Not to Be Denied Sides: Restaurant Style Refried Beans & Yellow Rice

untitled-10 copy.jpgSo far this week we’ve spent the week gathering some scrumptious Mexican dishes, but where are the recipes for the “not to be denied sides?” Today we dedicate the day to just that, or those 🙂

Most all of us have 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  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 little extra effort. Plus, the leftovers can easily be frozen for the next Mexican fiesta! Arriba!

pinto_beans_cooked.jpgRefried 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 or beef broth, homemade or store bought
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Feel free to double the ingredients. This recipe serves 2


  • 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 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 chopped cilantro if desired, and serve.
    Annatto Seeds

    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–this imparts the lovely yellow color
  • 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.

Serves 4


10 Comments Add yours

  1. Jasmine S. says:

    my favorite part of my meals at mexican restaurants! thanks for sharing! will have to try this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha! Mine too, Jasmine! Thanks, hon ♥


  2. OMG thank you for the tip about the annato seeds! I always wondered where the yellow color came from! If you want totally authentic beans, soak some dried pintos overnight before, then you can pressure cook them for about 20 minutes with water. Drain, then continue with the recipe. Bada boom! Thank you for sharing Lana! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so tickled I helped you find the yellow, Kathryn! Pressure cooker & beans?? How perfect is this!? Next time this will be the way to go! Thanks!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes it is a very quick way to make dried beans perfectly in such a small amount of time! Of course, always read your model’s instructions on how to prepare them. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks again, Kathryn–such a super idea!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Osyth says:

    I have a gulty addiction to refried beans. In England you can’t buy them easily in cans like you can here so I have always made them but this recipe looks so much better than anything I’ve ever made. Don’t tell her but I feel they may be too good for The Bean even if she is half Mexican 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks you, Osyth! Awww, sweet Baby Bean ♥

      Liked by 1 person

  4. We love refriend beans but have always resorted to the can – challenge accepted, will be making it authentically!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! They’re so much tastier this way! I hope you enjoy them!


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