Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
What Are Refried Beans?
Refried Beans are a dish that has been made famous around the world for its inclusion in Mexican food. They are commonly made with Pinto beans but in different regions of Mexico, they are made with other beans such as black or kidney beans. Refried Beans get their name not because they have been fried twice but because the word comes from the Spanish name for the dish – Frijoles Refritos. The word “refritos” means “well fried”.
How Are Refried Beans Made?
The beans are cooked and mashed into a thick consistency along with flavouring such as garlic, chipotle or jalapeño. Sometimes the beans are further cooked in a frying pan with pork lard but this doesn’t always happen, it is probably now more common in Mexico for vegetable oil to be used.
However, it’s possible for this step to be skipped in which case the refried beans would be much healthier and they would be vegan. If this is important to you always be sure to read the back of the pouch or can before eating.
Are Refried Beans Healthy?
Beans are high in fibre and if you go for the vegan refried beans then they will also be low in saturated fat. They are also a good source of plant-based protein and are high in fibre. These are all important aspects for a healthy diet. Just be careful what you eat them with!
A Simple Homemade Recipe
- Either use cooked canned beans or dried beans that you have soaked overnight and cooked as per the instructions on the back of the pack.
- Chop very finely some or all of the following ingredients
– Fresh Green Chilli
– Bell Pepper (red or yellow)
- Add some olive oil in a saucepan and over medium heat cook the above-chopped ingredients. Cook for about five minutes until soft.
- Add the cooked beans to the frying pan along with some/all/none of the below
– Chipotle Paste
– Chilli Powder
– Lime Juice
– Chopped Coriander
– Sea Salt
– Fried Chorizo/Lardons
- With a potato masher mash all the ingredients together until you get your desired consistency.
- If you want the beans to be a little thinner, add a small amount of boiling water.
- Remember to check for seasoning.
For a more detailed recipe, you can check out our frijoles recipe.
Best Ways To Serve Refried Beans
Refried beans make the perfect side dish for Mexican food. Serve the beans warm and you could sprinkle some cheese on top. Other uses include, as a filling for burritos, spread over tostadas, dolloped on top of nachos, or simply as a dip on their own. Completely versatile, they can be used as a side dish to any Mexican meal, or incorporated inside the main dish.
For more check out: Recipes that use refried beans
What are the best store-bought refried beans?
Well, we are a little bit biased here. Our Chipotle Refried Beans are made in Mexico using a traditional recipe. As we don’t fry them they are vegan and the chipotle adobo that we add gives them a really nice smoky kick. They are available across the UK in stores such as Tesco, Waitrose and Ocado as well as in Woolworths Australia and online with Amazon.
For more check out the following:
We hope you enjoyed our guide to what are refried beans. If you have any tips or special ingredients that you use when making your beans we would love to hear from you below.