Refried beans are a staple food in Mexico and in Tex-Mex cuisine. The term ‘refried beans’ is slightly misleading as the beans are fried only once after they are cooked.
The frying produces extra flavour from the added fragrant ingredients such as onions, garlic, and spices. The added water amount can be varied when mashing or blending the beans to control the thickness. Note that the water will evaporate during the frying process and flavours will be intensified. It is a personal choice to enjoy this dish either chunky or smooth.
Best beans to use
Kidney beans and pinto beans are commonly used but black beans will also work for this recipe. Dried or canned, both are good to use, but canned beans don’t need extra cooking, and will take less time.
What to serve with refried beans?
It’s a simple recipe, but a versatile classic dish pairing perfectly with a multitude of dishes. Take note that refried beans are filling and only a little is needed at one time.
- As a dipping sauce with corn chips or nachos, and vegetable sticks.
- As a spread with tostada, enchiladas, tacos, or inside burritos.
- As a garnish or a side dish with eggs, rice, chicken, and steak.
Red Kidney Refried Beans
- Drain the canned beans and keep the water.
- Sweat the onions with the olive over and a pinch of salt until the onions are golden brown.Add the garlic and all the spices, cook and stir constantly until fragrant.
- Add the drained beans, bring to a simmer for 5 minutes and keep stirring.
- Pour in ⅓ of the bean juice and cook until the liquid is absorbed, keep stirring and add another ⅓ of liquid then repeat this operation.
- If the beans are still dry, add extra water or the rest of the bean juice until the beans are soft. Mash or blend the beans until you reach the required texture.
- Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice.