Recipe: Refried pinto beans

I am pretty sure that pinto beans originated in Peru but I always associate them with Mexican cooking. They provide plant based fibre, protein, manganese, iron and other important minerals. Just 1 cup of pinto beans gives you about 15g of protein. Beans are a really important element of plant based eating but alot of people struggle with how to make them interesting, tasty and flavoursome. I have beans at least three or four times a week in some shape or form so I have had to think alot about how to add variety to how I cook them and what flavours I use. Beans can be cooked in many different ways, such as in a tomato sauce, a vegetable chilli, in soups, in tahini and even in sweet cakes. I am a big fan of Mexican flavours so one of my favourite ways of preparing beans is by making refried pinto beans. This receipe is so delicious and can be eaten in lots of different ways, for example, on its own or served with a baked sweet potato or prepared as a dish for a larger Mexican style banquet. Delicioso!!

P.S. I should say this is a little on the hot side. So for anyone with milder tastebuds, you may want to either cut back on the chilli and chipotle or give this recipe a skip.

P.P.S. This isn't the nicest looking of dishes on the plate so don't be put off by that. It tastes so yum and is real comfort food. I even included Coco and Teddy to make the picture pretty!


1 tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 teaspoons of chilli powder

2 teaspoons of chipotle flakes

4 cups of pinto beans

1/2 cup of water

Sea salt and pepper to season


Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.

Add the onion and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so.

Add the chilli powder and chipotle flakes and cook for another minute or so.

Add the beans and cook for about another 3 minutes. Add the water and remove the beans from the heat. Use a potato masher or fork to roughly mash the beans. Season to your liking with salt and pepper.

Here I served this dish with lettuce, brown rice and avocado. It is also delicious served on a baked sweet potatoe or with sweet potato wedges along with homemade guacamole or tomato salsa.

#recipes #food #mains

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DESIGNED BY Frances Walsh 

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