Apr 252015

Refried Beans

My family loves canned refried beans. I doctor them up with a few extra seasonings and we have them with warmed corn tortillas for lunch. Sometimes I serve them as a side dish when we eat Mexican food, or even as bean dip for tortilla chips. This last is probably my kids preferred use. It’s also good on top of a plate of salad greens. Add a few tortilla chips and some salsa and you’ve got a quick vegetarian taco salad. The hot beans and cold salad greens are pretty tasty together.

I don’t eat a lot of canned beans. Usually we make them from scratch. We do eat canned refried beans though, because I find the time and work savings to be worth their cost. I usually buy a fat-free store-brand version. This recipe will season a 15-ounce can. To season a 28 ounce can, double the recipe.

If you don’t use canned refried beans, then for this recipe you may substitute 2-cups of mostly drained pinto beans, black beans or kidney beans. Mash the beans with a potato masher while they’re hot, or put the cool beans through the food processor until they’re pasty, but not perfectly smooth. Add these to the recipe when you would add canned refried beans.

Seasoned Refried Beans

  • 1 or 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 a large onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup water OR homemade chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper OR red pepper flakes
  • 15 ounce can refried beans
  • Chopped canned chipotle peppers or jalapeno peppers, optional, about 1-tablespoon
  • 1 tablespoon pickle juice or lime juice, optional

Start off by frying the onion in the oil in a skillet. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the onion is tender and slightly browned. Add the water, soy sauce, chili powder, black and red pepper. Stir in . Bring to a simmer. Add the canned beans. Use a fork to combine the beans with the liquid in the skillet. If you’re adding chopped peppers or pickle juice, add it now. Allow the beans to simmer over medium-low heat for at least 5 minutes, 10 minutes is better.

If desired you may top the beans with chopped fresh cilantro or the snipped tops of sprouted onions or finely chopped onion or chopped black or green olives.

Makes about 3 servings or 2-cups of bean dip.

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