Barbecue Black Beans & Cheese Skillet Nachos

Paula: Black beans, gooey cheese, barbecue sauce...this spicy, satisfying one-skillet meal pushes all the right buttons. Lightly adapted from my friend Ali Slagle’s Cheesy, Spicy Black Bean Bake this recipe is easy to assemble (from pantry ingredients), and a crowd pleaser for game day or binge watching your favorite Netflix series (“Parks and Rec,” anyone?).

For the best flavor, be sure to fry the garlic until it's deeply golden and saute the tomato paste and spices until they’re very fragrant. A splash of Tupelo Two-Step, our hot honey barbecue sauce, pulls all the flavors together. Sure, you could bake the skillet in the oven, but the final results will be tastier if you allow the mixture to meld on the grill, over indirect heat, absorbing the flavor of a charcoal fire.

Think of the final result as nachos, deconstructed, or tacos ready to be built. After cooking, allow the skillet to cool for 5-10 minutes and then serve with  tortilla chips or flour or corn tortillas, lime wedges, cilantro or pickled jalapenos and your favorite cold beverage.

Barbecue Black Beans and Cheese Skillet Nachos

Serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Texican or Wicked Winona
  • Two (14-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons Tupelo Two-Step
  • 2 tablespoons water or beer
  • 1 ½ cups grated Sharp Cheddar or Mexican-Style Mix of cheeses

For serving:

  • Tortilla chips or flour or corn tortillas
  • Lime wedges
  • Thinly sliced scallions
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Pickled jalapenos

Prepare a charcoal grill for two-zone cooking and build a medium-high fire. While the grill heats, assemble all your ingredients and a wooden spoon on a rimmed baking sheet (so they’re easy to transport to grill). 

Clean and oil the grill grates. When the coals are glowing red and covered with a fine gray ash, place a 10-inch cast iron skillet over direct heat and allow it to heat for about 3 minutes. Pour in the olive oil and add the garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic is golden and fragrant, about one minute. Stir in the tomato paste and Taco Secret and cook, stirring, until the mixture is very fragrant (move the skillet away from the heat  if you’re worried about the garlic burning). 

Add the beans, Tupelo Two-Step and water or beer and stir to combine. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the bean mixture and move the skillet to indirect heat. Close the grill, vent for smoking and bake until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbly, about 10 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, and then serve.


Grill-side banter provided by food writer, cookbook author and grilling enthusiast, Paula Disbrowe, and infamous grill nerd and co-owner of PK Grills, Scott Moody.

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