1cupfreshly shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Pour pinto beans into a colander or strainer and allow to sit for a few minutes. DON'T RINSE them--our goal is to remove some of the liquid but not all of it.
Transfer beans to a large mixing bowl. Use a potato masher or some forks to mash the mixture until relatively smooth, with some chunks. Add the cream cheese and mash some more, until combined. Stir in the sour cream, taco seasoning, salsa, and 1/4 cup shredded cheese.
Pour mixture into an 8 inch or similar size baking dish and sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese evenly on top. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Serve as a dip with tortilla chips, inside tacos, or as a Mexican side dish.
Cheese: Swap out the cheddar for your favorite kind of cheese.
Toppings: Garnish with taco toppings like olives, diced tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeños and guacamole.
Meat: Add 1/2 lb cooked and crumbled ground beef or sausage to the bean layer.
Slow Cooker: Prepare the dip the same, and add it to a slow cooker. Sprinkle cheese on top. Cook on low for 2 hours.