Switch Up Your Homemade Refried Beans With A Simple Legume Swap

refried beans with chips
refried beans with chips - Marcos Castillo/Shutterstock

Refried beans are an excellent staple to have in your culinary repertoire. They are tasty, filling, and versatile, with applications ranging from rounding out a seven-layer dip to bulking up your tacos. There are many ways to spice up your refried beans to keep them from getting old, both in the literal sense by adding seasoning, and also by making changes to the beans themselves. For a little more variety in your refried beans recipe, try swapping pinto beans for black beans to introduce novel flavor and texture.

While black beans and pinto beans are similar — they even belong to the same family of legume — there are some noticeable differences that can invigorate your refried beans. While pinto beans taste quite creamy and slightly nutty, black beans have an earthier, more savory flavor. Black beans are also firmer and hardier than pinto beans, meaning the resulting dish may be a bit thicker. This makes them ideal for recipes like tacos, where you want a filling that will stay in place rather than running everywhere.

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Tips For A Successful Swap

black beans soaking in water
black beans soaking in water - Lynne Ann Mitchell/Shutterstock

To substitute black beans for pinto beans, there are only a few things you must take into consideration. Since black beans have a sturdier consistency than pinto beans, they take longer to soak and cook — anywhere from an extra twenty minutes to an extra hour depending on the recipe. If you are using a method that speeds up cook time, such as our instant pot refried bean recipe, this will be less of an issue.

Refrying black beans is a great opportunity to amp up flavors that otherwise wouldn't pair as well with this dish. The earthiness of black beans pairs beautifully with ingredients like mushrooms and huitlacoche to make one-of-a-kind vegetarian dishes. They also take on the smoky flavors of spices like paprika and chipotle chili powder as well as smoked meats like barbacoa extremely effectively, so it is worth pulling them out at your next barbecue.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.