Make Canned Refried Beans Way Better With This Briny Ingredient

Canned refried beans on shelf
Canned refried beans on shelf - JHVEPhoto/Shutterstock

Whether you're pairing them with an enchilada platter or stuffing them into burritos, refried beans are a staple food in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. Creamy, lush, and decadent, the only downside to this delicious bean dish is that it requires some elbow grease to prepare. Typically made from whole beans that have been cooked, mashed, and pan-fried with fat, scratch-made refried beans aren't as convenient as their canned counterparts. Sometimes, however, canned refried beans are stodgy, flavorless masses of legumes with a taste and appearance better suited for a pet than a person. Although it may sound uncommon, introducing pickle juice to canned refried beans gives them a new lease on life.

The acidity and tanginess of the pickle juice cuts through the heaviness of the beans, giving them a much-needed refreshing and uplifting edge. Similarly, the vinegar in pickle juice can tenderize and loosen up the concentrated brick of beans, facilitating a smoother and more spoonable texture. Not only does pickle brine improve the consistency of canned refried beans, but it can also enhance its flavor. The tangy, bright essence of pickle juice will add depth and complexity to a bland, gray-tasting batch of canned refried beans.

This zippy kitchen hack is as simple as introducing a dash of pickle juice to your canned refried beans while they cook until they've developed a more appealing texture. Because you can stir the beans continuously and manually distribute the brine throughout the beans, stove-top heating is preferred to microwaving.

Read more: 12 Canned Foods You Should Avoid At The Grocery Store

The Many Forms Of Pickled Produce

Assortment of pickled vegetables
Assortment of pickled vegetables - Antonovskay Anzhella/Shutterstock

Beyond the quintessential pickled cucumber, there are many types of pickled produce juice to consider adding to your canned refried beans. Don't know where to start? Think of your favorite veggie, because if it grows from the ground, it can be pickled!

To match the spicy, flavorful spirit of Mexican food, pickled jalapeño juice is a great alternative to classic dill cucumber pickles. At once zesty and fiery, the heat of the pickled peppers invites an air of excitement to canned refried beans that pair well with a variety of other classic Mexican and Tex-Mex provisions.

For a savory and familiar taste, mix pickled garlic juice into your canned refried beans. The satisfying, sharp flavor will give the boring refried beans a mouthwatering bravado. Plus, everything goes well with garlic, so you don't have to worry about omitting your favorite foods when you make a plate featuring pickled garlic juice-infused refried beans.

Pickled red onions are another classic pickled vegetable. Imbuing your canned refried beans with the juice of pickled red onions is an easy way to achieve a tart, tangy, and bold flavor profile that maintains a satisfying allium punch. The onions taste great topped on the refried beans, as well.

Jazzing Up Pickled Canned Refried Beans

Refried beans with cheese
Refried beans with cheese - Guajillo studio/Shutterstock

A dash of pickle brine can boost the flavor and texture of a not-so-appetizing can of refried beans, and you don't need any more than that. However, if you want to take things one step further, you can zhuzh up your briney beans with complementary ingredients for a batch of restaurant-quality refried beans.

To match the tanginess of the pickle brine at the heart of your revived refried beans, spoon a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream atop the final product for a creamy, zesty, and downright rich batch of beans that is tailor-made for stuffing into breakfast tacos. If lush dairy products aren't for you but your canned beans still need some full-bodied richness, consider topping the beans with crumbly cotija or a soft, moist queso fresco.

For a garden-fresh pick-me-up, top the pickle-infused refried beans with pico de gallo or salsa for a refreshing twist that blends seamlessly with the acidity of the brine. No pico or salsa on hand? Cut up some fresh cilantro or parsley to give the beans an aromatic flair you can taste and smell.

Whichever way you remix your canned refried beans, don't forget the pickle juice. Not only does this simple kitchen tip improve a bad batch of beans, but it also puts leftover pickle juice to good use.

Read the original article on Daily Meal