The Canned Refried Bean Upgrade You Already Have In Your Pantry

can of traditional refried beans
can of traditional refried beans - Deutschlandreform/Shutterstock

Refried beans are a deliciously smooth, protein-packed side that you can slather on tacos, pair with enchiladas, or serve alongside virtually any Mexican or Tex-Mex main dish. But how do you make your refried beans restaurant quality when the canned variety can often leave something to be desired? What canned refried beans lack in flavor, they make up for with convenience. All you have to do is add one special ingredient to bring out the savoriness in refried beans, and you likely already have it in your pantry.

Any broth or stock can easily elevate canned refried beans, and you only need a little bit to pack in a wallop of flavor. It's not out of the ordinary either, as it's common to add water or stock to most refried bean recipes. Whether you have a carton of liquid stock or a bouillon cube handy, either choice works for upgrading canned refried beans, imbuing them with a more savory, well-rounded flavor.

Read more: Canned Soups You Should And Shouldn't Buy

Adding Broth To Elevate The Taste And Texture Of Canned Refried Beans

broth in bowl, ladle, vegetables
broth in bowl, ladle, vegetables - Madeleine Steinbach/Shutterstock

While chicken broth or stock adds a meatier savoriness, you can also use vegetable broth if that's what you have on hand. You can even use homemade stock. But if you want to enhance the beans' texture, it's more about how you add the broth or stock to your can of refried beans. The broth will come in handy while you're heating the refried beans on the stovetop. The heat may start to dry out the beans, but the broth will help moisten them back up. You'll want to thoroughly combine the ingredients so the texture becomes silky smooth, gradually adding the broth.

You can even turn to the blender for a quicker, easier refried texture boost. The blender will whip up the canned refried beans and broth together to create a fluffier, creamier consistency without the need to add any cream or cheese. Of course, if richer refried beans call to you, there's no harm in bringing a splash of milk, a spoonful of sour cream, or a handful of cheddar cheese to the party as well.

Other Flavor Boosts For Canned Refried Beans And Serving Ideas

bowl of refried beans, cilantro, lime
bowl of refried beans, cilantro, lime - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Once the texture and flavor of your canned refried beans have been upgraded with your broth or stock, don't be afraid to go even further. If you want to amp up the smokiness, consider adding leftover bacon fat to refried beans. The rendered bacon fat gives the beans a barbecue-like richness, making them more akin to restaurant-quality refried beans. If you'd like to counterbalance the richness of the beans, try a splash of an acidic ingredient. Grab your favorite jar of pickles (or pickled jalapeños for a real kick) and add a dash of vinegary liquid to the refried bean mixture. (A squeeze of lime will also work nicely.)

Now that you've upgraded what could've been a sad, bland side dish from a can into a restaurant-worthy treat, how will you serve them? You can enjoy your canned refried beans in many ways aside from the usual beans and rice combo. Spoon the refried beans over your avocado toast for a breakfast twist, top a spoonful on a burger for a Tex-Mex protein boost, or maybe add them to a slow cooker seven-layer dip recipe.

Read the original article on Daily Meal