Refried black beans made in just minutes with only 3 ingredients! If you have cooked black beans and a few slices of bacon, you can have these beans on your table in minutes! Crumbled cotija cheese on top is excellent, too.
Refried black beans
If you've only ever had refried beans made with pinto beans, please, let me teach you the joy that is refried beans made with black beans. I have met some people that didn't even know you could make refried black beans. So, I feel the need to share my methods to make these beans at home. I almost can't believe how fast they come together. If you keep canned beans in your pantry and bacon in your freezer, think of this easy side dish next time you're short on time!
In my days as a private chef, I made these refried black beans often. The type of private chef work that I did was to cook one day a week at a family's house, and leave 4-5 days worth of meals. I left everything packed up in containers that could easily be reheated. Refried beans reheat like a dream, so it was an easy, functional side dish, especially since almost every family would request a Mexican food night each week.
If you make my instant pot black beans, and have leftovers, this is the best way to put them to work. The method is so simple, and results in the creamiest refried beans. These beans are never pasty or dry, like most recipes, and they don't use any chicken broth to thin them out.
Authentic refried beans are made with lard, but I don't keep that in my pantry too often. We're using bacon instead today. As a result of bacon being smoked, it adds a smoky flavors to the beans that is not exactly authentic. However, it is still very delicious. In our house, these have become preferred over other recipes. I think after you make them once and see how delicious and simple they are, you will print the recipe and make them again and again.
- bacon: Four slices of bacon fried in the skillet provides all the fat we need to mash up the beans and make them super creamy.
- cooked black beans: You need 2 cups of cooked black beans. You can use canned beans that are drained, or freshly cooked black beans. Either way, drain the liquid.
- salt and pepper
- Cotija cheese: Definitely optional, but it's delicious as a garnish! Cotija cheese is a soft Mexican white cheese made from cow's milk. It's similar to feta cheese, but creamier and saltier, in my opinion.
Step by step:
- Gather all of the ingredients.
- In a heavy-bottomed pan (an enamel-coated cast iron Dutch oven is the best), add the diced bacon pieces. Turn the heat to medium and cook, while stirring occasionally, for about 7-10 minutes, or until the bacon is starting to get crisp.
- When the bacon is crisp, use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the pan, leaving the fat behind in the pan.
- Lower the heat, and then add the beans to the pan. Use a potato masher to mash the beans into a smooth, creamy paste. Turn the heat off when the beans start to simmer so they don't sputter and land on your hands and burn you!
- Taste the refried beans, and add salt and pepper, to your taste.
- Serve the beans in a bowl with the bacon pieces and crumbled Cotija cheese on top.
Another fun way to serve these refried black beans is to spread them in a tortilla before making a quesadilla. That's the way I sneak in protein for my kids. Another fun thing is to spread chips with the creamy bean mixture and use them to make nachos in the oven for Game Day.
Are refried beans gluten free?
This recipe is, yes! Always check your labels to ensure your bacon and canned beans are gluten free before cooking. Another gluten free recipe with black beans is my black bean quinoa salad.
How to serve refried black beans:
I like these as seen in the photos: garnished with crumbled Cotija cheese and served with chips on the side. I like these refried black beans as a side dish for cilantro lime chicken tacos or with green chile chicken enchiladas.
- 4 slices of bacon, diced
- 2 cups cooked black beans, drained
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- salt, to taste
- ¼ cup crumbled cotija cheese (or feta cheese), for serving
- In a heavy-bottomed pan (enamel-coated cast iron is preferred), add the bacon pieces. Turn the heat to medium, and cook the bacon pieces, while stirring frequently, until it releases its fat and starts to crisp around the edges, about 7-10 minutes.
- Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving the bacon fat in the pan.
Add the beans to the pan, and use a potato masher to mash them into a smooth, creamy mixture.
- Taste the beans, and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the beans with cotija cheese on top. You can serve it with the bacon pieces, but I prefer them without.
bacon: Four slices of bacon fried in the skillet provides all the fat we need to mash up the beans and make them super creamy.
cooked black beans: You need 2 cups of cooked black beans. You can use canned beans that are drained, or freshly cooked black beans. Either way, drain the liquid.
Cotija cheese: Definitely optional, but it's delicious as a garnish! Cotija cheese is a soft Mexican white cheese made from cow's milk. It's similar to feta cheese, but creamier and saltier, in my opinion.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 196Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 445mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 8gSugar: 0gProtein: 13g