I usually make beans by scratch, but when I am in a hurry, this is what I do.
In a large stainless steel pot, cut up some bacon into little pieces. I am using about half a pound for the crowd. I use my kitchen scissors and yes, the bacon is frozen.
For a family of four use:
3 slices of bacon chopped up.
1 T of fresh chopped onion
4 cans of pinto beans (drain 2 of the cans)
salt and pepper to taste
Sauté the onion in the bacon. In other words, cook the onion until it is translucent and cooked. I also use plain old bacon grease, which I always save to use as a flavoring.
Once the onion is cooked and the bacon crisp. Add the cans of beans. For today's crowd, I am using 3 (6 pound cans) of pinto beans from Sam's Club. These are what we call #5 cans.
Stir the beans in and then use a potatoes masher to mash the beans. Add salt and pepper to taste.
For variation add:
1 small can (4 ounces) diced tomatoes with mild green chilies peppers
Or just some Tabasco sauce or jalapeños to make it hotter if you prefer.
Sometimes, I add one of the flavor packets to give it a kick, but to be honest, the onion, bacon, salt, and pepper are usually enough.