Add Broth To Elevate The Flavor And Texture Of Canned Refried Beans

Canned refried beans are a simple yet delicious side dish since all you have to do is reheat them on the stove. They're the perfect, easy companion to Mexican-inspired dishes like tacos or in an Americana seven-layer taco dip. But as any true foodie knows, there's always a way to elevate the flavor of canned foods, including this one. That's why we like to add some broth to get a deeper flavor and creamier texture with our favorite canned refried beans.

Depending on what dishes you're pairing the beans with, you have different options when it comes to broth. If you don't eat meat, or you're serving veggie burrito bowls, go with vegetable broth. However, chicken and beef broths are flavorful companions to those beans if you're making grilled steak tacos or chicken and rice. Only have one type of broth on hand? Whatever variation is already in your kitchen will mix well with the beans to thin out its texture and add more flavor to complement the entire meal.

Elevating canned refried beans with broth

Obviously, homemade broth is the best option, but that takes much more effort, so unless you already have it on hand, then it's probably not worth making it from scratch. Instead, use a pre-made broth or bouillon cubes dissolved in water. If you're sensitive to salt, opt for a low-sodium broth. To avoid making watery beans, start with a small amount and add more to your preference. For a 16-ounce can, we think ¼ cup to ½ cup of broth is sufficient to add flavor and texture without thinning the beans out too much.

Using broth isn't the only way to amp up refried beans. If you don't have broth on hand, add sour cream or cream cheese for richness and to thin out the beans with one ingredient. You might already serve your refried beans garnished with cotija cheese, but we think stirring in mozzarella or sharp cheddar is a way to add more cheesy flavor. Like spice in your food? Stir in hot sauce, chipotle adobo sauce, or saute jalapeño peppers. Perhaps the easiest way to add more flavor to the beans is to open your spice cabinet and add cayenne pepper, garlic, onion, chili powder, or even fresh herbs like cilantro.