Refried beans became globally popular as a side dish in Mexican cuisine. Usually made from well-fried Pinto beans, it is called “Frijoles Refritos” in Mexico. In other Mexican regions where Pinto beans are scarce, the kidney or black bean variety is used as an alternative.
The Art of Cooking Refried Beans
This side dish is prepared by boiling the beans to a point that allows mashing into a thick consistency, whilst adding seasonings like jalapeño, garlic, or chipotle. After the beans have been mashed they are fried using pork lard or vegetable oil, which is the traditional method used in Mexico. However, if serving this dish is part of a vegan meal, skipping the frying part will not make much difference.
Refried Beans, a Healthy Dish
Beans as the main ingredients are very rich in fiber. Moreover they are a great source of plant-based protein, which are important aspects in eating a healthy diet. However, since it’s traditionally served as a side dish for other Mexican dishes, keeping it healthy means pairing it with healthy Mexican food choices. The most popular are the low calorie soups made from shrimp or chicken broths.
Actually, refried beans are quite versatile as they can also be used as spread over tostadas, as nacho toppings, as burrito filling, or even as a tortilla dip.