Refried Beans

The latest recipe swap theme was side dishes – which is an area I often struggle with. Salad and raw veggies are our go-tos. After working out a main dish, I never have the drive to round out the meal with much more.

I was super excited when I got assigned this recipe, since Tex-Mex meals are increasingly common around here. I was even more excited when I realized the recipe originated from Elly Says Opa. Elly’s Black Beans are one of the few sides I do make regularly, so I knew this would be a hit.

The recipe calls for cooking up two strips of bacon so you can use the grease as flavoring. I always save the grease when I cook bacon so I just used 1 T. of the reserved fat. Either works fine

Not only are these delicious, but they’re super quick which makes them a great side dish option. This is absolutely a new staple in our rotation!


Refried Beans
(as seen on A Taste of Home Cooking, adapted from Elly Says Opa)
Serves 4 as a side

2 strips of bacon (or 1 T. bacon fat)
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 t. ground cumin
Pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed (or 1½ cups cooked pinto beans)
1 c. chicken or veggie broth, divided
1/4 cup salsa
Shredded cheese and sliced scallions, for garnish (optional)

If using bacon, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat and cook until crisp, being careful not to burn. Remove the bacon pieces to a paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon, leaving the grease in the pan. (Reserve the bacon for another use.)

If using bacon fat, heat fat in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.

Add the onion to the pan and cook until just tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add in the garlic, cumin, cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add the beans to the pan. Pour in about 2/3 cup of the broth, bring to a boil, and reduce to a light simmer. Let simmer for about 10 minutes or until the beans are soft enough to mash easily.

Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the salsa, and mash the bean mixture as desired. For a chunkier texture, use a fork or potato masher. For a smoother texture, pulse the mixture in a food processor. Add additional broth for a lighter texture if needed. Top with shredded cheese and sliced scallions and serve.

Here are the side dishes swap participants made:

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5 thoughts on “Refried Beans

  1. I’m so glad you like them – I saw that you love Elly’s black beans so I had a feeling you’d love these as well. 🙂 I make them all the time now, whenever we have anything remotely Mexican for dinner. They’re just so easy and delicious.

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