Refried Bean Tacos


8 corn tortillas or small flour/GF tortillas

Pickled Onions
1 medium red onion, sliced very thinly

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup or honey

1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Creamy Avocado Dip
2 large avocados, halved and pitted

1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro (some stems are okay)

1/3 cup lime juice (from about 2 1/2 limes)

1 small jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, roughly chopped

1 tbsp water

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

Easy Refried Beans
1 tbsp avocado oil

1 tbsp coconut oil, if needed

1/2 cup finely chopped yellow or white onion (about 1/2 small onion)

1/4 tsp fine sea salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

2 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup water

2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tbsp lime juice (about 1/2 medium lime), to taste

Recommended Garnishes

sliced jalapeno

shredded green cabbage (for extra crunch)

crumbled cotija or feta cheese

fresh cilantro, chopped

lime wedges


Prepare the onions, avocado dip, and beans as directed, in that order.

Once they’re ready, warm the tortillas in a large skillet over medium heat in batches, flipping to warm each side. Alternatively, you can warm them directly over a low flame on a gas range. Stack the warmed tortillas on a plate and cover with a tea towel to keep warm.

To assemble the tacos, spread refried beans down the center of each tortilla. Top with avocado dip and onions (for reference, I used all of the beans and about half of the avocado dip and onions). Finish the tacos with garnishes of your choice, and serve immediately.

Leftover components are best served separately; reheat the tortillas and beans before serving. Leftover pickled onions and avocado dip are great on quesadillas, nachos or tortilla chips, sandwiches, etc.

Pickled Onions

Pack the onions into a 1-pint mason jar or similar heat-safe vessel. Place the jar in the sink, to catch any splashes of hot vinegar later.

In a small saucepan, combine the water, both vinegars, maple syrup, salt, and pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat, then carefully pour the mixture into the jar over the onions.

Use a butter knife or spoon to press the onions down into the vinegar and pop any air bubbles in the jar. Let the pickled onions cool to room temperature (about 20 to 30 minutes), at which point they should be sufficiently pickled for serving.

Cover and refrigerate leftover pickled onions for later. Quick-pickled onions are best consumed within three days, but they keep for 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Creamy Avocado Dip

Using a spoon, scoop the flesh of the avocados into a food processor or blender. Add the cilantro, lime juice, jalapeño, water, and salt.

Process, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary, until the sauce is smooth and creamy. (If the mixture refuses to blend, add additional water in 1-tablespoon increments, as necessary.)

If you would like a thinner, more drizzly sauce, add water in 1-tablespoon increments until it reaches your desired consistency. Taste, and add more salt if it’s not quite flavorful enough.

Transfer the avocado sauce to a small serving bowl. This sauce keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for about 4 days.

Easy Refried Beans

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onions and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and are turning translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes.

Add the garlic, chili powder and cumin. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the drained beans and water. Stir, cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low and remove the lid. Use a potato masher or the back of a fork to mash up about at least half of the beans, until you reach your desired consistency. Continue to cook the beans, uncovered, stirring often, for 3 more minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Taste, and add more salt and lime juice if necessary. If the beans seem dry, add a very small splash of water and stir to combine. Cover until you’re ready to serve.

Filed in: Mexican, Tacos