Sunday, 26 February 2012

Improvised Refried Beans

I don't have a lot of traditions or rituals that I follow. I like change, and I get bored easily. But there is one food-related tradition I will always enjoy: Friday Night Burritos. 

Burritos, like most Mexican food, are very versatile. However, there is one make-or-break ingredient to having top-notch burritos, and that would be refried beans. Refried Beans are red kidney beans cooked down into a mushy paste and seasoned to perfection. They supply the texture and flavour that make burritos so delicious. Despite what others might say, they truly are the magical fruit.

So you can imagine how upset I was Friday night when, halfway through making burritos, I opened up the kitchen cabinet and found no refried beans. Normally a quick trip to the grocery store could've solved this, but the beauty of Friday Night Burritos is that the cooking is part of the festivities. My roommate and I had already had a few beverages, so driving anywhere would not be an option. 

Desperate to have a complete burrito night, I dug back into the cabinet and pulled out a can of black beans. 

"Aha!" I surely exclaimed as I ran to my computer to google if you could make refried black beans.

Turns out you can, and it's ridiculously simple.

  • 1 can Black Beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 2 cloves chopped Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3/4 cup Water

Warm oil over medium heat. Add in your chopped garlic and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Add your Black beans. Immediately start mashing them down, while still over heat, with the back of a spoon, a potato-masher, or a whisk.

After about 5 minutes of mashing and 10 more of occasional stirring, your beans should look something like this. Voila, the beans are done. 

This is by far THE BEST recipe I have tried here on Bachelor Chow. Not only was it a quick, easy and vegetarian-friendly, but it tasted phenomenal - probably better then regular refried beans.

Before the rest of the burrito fixin's were done cooking, roommate and I thought we'd try the beans on some crackers, as if it was a dip.  5 minutes later, we were brawling in the kitchen over accusations that the other was trying to "hog all the beans." It was that good.

When we finally did get around to making burritos, they looked like this. 

In case you can't quite make it out, the burritos featured seasoned ground beef, rice, lettuce, and topped off by the delicious dip/spread/paste we made. 

I may have eaten 6 of them.

Hope you enjoyed this post. As always, please leave me your comments or suggestions for more recipes!


  1. I don't want to be around after you eat that.

  2. I like it, Matt. I'm guessing your new refried bean version is lower in sodium than the ready-made kind too. So, even better.

    1. Agreed Nora. Homemade is always better.

  3. Is there any difference between red kidney beans and black beans?In the chef's eyes?

    1. Black beans have a distinct flavour I've been trying to use more. Kidney beans aren't bad, but can be boring/bland.