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Frijoles Refritos

Classic frijoles refritos recipe (refried beans) that will transport your taste buds to Mexico.

If I haven't expressed my love for Mexican food in previous posts, then that is a huge oversight. Frijoles refritos (refried beans) are one of those wonderfully versatile dishes that can act as a dip, a side dish, or even as a spread. So, having a good, quick way to whip up a batch is essential for anyone who loves them as much as I do.

In this recipe, I use canned beans simply to speed up preparation, but on days when I have time, this recipe is even better made with beans soaked overnight.

If taking the long way, soak about 1 lb of beans for 10 to 12 hours, drain, rinse, then transfer to a stock pot and add a few garlic cloves and about a teaspoon of dried epazote (or Mexican oregano if you can't find epazote). Add enough water to cover the beans by about an inch then bring the pot to a boil on high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 60 to 90 minutes, or until the beans are soft. You can then follow the directions below, remembering that the garlic and epazote were used when boiling the beans and thus don't need to be added twice. See the tips below for more alternative cooking methods.

Regardless of how you make these refried beans, I hope you try all the ways they can be enjoyed.


TIP: If you want to avoid soaking the beans, increase the amount of water added to the pot so that it covers the beans by about three inches. Simmer uncovered for 2 to 2, 1/2 hours, or until soft.

TIP: If boiling the beans, the water they were boiled in can be reserved and used as a substitute for the vegetable stock.

TIP: If not concerned about fat content, swap the avocado oil for bacon fat!

TIP: I choose to make these with black beans, mostly because I use them in many other dishes, so I have them on hand. An common alternative are pinto beans.



(Makes 4 servings)

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil

  • 1/4 sweet onion, finely diced

  • pinch salt

  • 1 small jalapeño pepper, deseeded and finely minced (or serrano chilli pepper)

  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced

  • 1, 32oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (or pinto beans)

  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock (quantity depends on desired consistency)

  • 1 stalk epazote leaves, rinsed and dried (or 1/2 teaspoon dried epazote)

  • salt to taste



Strain and rinse the black beans then set aside.

In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion, jalapeño, and salt and sauté until the onion becomes translucent (about 3 minutes). Add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute.

Add the black beans, mix, and as they heat, mash them with a fork while slowly incorporating the vegetable stock. Add only enough stock to reach the consistency desired.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the epazote leaves still attached to the stalk (or add the dried epazote). Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add more vegetable stock if it becomes too thick.

Remove and discard the epazote leaves, and adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve with chopped fresh cilantro and shredded cotija cheese garnish (optional).


Nutritional Information Per Serving:

total calories = 108 | total fat = 4.05g | saturated fat = 0.57g | cholesterol = 0mg | sodium = 344mg | net carbohydrates = 10.52g | dietary fibre = 3.3g | sugars = 1.85g | protein = 4.81g

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