Chorizo Refried Bean Burrito Salad Bowls with Queso Fresco are packed with layer upon layer of flavor and take just over half an hour to whip up!
If given the choice, I’d choose to cook and eat homemade meals every single day. Sometimes though, we all need a quick meal on-the-go, and if we didn’t see that coming to plan ahead for it, we end up grabbing a quick meal when we’re out. When it comes to take-out and fast food, my preference is usually for a salad bowl. I always enjoy the fresh flavors going on in Mexican and Tex-Mex food! These burrito salad bowls are my answer when I’m in the mood for take-out at home.
Refried beans are beans that have been cooked until soft, and then cooked with some type of fat and flavorings/seasonings (such as onion, garlic, chili pepper, etc.) and mashed. Their name comes from the Spanish name for the dish, frijoles refritos, meaning “well-fried beans”. Pinto beans are commonly used to make refried beans; I’ve also used black beans with good results.
How to Make Refried Beans
Making refried beans is basically a three-step process, but there is a huge time-saving tip that I’ll share: Step 1) cook dried beans until soft; Step 2) cook the soft beans along with some type of fat (such as avocado oil, rendered chorizo, etc.) and flavorings (here I use onion, garlic, and serrano pepper); Step 3) mash the beans until they reach your desired consistency (I like mine to have a bit of texture so I use a potato masher instead of a food processor).
The most time-consuming step in this process is cooking the dried beans until soft, and there are two ways in which you can speed this up. Cook the beans in a pressure cooker, or even easier, use canned beans! I like to use canned beans because I don’t think they make a huge difference flavor-wise for this recipe (that is, if you’re using a good brand of canned beans). Plus, we’re still customizing this recipe in the second cooking step where the beans are fried and combined with other ingredients.
In this recipe I used several Cacique® products to take this recipe from good to great. Taking a little bit of extra time to customize your refried beans recipe (instead of just picking up a can of refried beans) makes a ton of difference when it comes to flavor.
I love the combination of spicy heat paired with the cooling, creaminess of cheese and crema in Mexican and Tex-Mex food. Here Cacique® Beef Chorizo and chili pepper add spice, and Cacique® Queso Fresco and Crema Mexicana cool it down. Cacique® definitely helps to create recipes that savor the flavors of Mexican food without having to spend hours in the kitchen. This recipe comes together in just over half an hour!
WHAT YOU NEED
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 (9 oz/255 g)) tube Cacique® Beef Chorizo
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno or 1/2 serrano, ribs and seeds removed and minced
- 1/4 teaspoon each chili powder, salt, and black pepper
- 1 (15 oz/425 g) can no-salt-added pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup (240 ml) low-sodium chicken, beef, or vegetable stock
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
- 4 cups cooked rice (pro tip: for easy yellow rice, stir in a little turmeric)
- 8 cups leafy greens, such as baby spinach, baby kale, spring mix, or chopped Romaine
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved (see Note)
- 1 cup white onion, diced (see Note)
- 1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped (see Note)
- 8 oz (227 g) Cacique® Queso Fresco
- 8 tablespoons Cacique® Crema Mexicana
- 2 limes, cut into wedges for squeezing on top
HOW TO MAKE IT
- For the Chorizo Refried Beans, add the avocado oil to a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chorizo and cook until browned, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Turn the heat down to medium, add the onion, and cook 5 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and jalapeno or serrano, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the chili powder, salt, black pepper, pinto beans, and stock; bring to a boil, cover, and simmer 5 minutes.
- Mash the beans with a potato masher (or puree in a food processor if you want their texture very smooth).
- You can make the beans up to 3 days ahead and keep them covered in the fridge; they can be reheated in a microwave or on the stovetop. The beans will thicken as they sit, and you can add additional liquid (stock or water) to thin them out as desired.
- Right before serving, stir in the fresh lime juice and top with cilantro.
- To assemble each salad bowl, add 1/2 cup cooked rice to the bottom of a shallow bowl. Add a scoop of the Chorizo Refried Beans, 1 cup leafy greens, 1/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes, 2 tablespoons diced onion, a sprinkle of cilantro, and 1 oz queso fresco. Drizzle 1 tablespoon crema Mexicana on top. Serve immediately, along with lime wedges to squeeze on top.
- NOTES - Tomato, Onion, and Cilantro: I recommend making a quick Pico de Gallo and using that to make these salad bowls.