Refried beans

Refried beans ("frijoles refritos") is a dish of cooked and mashed beans and is a traditional staple of Mexican cuisine, Latin American cuisine, and the cuisine of the Southwestern United States.

Ingredients and preparation

Refried beans are prepared with either black or pinto beans - not red beans (Livi). Once the beans have been prepared charola style (i.e. the raw beans are soaked overnight and then stewed) they are drained of most of the remaining liquid, converted into a paste with a bean masher (same as a potato masher, or in its absence, a fork or the back of a large flat spoon) and fried with lard, typically in a cast iron pot or skillet. If a vegetarian version is desired, vegetable oil may be substituted for the lard. Often, onion, garlic, and spices are sautéed in the oil before the beans are added. The cooked beans are then partially or completely mashed and bean or chicken/vegetable stock is added if the consistency is too dry.

They may also be served as a side dish accompanying a larger meal, or rolled in a tortilla to form a bean burrito.

In the US, refried beans are most commonly made from pinto beans. They are served as a side-dish with most Mexican restaurant meals. They also have become very popular as a dip for corn tortilla chips, although this usage has never really caught on in its native Mexico. Refried beans are also a primary ingredient in many tostada, chimichanga, and pupusa recipes. In addition, they are a typical ingredient in layered dips, such as seven layer dip, in nachos, and are especially implied when a dish is referred to as nachos grande.

A typical dish, similar to enchiladas is "enfrijoladas" wherein slightly fried tortillas are slathered in the bean paste from frijoles refritos.


The English term "refried", often interpreted as "fried again", is a mistranslation of the Spanish word "refrito". The prefix "re-" is commonly used in Mexican dialects to add emphasis to words. The beans are fried only once and the term refrito is actually a reference to overfrying the bean paste so that it dries out to retain a shape for serving purposes:


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • refried beans — ☆ refried beans [rē′frīd΄ ] n. a Mexican dish consisting of beans, esp. pinto beans, that have been simmered till tender, then seasoned, mashed, and fried …   English World dictionary

  • refried beans — 1957, translating Sp. frijoles refritos …   Etymology dictionary

  • refried beans — noun dried beans cooked and mashed and then fried in lard with various seasonings • Syn: ↑frijoles refritos • Regions: ↑Mexico, ↑United Mexican States • Hypernyms: ↑dish * * * refried beans f11 …   Useful english dictionary

  • refried beans — re|fried beans [ˌri:fraıd ˈbi:nz] n [plural] [Date: 1900 2000; Origin: Translation of Spanish frijoles refritos] a Mexican dish in which beans that have already been cooked are crushed and then ↑fried with spices …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • refried beans — re|fried beans [ ,rifraıd binz ] noun plural a food from Mexico that consists of cooked beans that are FRIED with spices …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • refried beans — re′fried beans′ n. pl. coo Mexican style cooked beans that have been mashed and fried, often with onions and seasonings • Etymology: 1955–60 …   From formal English to slang

  • refried beans — noun plural Date: 1957 beans cooked with seasonings, fried, then mashed and fried again …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • refried beans — Mexican Cookery. dried beans, cooked and mashed and then fried in lard, sometimes with onions and other seasonings. Also called frijoles refritos. [1955 60; RE + FRIED] * * * …   Universalium

  • refried beans — noun A dry to mushy paste made by boiling, mashing and then frying particularly pinto or black beans, included in or served as anything from a main dish in Central America to a dip in the Southern U.S …   Wiktionary

  • refried beans — plural noun (in Mexican cooking) pinto beans boiled and fried in advance and reheated when required …   English new terms dictionary

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