Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cranberry Salsa & Refried Bean Nachos (or Quesadillas)

It's the 4th Wednesday of November. In America, most everybody knows what's for dinner tomorrow

What's for dinner tonight?

I've finalized my Thanksgiving menu with a whole 30 hours to go. My Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmers delivered our turkey and final Fall share last night. I've plotted my Stuffing Strategy and my cornbread is getting drier by the hour. The cranberry sauce is chillin' in the fridge, squeezed in between the turkey from Maker's Meadow and the jar of stock I remembered to thaw for gravy. I've gathered all the ingredients for MA's Make Ahead Irish Mashed Potato Casserole and Alanna's World's Best Green Bean Casserole. My daughter and I will be successful with our Caramel Pumpkin Butter Cheesecake [that will happen after this post goes live, so as I type it's hopeful optimism. While I'm being hopeful, I'll hope neither Robert Barker nor Simon or Vincent will jump up and steal any food].

I am in the zone.

The last thing I want to think about, or act upon, is fixing food for those housemates of mine who have strange ideas about eating multiple meals in the days running up to the Big Event. I don't even want to eat out because people are running around like crazy right now, and I don't want to order in and cause more leftovers to need a home in my packed fridge.

Enter these nachos. They are easy to fix, are made up mostly of pantry ingredients (no need to use much fridge space), can be vegetarian and gluten free--and don't result in leftovers that I'll need to store. Plus the flavor and texture are unlike what we'll be eating tomorrow.

With all the cranberry recipes I've shared, this could be the most unexpected.  It's delicious, unusual, and a departure from the usual seasonal fare.  If you happen across cranberry salsa (link to my recipe if you want to make your own) and/or cranberry cheddar cheese (which I found at Costco), grab some refried beans and treat your taste buds to this change up dish.  This can be a fast and flavorful snack, which was well-received by the whole family during a hectic time. For other recipes using cranberries, please refer to my Cranberry Recipe Collection.

You have a choice in what blogs you visit. I'm thankful you chose to visit mine. Happy Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Salsa & Refried Bean Nachos (or Quesadillas)

1 can (or 2 cups) refried beans
½ cup cranberry salsa, plus more at the table
2 ½ cups shredded cranberry white cheddar cheese, divided (or plain cheddar--use what you have)
tortilla chips or soft tortillas

Heat beans and salsa in a saucepan over medium heat until warm, about 8-10 minutes.  Stir in ½ cup shredded cheese.  How easy is that?
To make nachos, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and lay a single layer of tortilla chips in a rimmed baking sheet.  Top the chips with dollops of the refried bean mixture, then sprinkle the remainder of the shredded cheese over top.  Bake 5-8 minutes until the cheese is melted.  Serve with salsa on the side.
To make quesadillas, preheat a large dry skillet over medium high heat.  Place a soft tortilla in the skillet for about 30 seconds, flip over, and spread 1-2 Tablespoons of bean mixture across the tortilla, top with a handful of shredded cheese, and fold over.  Cook for a minute, then flip over and cook on the other side.
This makes plenty for either nachos or quesadillas, depending on what you're in the mood for.

This post is shared with What's Cookin' WednesdayClever Chicks Blog Hop, Tasty Tuesdays


  1. This is a very unique twist on nachos! I love the idea.

    1. Amy,
      I was thinking this was a bit more mainstream than my previous nachos recipe--beef tongue. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I like the way you do dinner. Realism at it's finest.

    1. Meghan,
      That's how I roll. You've met me--WYSIWYG, no?