seasoning Is All You Need For Way Better Canned Beans

Cans of beans
Cans of beans - New Africa/Shutterstock

When it comes to your pantry, you should always have canned beans on hand. They are convenient, economical, and offer a great deal of variety in the form of kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, refried beans, easy Mexican beans — the list goes on. But just because they are easy to open and heat, doesn't mean they can't taste delicious. With just a couple of teaspoons of taco seasoning, you can give your canned beans a complete update and serve them alongside some of your favorite dishes.

Those packages of taco seasoning may seem like a mystery of spices, but they generally consist of a blend that uses salt as the base along with paprika, oregano, chili, onion powder, and garlic powder. If you are making your own seasoning, you can spice it up or tone it down however your tastebuds see fit, but either way, it will give your canned beans a warm and spicy flavor that makes them taste like they are anything but out of a can.

Read more: 12 Canned Foods You Should Avoid At The Grocery Store

How To Make Taco-Seasoned Beans

black beans in a bowl
black beans in a bowl - Fotema/Shutterstock

Start by sautéing your aromatics — like your chopped onions and minced garlic — for about a minute before you add your taco seasoning. This will allow these ingredients to become fragrant. Then, when you add the spices in the taco seasoning, they will warm, release their oils, and round out the taste as their flavors become more pronounced and take center stage. At this point, you are ready for the star ingredient.

When you add the unseasoned canned beans, add the starchy liquid from the can as well. It will thicken with the taco seasoning and the beans as it cooks, developing a hearty consistency. Allow it to simmer for 15 minutes before finishing your beans off with some vinegar to balance out the flavor. The end result will be a pot of beans that tastes like you started with the dried version. If you want to add some salt at the end or a squeeze of lemon instead of vinegar to finish it off, do so once the beans have been adequately cooked. Then, they're ready to eat as is or use in your favorite dishes.

How To Use Your Seasoned Beans

Taco seasoning packet
Taco seasoning packet - The Image Party/Shutterstock

It's truly impressive just how many ways you can use these cooked canned beans seasoned with taco mix. Use a black or red bean when making well, tacos, burritos, and nachos. Just add some shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, or whatever you love to top off these dishes with, and it will feel like you spent hours cooking. They also taste perfect with steak or chicken fajitas.

Use your taco-seasoned beans as a base for a chili with a Southwestern vibe, or add your beans to a chicken tortilla soup for a more substantive meal. The possibilities are only limited by your culinary imagination. Additionally, consider making your own smoky taco seasoning. This will allow you to control the amount and the quality of the salt and seasonings you are adding. You can make it skew spicy, sweet, or mild, depending on what your taste buds are craving.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.