Refried Bean Burrito

Original Recipe from Clueless in the Kitchen

My other half and I have been together 13+ years. He is not a vegetarian. As you can imagine eating out at a restaurant is usually a compromise; seldom are both of us happy with the menu choices at the same restaurant. For this reason when we find a place we both really like, it is extremely rare.

Out of coincidence or curse, I’m not sure which, it seems like every time we both like the same restaurant said restaurant will close down within a few months. It’s become a running gag in our relationship. An inside joke even. There was a great little Mexican place very close to where we live that had fantastic, fresh food and the owner was very vegetarian friendly. There were several options on the menu for me, which in of itself is a marvel; and my SO loved the food. Double phenomenon.

We started frequenting this restaurant quite a bit. Almost every other week because it was so good. But we’d never say that out loud; we’d joke that the food was really terrible because we didn’t want to instigate the “curse.” You can imagine our dismay when we were eating there one evening, and we overheard the owner saying he was retiring and selling the restaurant. We were so upset that we had yet again been struck by the curse. We are yet to find a Mexican restaurant that we like as much.

This recipe has managed to fill the hole in our hearts where Santa Fe Cafe once lived, but we’ll always have the memories.

Makes 6 – 8 servings

Refried Beans
1 1/2 TB Olive Oil
1 large green pepper diced
1/2 red pepper diced
1/3 medium sweet onion diced
2-3 garlic cloves minced
2 15.5 oz cans of pink beans
2 16 oz cans pinto beans
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
_MG_66801 tsp cumin
1-2 pinches of red pepper flakes (depending on your tolerance for heat, mine is low)
1 small bay leaf

First make the sofrito. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add bell peppers, onion, and garlic. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until onions become translucent. Add all the beans and the liquid from their cans, add spices increase to high heat. Let the liquids reduce with minimal stirring for about 15 minutes. Then stir, scraping the sides and bottom with a wooden spatula or wooden spoon. Reduce to medium heat and let cook for another 10-12 minutes. By this time, the liquid should be mostly reduced and the beans should have begun to thicken. Reduce heat to low and using the back end of the spatula or spoon, begin mashing some of the beans to create the classic refried bean texture. Stir and mash for another 3-5 minutes. One desired consistency is achieved, remove pan from heat.

_MG_6706PSA: Make sure that you purchase lard free flour tortillas. Yes that’s right my friends. Several of the burrito shells on the market contain animal lard. Please read your labels if you’re trying to avoid these products. Or you can of course make your own. Also, I prefer Cabot White Oak Cheddar or Whole Foods Vegetarian Monterey Jack when making this burrito since they are animal rennet free. Rennet will be the subject of a future post since it is basically my arch nemesis. Also if you’re making a vegan burrito, skip the sour cream and use vegan cheese instead.

Quick tip: To roll the perfect burrito so that all of your fillings don’t fall out of the bottom, place your fillings on one third of the tortilla, then fold up the bottom as shown. Then roll. Perfect burrito every time.  Enjoy!


Nutrition facts per serving refried beans only (6 servings)
Calories: 255
Fat: 3.7 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Potassium: 455 mg
Carbs: 47 g
Fiber: 17 g
Sugars: 2 g
Protein: 14.6 g
Vitamin A: 8%
Vitamin C: 70%
Calcium: 10.5%
Iron: 23%

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