San Antonio Bean Burger Recipe: A Hamburger with Fritos and Beans

Home » San Antonio Bean Burger Recipe: A Hamburger with Fritos and Beans

Sneak Preview: This recipe for San Antonio Bean Burgers makes a beefy hamburger topped with refried beans, Fritos, and cheese similar to those once served at EZ’s.

Frito and Bean burger on a plate

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Have you ever driven to your favorite restaurant with great anticipation only to find a “gone out of business” sign on the door?

A few years ago, we drove to Dallas (about 45 minutes away) to eat at one of our favorite restaurants. It was a 50’s style diner called EZ’s.

When we drove up, we observed the building was gone and replaced with a convenience store.  In shock and dismay, we drove around the block looking for it as if somebody had rearranged the neighborhood without telling us.

Recipe inspiration:

San Antonio Beanburgers with Fritos on top was one of our favorite items on the menu at EZ’s, a restaurant based out of San Antonio.  Unfortunately, they are no longer in the DFW area.

As a result of their disappearance, I have tried to recreate a similar sandwich-a delicious hamburger topped with refried beans, Cheddar, Fritos, onions, and Picante sauce.

What is a San Antonio Bean Burger?

The “beanburger is an iconic San Antonio dish originally made with a beef patty that is topped with diced onions, crushed Fritos corn chips, refried beans, and Cheez Whiz (processed cheese sauce or spread).”
TasteAtlas.com

As you may have figured out, this bean burger is not a vegetarian affair. Not at all. It takes its name from the fact that refried beans are part of the many delicious toppings.

What makes this specialty hamburger memorable?

Thick, juicy hamburger + cheese + garlic-y refried beans + the crunchy saltiness of the Fritos + a fresh hamburger bun = HAMBURGER ECSTASY!!

Recreating EZ’s World Famous Beanburger is one of my culinary obsessions. The interesting blend of textures and flavors make their world-famous bean burger unique and memorable. They are a treat well worth a few extra jumping jacks!

These are messy but worth it.

San Antonio Bean Burgers are a little tricky to eat. The beans on top of a thick beef patty are refried. That means they are squishy and may “drip” when you take a bite. The Fritos sprinkled on top require a fairly large mouth to get a taste of everything in one go. I don’t mind the challenge.

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INGREDIENTS

  • Ground beef: Yes, this burger starts with ground beef. Good quality chuck is my first choice.
  • Cheese: You can go several ways. I like to add shredded cheese to the hamburger meat before making into patties. You could also try slices of cheese melted on top or a small amount of processed American cheese, like Cheez Whiz, poured over the cooked burgers. The latter would probably be your favorite if you favor gooey nachos like those sold at the ballpark.
  • Refried Beans: We prefer refried pinto beans. Refried black beans are also popular.
  • Other toppings: We love to add avocado slices or guacamole. In addition, some people add onions, but not me. A tomato slice or Picante sauce would be good but honestly, this sandwich is pretty thick already, so it gets even messier if you go overboard on the extras.

MORE RECIPES FOR TEX-MEX LOVERS


Beefy Bean and Frito Burgers

If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately to Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! Paula

San Antonio Bean Burger with the bun open

San Antonio Bean Burgers Topped with Fritos

Hamburgers topped with refried beans, Fritos and avocados in the same style as once served at EZ’s.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Beef
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • Salt and Pepper
  • ¾ cup shredded Cheddar or Pepper Jack
  • ½ cup refried beans
  • ¾ cup Fritos chips
  • 1 avocado - sliced
  • 4 hamburger buns

Instructions
 

  • Season ground chuck with salt and pepper. Lightly mix in cheese.
  • Form meat into 4 balls. Flatten into patties and make depression in the middle with fingers. Lay on hot grill with depression up. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Do not flatten with spatula. Turn patties and cook until done. Grill or toast hamburger buns.
  • Place meat patty on top of bottom bun. Spread a generous tablespoon of warmed refried beans on top of burger. Sprinkle a handful of crumbled chips on top of beans. If using avocados or guacamole, place on top of beans and Fritos. Replace top bun and lightly press down to squish toppings together for easier eating.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
San Antonio Bean Burgers Topped with Fritos
Serving Size
 
1
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
673
Calories from Fat 387
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
43
g
66
%
Saturated Fat
 
15
g
94
%
Trans Fat
 
2
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
5
g
Cholesterol
 
99
mg
33
%
Sodium
 
1252
mg
54
%
Carbohydrates
 
40
g
13
%
Fiber
 
6
g
25
%
Sugar
 
4
g
4
%
Protein
 
32
g
64
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Author: Paula Rhodes
Course: Beef
Cuisine: American
Keywords: bean and frito hamburgerclone of World Famous Bean Burgerfrito hamburger like EZ’sSan Antonion bean burgers
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Recipe Rating




23 Comments

  1. I’m glad they went out of business. How else would we get this recipe? 🙂 What a great play on the classic burger – I’m sure your adaption is quite close to the original. Grated cheese in the ground beef is always good. I’ll take a slice of onion though, please!

  2. That’s sad about the restaurant! I love potato chips or fritos on a deli sandwich, soI bet this is fabulous. It looks great!

  3. COZY KITCHEN BY THE SEA says:

    THIS LOOKS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. I so miss EZ’s. I remember many “girls trips” eating there.
    I never ordered that but I will try it now because I know you have very discerning taste :-))

    1. EZ’s was headquartered in San Antonio and we ate there the last time we went south. I wonder if they are still open. Perhaps we should organize a “girls trip” to find out.

  5. Christina Lee says:

    Hey! I think these hamburgers look GREAT! I think I’m going to try them this weekend! oooo! I can’t wait!

  6. A Tex-Mex burger. This looks fabulous.
    Mimi

  7. This is over the top! I’m a sucker for anything with avocado. Can I laugh that you use fat free beans? I’d do the same thing though, so I’m laughing with you.

    1. LOL–you are so right!

  8. Wow! Who doesn’t love a good burger. I am so amazed at the talent and creativity you possess. You really have a gift. You make those of us who don’t LOVE to cook want to cook. I can’t believe those last few words came out of my mouth. Yikes.

  9. miss kate says:

    Dude. I am SO making these! !!!

  10. Nancy Henderson says:

    Yes, EZ’s is still open in San Antonio. The original bean burger was created by a mom and pop team who owned the Sill’s Snack Shack back in the 60’s. The recipe calls for Cheese Whiz, Fritos, Hamburger patty, onions, refried beans and toasted buns.

    1. So glad to know this. We are planning a trip to SA this summer so will definitely put it on the itinerary.

  11. Chris Madrid’s in San Antonio has a tostado burger that sounds a lot like this. I moved away from San Antonio but try to go to Chris Madrid’s when I get back there.

    1. We are going to the San Antonio area later this month. Will try to find a Chris Madrid’s. Thanks for the tip.

  12. tasteofbeirut says:

    I have eaten there a few times, did not notice this burger though, so I am glad you have recreated it. Sounds like a perfect cross between tex-mex and americana.

  13. I loved that hamburger as well ! I have also been trying to duplicate it! The only thing you forgot was the salsa:)

    1. Hi Kay,
      You know what I really miss? Their pizzas! I have tried to imitate them–without success. Thanks for writing. pr

  14. Kimberly Newsome says:

    Sills bean burger has reoepned by Brian Sills next door to the Magic Time Machiene On 410 in San Antonio. Brian is the original owners grandson. DELICIOUS!!!!

  15. 5 stars
    I used to get a bean burger at Mamas on San Pedro back in the 80’s & 90’s. Best I ever had. But they put the beans and crushed fritos on the bottom. Then the meat and cheese with onion and salsa on top. I always added guacamole on top of that. Make sure you toast the bun!!!

    1. I agree. The buns must be toasted. Otherwise, the buns won’t hold up to the beans and guacamole. I’m getting hungry just thinking about this burger.

  16. Valery Savage says:

    I grew up in San Antonio. You won’t find the Bean burger, from San Antonio anywhere in DFW! My 4 sisters and I have combed the metroplex for over 40 years for the best burger in the world, according to us, The bean burger! Absolutely no one ever heard of it here. They all think the hamburger patty is made out of beans, if you ask them if they have ever heard of a bean burger, go figure! We tried to recreate it over and over for at least 40 years. We tried several different burgers from every burger place in the metroplex! We’d get the burgers with just meat and buns, nothing else. Then we’d add the refried beans, Fritos, and every kind of cheese we could think of. We never found anything that was right! One sister and I tried over and over! Nothing was ever right. After that sister died I came upon a web sight that said in San Antonio, they used Cheese Wiz for the the cheese! Well out of the 5 of us that was about the only cheese we never tried! I got a Waterburger with just the hamburger patty and buns. I added the refried beans to the patty and cooked it in an iron skillet. I flipped the patty with the beans on it to the bottom of the pan. I cooked it that way for a few minutes, to set the refried beans. I toasted the buns a little more than Waterburger did, I put the patty bean side up on the toasted bun. I added Fritos. While still in the frying pan. I topped the burger with CHEESE WIZ. Then placed the other toasted bun on Top. I cried the whole time I ate it because it was the closest we had ever gotten to the ones we ate in San Antonio. The reason I cried was because my sister, Shirley was not here to eat it with me! I hope she was in heaven directing me to the original recipe, and that’s why I finally found It. It was the first time in my life, 67 years, that I desperately wanted an afterlife to be true! When I die I want to see my sweet sister again and make Bean burgers in heaven. If there is no afterlife and we just blink out to nothing I’ll never get to share a bean burger with my sweet sister, Shirley! Please god let us have an afterlife with each other so we can share a true and real Beanburger, don’t let this life be all we have! I love and miss you so much Shirley! Finding the simple thing, like cheese wiz, that we never thought of, to complete the perfect bean burger seems impossible without you! If you want to try this recipe don’t add all of the other things that people try to add like onions or grilled onions and different cheeses. If you want the original, that we ate 57 years ago, just the hamburger patty, toasted buns, refried beans, Fritos and Cheese Wiz is all you need. Don’t get me wrong, adding onions, mushrooms, different cheeses sounds amazing to me and I’ll probably try them all. If you just want to get addicted try the original with nothing added. Believe it or not I’ve found this amazing Mexican cook at our local convince, bait and gas stop ( I live on a Lake) that is going to make the original for me! I can’t wait to eat it!!! I hope it’s as good as the San Antonio Bean Burger!

    1. Hi Valery,
      What an interesting comment. I could hear the longing in your words to see your sister and share a hamburger with her again. We always ordered our bean burgers with the extra guacamole (or was it just a sliced avocado–I can’t remember for sure). Of course, that made it even messier than it already was. I hope your amazing cook can replicate it for you. Thanks so much for writing.