If you look up a refried beans recipe, it will most likely call for you to fry the beans once, not twice. Read on to learn something new!
If you aren’t familiar with them, refried beans are a traditional staple of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. They are made of beans that have been boiled and then mashed up. At this point, the bean paste is traditionally fried (or baked), usually with lard or bacon. Interestingly, according to Wikipedia, “they are fried only once, the term “refried” is misleading. As described by Rick Bayless, “they’re refritos—not fried again, as you might assume, but “well fried” or “intensely fried,” as that re translates from Spanish.”
For our purposes, being fried once, twice, or intensely, is generally altogether too much frying. The Mediterranean Diet also encourages us to stay away from lard and bacon, when possible. Without the frying and the lard, refried beans are actually a healthy, delicious dish! They are delicious spread on top of bread or tortillas or even sopped up with pita bread or celery. You can use it in place of hummus in many dishes, to add a Tex-Mex type of flavor. (Try our Cauliflower Mexican Pizza recipe for inspiration!)
To lighten up this recipe, we have removed the lard and bacon, and we don’t cook the beans a second time. The recipe itself requires a bit of time– to sauté onions, to simmer broth, and then to blend everything in a food processor. The process is simple and straight forward. The resulting dish tastes a bit lighter than your standard refried beans, and I think you will be blown away by how fresh and creamy they are! Plus, you get health benefits not only from the beans, but also the olive oil and onions. And with homemade, you can experiment with different types of beans and tons of different toppings.
We at The Mediterranean Movement love to create all different kinds of cuisines and flavors, following Mediterranean Diet Principles. This refried beans recipe is one example of a totally different (not Mediterranean- style) cuisine, that has been made healthy, so you can enjoy it and still feel great and reach your health goals! See more about the Mediterranean Diet principles here.
Your turn! Do you love Mexican or Tex-Mex food? If so, give these beans a try and let us know what you think. Use #medimove on Instagram to show up what you create.
Hi, I’m Ashley! I’m a Mediterranean Diet expert, a family health champion, and a Mom of 3 little people. Any day of the week, you will find me in the kitchen cooking up festive new recipes using Mediterranean Diet principles. I love breakfast for dinner, long days at the beach, the perfect glass of wine, and spontaneous adventures. Originally from Atlanta, I now fondly call Virginia my home.