Mashed Pinto Beans with Bacon and Manchego (Refried Beans?)

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I don’t really like refried beans…or, so I thought.

When I eat at a Mexican restaurant, I’ll typically ask them to substitute black beans (if possible) or just take a few bites of the refried beans on my plate (the bites with the cheese, of course).  I’ve just never found them particularly flavorful and I think I’m also a little turned off by the texture.   That was, of course, until I made my own refried beans…which I didn’t realize at the time were refried beans.

Drawing up my menu for the week, I wrote this side dish I had dreamed up in my head as “mashed pinto beans with bacon.” This got me wondering how exactly refried beans are made and it turns out that, well, they’re not exactly refried.  In actuality, most refried beans call for pan-frying beans in some type of fat (oil, lard, bacon), which is what makes them refried. Well, actually it’s what makes them “well-fried.” According to Rick Bayless, “refried” is just a poor translation. So, it looks like what I’ve made here really are refried beans but with some added flavors, manchego cheese, and I’ve kept the bacon right in there rather than just using drippings. As for the texture, when you make these at home  you can control that far better than what you eat when you’re out, so I made mine a little thicker and chunkier.  We absolutely loved these, and it’s nice to have a new bean side dish in the rotation instead of eating black beans all the time!

Mashed Pinto Beans with Bacon and Manchego (Refried Beans?)

  • I had beans in my head for supper tonight and you come up with this recipe……I think my recipe hunt came to a sudden halt. Thx Elly, I think it will be great!!!

  • I had beans in my head for supper tonight and you come up with this recipe……I think my recipe hunt came to a sudden halt. Thx Elly, I think it will be great!!!

  • I am enjoying this kicked up version Elly. It would have me eating refried beans in a regular basis.

  • I am enjoying this kicked up version Elly. It would have me eating refried beans in a regular basis.

  • Who knew that “refried beans” was a poor translation? I love your version…extra bacon please! And the manchego on top is a great touch too!

  • Who knew that “refried beans” was a poor translation? I love your version…extra bacon please! And the manchego on top is a great touch too!

  • Ben

    HAHA, yes, those would be refried beans. I want to try them with bacon fat now, it sounds delicious!

  • I’m sure any commercial version has lard so this is healthier and fresher. I, personally, prefer the cheese in tact and not melted and I love the addition of the scallions.

  • I’m sure any commercial version has lard so this is healthier and fresher. I, personally, prefer the cheese in tact and not melted and I love the addition of the scallions.

  • No refried beans for you? Well, honestly, I would take yours (especially with that manchego) over the norm any day!

  • Ivy

    This sounds delicious!

  • I always had a strange affinity for refried beans! Never contemplated why they were labeled as such … even though I was sure they weren’t fried and then fried again 😉

    These pinto beans sound amazing. Great recipe Elly!

  • Wow, these look very tasty…beans, bacon and cheese…yummie!

  • They look yummy! I love refried beans. 🙂

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  • I made these beans last night to go with our chicken enchiladas and we both flipped over them! SO good, Elly!!

    • So glad you liked them, Tara!

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