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Chorizo Refried Beans

Chorizo Refried Beans being cooked in the skillet.

These Chorizo Refried Beans are delicious. A bit time-consuming, and slightly labor-intensive at the very end, but very much worth it if you ask me. I got the idea for these from Chuys Tacos Dorados, a taco joint in California that I found on Instagram and have obsessed over for years. They serve a couple of crunchy tacos with Chorizo refried beans on top, and doesn’t that sound delicious? That was rhetorical.

It’s exactly what it sounds like: creamy refried beans combined with flavorful chorizo sausage. I opted to use chicken chorizo for this Chorizo Refried Beans recipe, but you can stick with the traditional pork, use beef, or even soy-rizo. You’ll need these to make my copycat Chuy’s Idol Beef Tacos. Now I don’t have any idea how Chuy’s makes theirs so I’m not saying these are the same, but they should get the job done if you live on the opposite coast too.

Chorizo Refried Beans being cooked in the skillet.

Chorizo Refried Beans Ingredients

Feel free to jump to the full recipe, but here are useful notes about the ingredients you will need to make this Chorizo Refried Beans recipe:

  • Chorizo: As I mentioned above, I usually opt for chicken chorizo. When I make these and I know my most-of-the-time vegetarian daughter will be partaking I’ll use soy-rizo. Traditionally it’s pork, and that’s obviously fine to use. Just make sure it’s Mexican chorizo, not Spanish chorizo because those are two different types of sausage.
  • Pinto Beans: You’ll need a pound of dry pinto beans for this recipe. If you want to use canned beans I suggest just sauteing some chorizo, making a batch of my Easy Refried Beans, and stirring them together.
  • Water: For both soaking, and boiling the beans.
  • Chicken Bouillon: I use paste, but powdered works fine. Alternatively, you can replace half of the water you boil the beans in with chicken broth. Don’t boil it in just chicken broth or your beans won’t taste like pinto beans.
  • Onion, jalapeno, garlic: Our flavorings. I remove them from the beans after they are tender, but you can leave them in for the final dish, that’s totally up to you. They’ve released most of their flavor and their texture is mush, so they’ll be hardly noticeable in the end.
  • Chili powder, ground cumin, kosher salt: Seasonings. Adjust them to your personal tastes. One of my kids prefers them with a lot more salt and the other kid with less.
  • Vegetable oil: For frying the chorizo and the beans. Whatever fat you want to use is fine.
Chorizo Refried Beans being cooked in the skillet.

How to Make Chorizo Refried Beans 

Full instructions are included in the recipe below, but here is a basic overview of what you’ll need to do, along with some important tidbits to help you make the most of this Chorizo Refried Beans recipe:

  • Soak the beans. I like to soak the beans overnight, or first thing in the morning. It’s just easiest. They need to soak for about eight hours in way too much water. Make sure they’re covered by at least a couple of inches because they will absorb the water and lower the level as time goes on and they need to remain submerged the entire time. When they’re done soaking toss any beans floating on the surface and any other debris, then drain them of all the water.
  • Boil the beans. You’ll need a big pot. I recommend 6 quarts at least and about 10 cups of water. Use more or less if needed – you just want to make sure the beans are covered, again by about two inches of water. Bring the beans along with the jalapeno, onion, and garlic to a boil, then stir in the chicken bouillon and reduce the heat to medium. Let the beans boil until tender, then drain them but reserve all or most of the bean broth that’s formed in the pot.
  • Cook the chorizo. Heat some vegetable oil in a large cast-iron skillet and cook the chorizo, breaking it up into bite-sized pieces (make sure you remove the casing). Just before the chorizo is entirely cooked through, clear the center of the pan to make room for the beans – just push the chorizo out the edges of the pan. Add the remaining vegetable oil to the center of the pan, then pour in the beans.
  • Build the Chorizo Refried Beans. Stir the beans and chorizo together, and once they’re well-combined start stirring in the bean broth, a cup or two at a time. Stir constantly, checking the consistency – the broth will be absorbed pretty quickly. You want the beans to be pretty loose at this point, so if you can see the dry surface of the pan between stirs, add more broth. Once enough broth has been incorporated that you can stir for a good 15-20 seconds without seeing too much of the pan surface between stirs, stir the chili powder and cumin in. Give it a taste and add salt if you need it.
  • Mash ’em. Now it’s time to mash some of the beans. I like to use a potato masher, but you can also the back of a wooden spoon or ground beef tool if you have one of those. Alternatively, you can transfer half to a blender or food processor and puree them, then return them to the skillet. An immersion blender will be fine, too, just transfer the beans to a bowl first so you don’t mess up your skillet. Once the beans are mashed to your desired consistency continue stirring and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan as they cook for about five minutes. They should dry out quite a bit, but don’t add any broth here – you’re pan-frying the beans and the chorizo a bit.
  • FINISH THEM. After five minutes stir half a cup of bean broth into the beans. Once that’s worked all the way, you’ll be the judge of how much more broth you add. You can stop here if you like thick, dry beans. Keep in mind they will dry out even more as they rest. OK, dassit! Enjoy!

What To Serve With Chorizo Refried Beans

These Chorizo Refried Beans would go well with pretty much any Mexican or Tex-Mex meal you’re preparing, but I developed this recipe specifically for one of the other recipes I dropped today: Chuy’s Idol Beef Tacos. They’re deep-fried tacos stuffed with Crispy Mexican Shredded Beef, topped with these Chorizo Refried Beans and shredded cheddar cheese, and I definitely recommend you give it a go – they’re delicious!

Obligatory Pinterest graphic – 

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Chorizo Refried Beans


  • Author: María
  • Total Time: 9 hours 35 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x

Description

I use chicken chorizo, but any kind will work, even soy-rizo! 


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 lb dry pinto beans
  • 1 lb chorizo, casing removed
  • 10 C water, plus more for soaking
  • 1 white onion, quartered
  • 1 jalapeno, halved
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp chicken bouillon
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder

Instructions

  1. The night before you intend you cook this dish add the pinto beans to a large bowl and add enough water to cover them by two inches. Give them a stir and let them soak until you’re ready to cook, or at least 8 hours.
  2. After the beans have soaked you’ll notice that they’ve swelled quite a bit, and some skins might be starting to pop off. Remove any beans floating on the surface of the water, loose skin, and other debris, as well as any beans that just look weird or like they’ve got an attitude. Drain the beans in a colander.
  3. Place a large stockpot on the stove and add the beans to it, along with the 10 cups of water. Use more or less if needed – you just want to make sure the beans are covered, again by about two inches of water. Turn the heat on to high and toss in the jalapeno, onion, garlic cloves, and salt. Stir and bring to a rolling boil.
  4. Once the beans are boiling skim any foam that’s accumulated off the surface of the water, then stir in the chicken bouillon. Once that has dissolved completely turn the heat down to medium and let the beans boil gently until tender, about an hour.
  5. Drain the beans into a large bowl, reserving at least 4 cups of the bean broth that’s formed – how much you’ll need will depend on your preference so save all of it or at least more than you think you’ll need just in case. Pick out the garlic, jalapeno, and onion pieces, and set the beans aside.
  6. Place a large – I recommend 10″ at least – cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add a teaspoon of vegetable oil. Swirl it around to coat the surface of the pan, then add the chorizo – make sure you’ve peeled off that clear skin holding it together, we only want to ground meat inside. Let the chorizo sear undisturbed for two minutes, then use a wooden spoon to break it up into small pieces, turning as you go to ensure it cooks evenly.
  7. Just before the chorizo is entirely cooked through, clear the center of the pan to make room for the beans – just push the chorizo out the edges of the pan. Add the remaining vegetable oil to the center of the pan, then pour in the beans.
  8. Stir the beans and chorizo together, and once they’re well-combined stir in about two cups of the bean broth. Stir constantly, checking the consistency – the broth will be absorbed pretty quickly. You want the beans to be pretty loose at this point, so if you can see the dry surface of the pan between stirs, add more broth.
  9. Once enough broth has been incorporated that you can stir for a good 15-20 seconds without seeing too much of the pan surface between stirs, stir the chili powder and cumin in. Give it a taste and add salt if you need it.
  10. Next, use a potato masher or the back of the wooden spoon to begin mashing the beans. You’ll want to mash about half of the beans. Alternatively, you can transfer half to a blender or food processor and puree them, then return them to the skillet.
  11. Once the beans are mashed to your desired consistency continue stirring and scraping the bottom and sides of the pan as they cook for about five minutes. They should dry out quite a bit, but don’t add any broth here – you’re pan-frying the beans a bit.
  12. After five minutes stir half a cup of bean broth into the beans. Once that’s worked in all the way, you’ll be the judge of how much more broth you add. You can stop here if you like thick, dry beans. Keep in mind they will dry out even more as they rest. OK, dassit! 
  13. Now make some tacos

Notes

  • Refer to the post above this recipe for alternative methods for soaking and mashing the beans. 
  • Prep Time: 8 hours 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
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