Few flavors can overpower a dish like raw onion and garlic. Although delicious and what you may be looking for in certain recipes, a cook has to be very careful with these ingredients. Too little and you’ll miss out of delicious flavors. Too much and you take away from other elements of the dish.

However, here is a way to achieve the aromatic pleasure of these ingredients while cutting back on their sharpness. Roasting these vegetables is a tremendous way to do so! Using high, intense heat, you can use the high sugar content to caramelize them. Caramelizing brings out natural sweetness while turning them golden brown, tender and almost spreadable. In this state, they mix very well and distribute their delicious sweet flavor throughout the dish.

That is why roasted garlic and onions are great for dips and spreads.

Onion and garlic are terrific and standard elements of many dips, but roasting them beforehand helps them mix and even spread their sweet flavors throughout. So we thought we would try this technique on a very traditional zesty pinto bean dip. The results, as you can imagine, were dynamite.

Cheesy, spicy, sweet, smooth and creamy, this recipe has all it’s bases covered and is perfect for serving up for large groups or snacking on throughout the week. Whip up a batch and serve up with pita chips, tortilla chips or veggies.


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Santa Fe Pinto Bean Dip


  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 4 1/2 cups Randall Pinto Beans, drained
  • 1 large roasted -yellow onion*, chopped
  • 4 large cloves roasted garlic**, chopped
  • 1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 cups (8-oz) shredded jack cheese
  • Chopped cilantro and/or jalapeno, for garnish


For the Dip:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan. Add the chili powder and cumin and stir the spices in the hot oil for 2 minutes.
  2. Purée the beans in a food processor and add to the saucepan. Stir in the chopped roasted onion and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, over low heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the hot sauce and 1 cup of the cheese and season to taste.
  3. Pour into a casserole dish and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. At serving time, place in a hot oven or the microwave oven and heat until hot through and the cheese is melted.
  4. Serve hot with tortilla chips for dipping.

*For the Roasted Onion: Rub a large, unpeeled yellow skinned onion with oil. Wrap in heavy duty aluminum foil, crimping top to close tightly. Place in a pre-heated 400° oven for 1 to 11/2 hours or until onion is soft. Allow to cool in the foil before peeling and chopping.

**For the Roasted Garlic: Cut the top off of a large, firm head of garlic, exposing the tips of the garlic cloves. Place on a square of heavy duty aluminum foil. Drizzle with some olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Tightly crimp the top of the foil. Place in a preheated 400° oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until soft. Cool. Gentle pressure on bottom will push the soft roasted cloves from their skin. Beans, when combined with rice, are a main staple in the diets of many cultures, particularly Hispanic. The addition of rice completes the nutritive protein value of the dish.


Whether you need something to serve at your game day party or for a Sunday afternoon family get together, dips and spreads like this one are the perfect answer. And there is much more where that came from! As always, there is so much more to taste at our Recipe page, where you can find simple and tasty dish ideas or find more of our awesome and free cookbooks.

Summertime is the perfect time to try this tasty recipe featuring Randall Pinto Beans.