Refried Black Beans with Crispy Garlic Chips

Traditional refried beans at home.

2-3 servings

Time: 30 mins

By Ethan Chlebowski

When I first had beans in Mexico City, there was a flavor I couldn't quite pin point. Later, I learned the signature ingredient was epazote. It’s worth seeking some out, although this recipe makes incredible beans without it too.

Ethan Chlebowski

Ethan Chlebowski



  • The beans

    • black beans
      14 oz can400 g
    • chicken broth
      as needed
    • salt
      to taste
  • The aromatics

    • cooking oil
      , or lard
      30 g2 spoonfuls
    • garlic
      , thinly sliced
      1-2 cloves
    • onions
      , minced
    • epazote
      1 stalk
  • Optional garnishes

    • crema
      a drizzle
    • cilantro
      a sprinkle
    • cotija cheese
      , crumbled
      a sprinkle


Step 1: Make the crispy garlic chips

Set a pan over medium heat and add the cooking oil. Add the garlic slices and until golden brown and crispy. Remove and set aside on a paper towel to drain.

  • These infuse the cooking oil with garlic aromas and will be used as a crispy garnish at the end. Be sure not to overly brown the garlic as it will become bitter.

Keep the infused oil in the pan.

Step 2: Sauté the onions & beans

Add the minced onion and until softened.

Add the black beans and lightly mash with a fork or potato masher.

  • You can add the black beans drained or undrained. Draining them means you’ll need to add more chicken broth in the next step but will have more control over the final texture.

Step 3: Simmer the beans

While continuing to mash the beams, pour in small amounts of chicken broth until they are broken down and the mixture has reached your desired consistency.

Add the epazote stalk and the mixture for 10 minutes to infuse the flavors and slightly the refried beans.

At the end of the 10 minutes, assess the texture of the beans. If you want them looser, turn off the heat and mix in a bit more broth. If you want them tighter, feel free to reduce a few minutes longer.

  • Keep in mind the beans will tighten up more as they cool down.

Step 4: Adjust & garnish

Taste and add salt (it will need some) until the beans are seasoned to your liking.

Serve and garnish with the reserved crispy garlic chips. Optionally top with crema, cotija cheese and cilantro.



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