Homemade refried beans? Absolutely, and wow are they easy to make. Who knew!
We’re well into 2016, and yesterday was Packzi Day (think gorgeous donuts filled with all sorts of good things as a way to use up all the goodies that were forbidden during Lent). Needless to say, I am still working on and focusing on eating better for me foods. So how do homemade refried beans fit into that? Trust me, they do.
Refried beans were one of those foods that I always steered away from because “they’re so unhealthy” and “they have so much fat” – and so I generally don’t eat them. But there are some foods I love and crave occasionally that have refried beans. When I eat out at a Mexican restaurant, refried beans and rice with a little queso fresco? Yum! Or 7 layer dip. That’s one of your favorite party foods, too, isn’t it? Orrrrr there’s the Taco Bell bean burrito that is the only thing I ever order on the rare occasions I eat there. But oh man, they’re so good.
Then I started playing with homemade refried beans and I realized that they actually aren’t all that unhealthy, and no, they don’t have a ton of fat. Wait, what? Truly. And for the last couple months, I’ve been making a big batch of refried beans every few weeks to enjoy. I’ll often make my own version of the Taco Bell bean burrito – tortilla, refried beans, diced onion, shredded cheddar, and red sauce all rolled up in a yummy blanket of goodness. With a big batch, I’ll make a whole bunch of the burritos and wrap them individually in paper towels, place them in a tightly sealed container and freeze them for a quick lunch that I can microwave and enjoy.
Don’t believe me that homemade refried beans aren’t fat filled, unhealthy, and something to avoid? The entire recipe uses 2 tablespoons of oil, and that’s the only fat in the entire dish. I use that much or more when I make soups or pasta sauce or any number of dishes, and those aren’t considered fattening. There’s a small amount of brown sugar in there, as well, to give it a little bump of sweetness and flavor, but again it’s a single tablespoon. Aside from that, it’s onions, spices, and pinto beans. The beans have plenty of fiber and protein, but they aren’t a source of fat.
Give them a chance. Homemade refried beans are quick to make and they are absolutely delicious for so many recipes.
Homemade Refried Beans Recipe
In a heavy pan, add the olive oil. When it shimmers, add the onion and beans that you have cooked yourself or drained and rinsed. Let them saute while you mince your garlic. Add the garlic to the pan and cook for three to five minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add your brown sugar, cumin, salt, smoked paprika, and chili powder, then stir to combine. Saute with the spices for another couple minutes to release the oils in the spices.
Add the chicken stock and let simmer for another five minutes.
Use an immersion blender to puree the beans completely. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender. Be sure to not fill the blender more than a third full at a time and use a kitchen towel to hold the top on to ensure that the top doesn’t pop off due to the pressure. If the beans are too thick, add a little extra chicken stock, a teaspoon at a time.
Serve immediately, or store in the fridge in a tightly sealed container for up to three days. This will freeze for future use, as well.
These homemade refried beans are quick and easy to make and taste amazing for all sorts of recipes. Throw away your notion that they are full of fat and unhealthy. Homemade and vegan refried beans fit none of that stereotype!
- 2 T olive oil
- 3 1/2 c pinto beans, drained and rinsed (1 can)
- 1 c onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T brown sugar
- 1 t cumin
- 1 1/2 t smoked paprika
- 1 t salt
- 1/2 t chili powder
- 1/2 c vegetable stock
- Heat heavy pan on medium. Add oil. When oil shimmers, add beans and onions. Saute while mincing the garlic, then add garlic and saute for another two to three minutes.
- Add brown sugar, cumin, smoked paprika, salt, and chili powder. Stir to distribute and cook for a couple minutes to release the oils in the spices.
- Add chicken stock and simmer for five minutes.
- Puree the refried beans with an immersion blender or a regular blender, filling no more than one-third full and using a kitchen towel to hold the top on if using a traditional blender. Add stock a teaspoon at a time if the beans are too thick.
- Serve immediately. Store leftovers tightly sealed in the fridge for up to three days.
Feel free to cook your own pinto beans, or use a can of beans that has been drained and rinsed. This recipe is easily doubled or tripled to make a larger batch. Using vegetable stock makes these vegan, but sub chicken stock if you like.