RECIPE: Re-create Atlanta restaurant refried beans at home



Between the rich vegetarian black beans at El Tesoro, the classic bean and cheese taco at Taqueria del Sol, and the Sonoran-style beans and rice at Pollo Primo, there’s never been a better time in Atlanta to be a fan of refried beans. When you don’t feel like dining out or ordering takeout, you can take cues from these great dishes to make them at home.

First, you’ll need to be unafraid of adding a generous amount of fat. For these beans I’ve used butter, but if you’re not attempting to make them vegetarian, high-quality lard would also be delicious. For another layer of flavor with minimum effort, add generous shakes of garlic powder to the butter — it takes only seconds to bring its distinct umami notes to a skillet of melted, sizzling fat.

The garlic butter does double duty. A few tablespoons mixed with Italian seasoning are used to flavor quick-cooking microwave white rice that’s a dead ringer for that served at Pollo Primo.

To the remaining butter, I add two cans of black beans and their liquid. While I prefer the flavor of black beans, you can use pinto or kidney beans; the process is exactly the same. These need to simmer for only a few minutes to incorporate the butter. Then, simply mash as much or as little as you’d like and season to taste.

The final touch is a sprinkling of cotija cheese or queso fresco, along with a couple of lime wedges.

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