Sharing my recipe for Nacho Taco Boats yesterday got me to thinking about the perfect side for just about anything Mexican – Refried Beans!
Now you could cook up a big pot of Pinto Beans to make Refried Beans from scratch. That would mean picking through your pinto beans, soaking them over night, cooking them all day, then mashing them well before finishing them off in a skillet. Or you could get a can of refried beans, skip the sorting, soaking and slow cooking steps completely. Okay, from scratch is better, but doctored refried beans are quick and easy. I’m all about quick and easy, aren’t you?
First, start with a good bean base. There are a lot of canned refried beans out there. Some are better than others. My personal favorite is Rosarita. She makes a decent bean, and there are a variety of “flavors” to choose from. In our house it’s either her original or jalapeno style. Like anything that comes in a can, a few minor additions are always an improvement.
To fry up the refried beans, heat a skillet with a little bacon drippings. It is amazing the flavor bacon drippings will add to anything that is lightly “fried”. Every time we fry up bacon, we save the drippings. There’s always a small tub of bacon grease in the fridge. Some people say the bacon grease turns rancid over time. I wouldn’t know because we go through it fairly quickly. It’s great for frying up a skillet of country potatoes or to prime the pan when making country-style pork chops. I’ve even warmed up a little bacon grease to add to the dressing for a potato salad for a nice hint of smokey flavor. And don’t even get me started on the use of bacon drippings when cooking eggs be it scrambled or fried.
Once the bacon grease has melted in the skillet, add your beans, a little seasoning and warm, stirring occasionally. Yeah, it’s that easy.
Super Easy Mexican Refried Beans – Skillet Method
1 Can Refried Beans
1 Tablespoon Bacon Drippings
2 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning, if desired
Heat a small amount of bacon dripping in a skillet over medium heat. Spread refried beans out in the skillet, reduce heat to low heat. Stir and season, cook until hot. Serve as a side or add to other recipes as desired.
Super Easy Mexican Refried Beans – Microwave Method
Same ingredients as above. In a microwave safe serving bowl, place bacon drippings. Empty refried beans into the bowl on top of the bacon drippings. Spread out evenly in the bowl. Sprinkle the beans with taco seasoning.
Place the bowl in the microwave and heat for 3 minutes. Remove from microwave, stir everything together and microwave mixture for an additional 2 minutes or until bubbling and heated through.