How to Make Easy Healthy Refried Beans for Your Mexican Dishes

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Healthy refried beans are a go-to dinner in my house when I have a yearning for something Mexican. A delicious dip for tortilla chips, a substantial nacho topping, a spicy meatless filling for your Mexican wraps, or a side dish for Taco Tuesday, refried beans are a must-have in your kitchen.

Pinto beans are traditionally used in the preparation of refried beans. This version also includes red kidney beans, which is a unique twist on the traditional recipe.

This quick and simple recipe is ideal for busy weeknight dinners or whenever you want a nutritious, meatless side dish to serve with your entrée.

for your favorite Mexican or Tex-Mex entrees. It’s a must for Cinco de Mayo celebrations, along with our spicy salsa recipe.

For a more authentic variation, substitute bacon grease for the olive oil in this recipe.

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Healthy Refried Beans

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Prep Time10 minutes

Cook Time15 minutes

Total Time25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 16-oz. cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-oz. can red kidney beans, with liquid
  • 1 T. ground cumin
  • 1 t. chili powder
  • ½ t. smoked paprika
  • Optional:
  • ½ t. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Fresh cilantro, to serve

Instructions

1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste after adding the onion and garlic. Cook, turning occasionally, until the onion is tender and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the beans, ground cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and crushed red pepper flakes, if using, until everything is heated through. Cook, stirring periodically, for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until the beans are cooked through and beginning to break apart somewhat.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and purée the beans with an immersion blender or a potato masher until they are practically smooth. If preferred, garnish with fresh cilantro before serving. Enjoy!

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 459

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