Spiced beans with gouda cheese 

Spiced beans with gouda cheese 

I love versatile sauces that can be used to create different dishes, like a rich and comforting meat ragù that becomes the basis for a bolognese or lasagne. This spiced beans with cheese recipe was a bit of an experiment and shares similarities with the Mexican staple refried beans. It’s simple to make and can be used in so many different ways. It’s another dish that is great for using up what you have in the fridge or cupboards. Any hard cheese will work well, but you want something with a bit of bite, which is why I opted for this amazing Extra-Mature Cornish Gouda. You won’t get a massive whack of cheese in the taste, but it adds a delicious salty and velvety note to the sauce. 

I used these beans to make quesadillas. Take a flour tortilla and top with the spiced beans mixture, roasted peppers, grated cheese, sour cream and coriander before topping with another tortilla to make a sandwich. Continue until you have used up your tortillas and filling. Cook each quesadilla for two minutes each side in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until the tortillas are golden brown. Serve them with more sour cream, coriander and your favourite hot sauce. 

I also used the beans as a base for a tasty chilli con carne. I added beef mince, a can of chopped tomatoes to the spiced beans and cooked it low and slow to intensify the flavour. Serve alongside some basmati rice and sour cream. You could also add this sauce to tortilla chips with grated cheese, salsa, sour cream and guacamole for a delicious nacho dish.

Spiced beans with cheese

A really versatile dish to use up those odds and ends you find lurking in the back of your fridge or kitchen cupboards. This is a great base sauce that can be used to create multiple different delicious recipes.
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish, Snack, Starter
Cuisine: American, british, Mexican
Keyword: aged Gouda, beans, British cheese, cheese, cheese recipe, Gouda, refried beans, spicy beans
Servings: 4 people


  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium or 2 small red onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 800 g canned beans, I used 400g kidney and 400g of butter beans
  • 250 ml red wine
  • 2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, about 12 tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp ‘nduja, leave out if veggie
  • 1 tsp harissa
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 50 g cheese, grated – I used half cheddar and half aged Gouda


  • Heat a heavy bottomed saucepan over a medium heat. Add a good glug of olive oil (about 3 tablespoons) when the oil is shimmering add the red onions and cook for about three minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chopped garlic and cook for a further two minutes.
  • Add half the can of kidney beans and half the can of butter beans to the pan. Add the red wine, sun-dried tomatoes, ‘nduja (if using) harissa, spices, salt and lots of black pepper. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the grated cheese and stir until melted. Blitz the mixture with a stick blender until smooth. Add the rest of the beans to the pan and cook for a further 5-10 minutes. You can add more red wine or a splash of water if the sauce is too thick. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.
Chilli with spiced beans
Chilli with spiced beans

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