You can’t have Mexican food without refried beans. Here in Texas, Mexican food is a staple food that most people eat at least once a week, if not more. Now don’t confuse Cal-Mex with Tex-Mex. There is a big difference. In Texas it is an indulgence-we use a lot of beef, cheddar cheese and pinto beans or refried beans. With every dish you order at a restaurant you will get a side of refried beans unless you ask otherwise. And they are SO good, but they are SO high calorie. I have come up with a recipe that is super easy and quick but is also a bit more healthy. I won’t say diet food, but it is not made with lard like most refried beans recipes.
I make these beans whenever I make enchiladas, fajitas or tacos and the kids love them. They are cheesy and smoky and a bit spicy. And if you have a picky eater you can use these beans and whip up a bean and cheese soft taco-that is my youngest sons favorite thing to order at Taco Bueno. If you have not heard of Taco Bueno or have not been you are missing out and I feel really sorry for you:)
Quick note-I typically use pinto beans, but you can also use black beans if you prefer.
Quick Refried Beans
- 3 cans pinto beans
- 1 slice bacon
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper-add more if you like it spicy
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Cut raw bacon into small pieces. In a medium sized pot over medium high heat cook the bacon for about 2 minutes-it will still be raw.
Add onions and cook until bacon is cooked through-not crispy- and the onions are translucent.
Drain 1 can of the beans and add to the pot. Add the two other cans, with their liquid to the pot.
Add chili powder, salt, pepper and cayenne.
Stir until the beans are hot.
Using a potato masher mash the beans to the consistency you like.
Add cheddar cheese to beans and stir until melted.
Keep warm over low heat. If they get too dry while you are preparing other dishes just add a bit of water and stir.