These Easy Refried Beans are no stranger to anyone who loves Mexican or Tex-Mex food. The creamy texture of the smashed pinto beans along with the down home flavor puts it at the top of my list of favorite fiesta sides to make.
Easy Refried Beans Recipe
At one of our favorite local Mexican restaurants they have a super simple approach to refried beans. They begin with lard and salt, a touch of garlic and that's pretty much all they do to them. I love them and always order them with my entrée whether it's I'm having tacos, a taco salad or enchiladas each time we visit. Even though they're simple, the creamy texture is so pleasing. However, when I make refried beans at home I like to add my own twist to them and season to our liking. I skip the lard and start with bacon drippings and butter. I also add sweet onion and then have fun adding the seasonings we like. I find it's best to use canned pinto beans that have few seasonings in them giving me the opportunity to personalize them myself.
Seasoning Make the Difference in Refried Beans
While these kind of beans are made slightly different by everyone, I like to punch the flavor up a bit starting with bacon drippings and sweet onion, adding just the right amount of seasonings and a sprinkling of cheese for the crowning touch. Serve these beans with tortilla chips or as a side for tacos, enchiladas, fajitas or burritos for a homemade fiesta any night of the week. Whether they're enjoyed as a side dish or a quick dip they're sure to make your friends and family members feel mighty festive. For more fiesta bean recipes checkout this recipe for Instant Pot Charro Beans from Tastes Better From Scratch.
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Helpful Kitchen Items:
Easy Refried Beans
- 1 small sweet onion minced
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp bacon drippings
- 3 16 oz cans plain pinto beans (Do not drain)
- ¼ cup medium heat taco sauce
- 1 Tbsp dark chili powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp garlic salt additional to taste
- ¼ tsp lemon pepper
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese divided
- In a heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat cook the onion, butter and bacon drippings for 3 minutes or until the onion has softened.
- Add the beans, taco sauce, chili powder, cumin, garlic salt and lemon pepper. Mix well.
- Use a potato masher to mash the beans until chunky smooth. Cook until the beans begin to bubble.
- Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust the garlic salt to your taste.
- Add ½ of the cheese to the beans, stir until melted. Sprinkle the remaining on top.
- Serve immediately.