Mexican Refried Beans & Yellow Rice: The Real Deal

The Real Deal! Refried Beans & Yellow Rice

Well, we’ve spent the week gathering some scrumptious Mexican main dishes, but where are the recipes for the “not to be denied sides?” Today we dedicate the day to just that, or those 🙂 We’ve all opened up a can of refried beans to find a pasty, cylinder shaped, tasteless, bland blob of? Squeezed and nuked a 90 second pouch or two of the Uncle’s wannabe Mexican rice only to walk away confused and disappointed by the lackluster tastes and pasty textures. I say, “Make it amazing and authentic!” Don’t be shy, they are bursting with traditional flavors and worth the effort and the leftovers can easily be frozen for the next Mexican fiesta! Arriba!

Refried Beans


One 15 1/2-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 medium onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

2/3 to 1 cup chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium canned

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) (optional)


Reserve about a third of beans. Mash the rest of the beans in a medium bowl with a large fork. Set aside.

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook, stirring, until lightly browned. Add spices and cook until fragrant about 1 minute.

Add mashed beans and half the broth; cook, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add reserved beans and the enough of remaining broth to loosen up the beans. Simmer until beans are thick but not pasty, about 2 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in fresh coriander, if desired, and serve.

Yellow Rice


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 teaspoon ground annatto seed

1 1/2 cups long-grain rice, (preferably not converted)

2 1/2 cups water

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 bay leaf


Heat oil in a medium saucepan, with a tight-fitting lid, over medium-high heat. Add onion, pepper, and annatto, and cook, stirring, until somewhat soft, about 2 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, until toasted, about 2 minutes more. Add water, salt, and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Wrap lid tightly with a kitchen towel. Cover rice, lower the heat to a simmer, cook for 20 minutes. Remove rice from the heat and set aside, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove lid and fluff the rice with a fork.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Kori Fisher says:

    What do you mean by “wrap lid tightly with a kitchen towel”?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is a step to keep the flavor & moister in the rice. Simply wrap a clean small kitchen towel around the top before placing on the lid. It’s an optional step, but worth the effort. Thanks so much for your valued question!

      Liked by 1 person

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