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

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

a san antonio bean burger showing the inside of the sandwich.Pin

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The “beanburger is an iconic San Antonio dish originally made with a beef patty that is topped with diced onions, crushed Fritos corn chips, refried beans, and Cheez Whiz (processed cheese sauce or spread).”

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 among 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 makes 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 bite. The Fritos sprinkled on top require a large mouth to taste everything in one go. I don’t mind the challenge.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • GROUND BEEF: Yes, this burger starts with ground beef. Good quality chuck beef is my first choice.
  • CHEESE: You can go several ways. I like to add shredded cheese to the hamburger meat before making it 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 will 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.

Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.

a san antonio bean burger showing the inside of the sandwich.Pin
Yield: 4 servings

San Antonio Bean Burgers Topped with Fritos

Try these hamburgers topped with refried beans, Fritos, and avocados in the same style as once served at EZ’s.

Rate this recipe

(5 stars if you loved it)

5 from 3 votes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes


  • 1 pound (453 g) ground chuck
  • salt and pepper
  • ¾ cup (84 g) shredded Cheddar or Pepper Jack
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • ½ cup (120 g) refried beans
  • ¾ cup (66 g) Fritos chips
  • 1 avocado sliced


  • Season 1 pound (453 g) ground chuck with salt and pepper. Lightly mix in 3/4 cup (84 g) shredded Cheddar or Pepper Jack.
  • Form meat into four balls. Flatten into patties and make a depression in the middle with your fingers. Lay on a hot grill with the depression up. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Do not flatten with a spatula. Turn patties and cook until done. Grill or toast 4 hamburger buns
  • Place a meat patty on top of the bottom bun. Spread a generous tablespoon of warmed 1/2 cup (120 g) refried beans on top of the burger. Sprinkle a handful of the crumbled 3/4 cup (66 g) Fritos chips on top of the beans. If using avocados or guacamole, place one-quarter of 1 avocado on top of beans and Fritos. Replace the top bun and lightly press down to squish the toppings together for easier eating.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 673kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 1252mg | Potassium: 644mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 262IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 296mg | Iron: 5mg

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a

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Recipe Rating


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!!!!

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. miss kate says:

    Dude. I am SO making these! !!!

  9. 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.

  10. 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!

  11. A Tex-Mex burger. This looks fabulous.

  12. 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!

  13. 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.


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

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

  16. 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!