Frijoles puercos are a creamy, savory, and versatile Mexican dish made with refried beans, chorizo, and cheese. This is perfect served as a dip with tortilla chips or as a side dish to accompany your favorite meal.
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What Are Frijoles Puercos?
Frijoles puercos translates to “pork beans” in English due to its two main ingredients: pork and beans. The beans are typically pinto beans blended up with different seasonings and vegetables. For the pork, the Northern Mexican version of this recipe traditionally uses pork lard, chorizo, and bacon to really emphasize the pork flavor.
Although my recipe has a few substitutions, like using vegetable oil instead of pork lard, I assure you the pork flavor is still there. I wanted a version of this dish that kept all the delicious flavors but offered (slightly) healthier ingredients. That way, everyone can enjoy it, and you’re more likely to make it over and over.
Frijoles puercos are known for being served at parties. They’re common at Christmas, baptisms, and birthday celebrations, earning them the nickname “party beans”.
However, you don’t need a big event to make this recipe and enjoy it at home with some tortilla chips. They are so filling and rich that sometimes the dip is all you need for a night in!
- Beans: You can use canned pinto beans or homemade pinto beans. If using canned, don’t drain and rinse the beans. You’ll need the bean broth to add flavor!
- Peppers: To add that delicious smoky flavor, I use chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
- Chorizo: You can use your favorite store-bought beef or pork Mexican chorizo, or you can make your own using my chorizo recipe.
- Cheese: Chihuahua shredded cheese melts beautifully, but feel free to use Oaxaca or Monterey Jack.
- Oil: I use vegetable oil to cook my meat, but traditionally people use lard or shortening. Feel free to use whichever fat you prefer.
How to Make Frijoles Puercos
Blend: In a blender, add the pinto beans, chipotle peppers, onion, Mexican oregano, and garlic. Puree until smooth.
Cook: In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook the Mexican chorizo in a little oil for 8 minutes, making sure to break up the meat until fully cooked.
Pour in the blended bean mixture and cook for another 3 minutes.
Mix: Take off the heat and stir in the cheese until it melts.
Serve: Top with extra cheese, pork cracklins, avocados, or chopped jalapeños, then serve immediately!
You can enjoy these frijoles puercos as a quick bean dip with homemade tortilla chips, or as a side to many traditional Mexican recipes. Here are a few recommendations:
- Make your own Mexican chorizo if possible. If using store-bought chorizo, remove the casing before cooking.
- For extra flavor, add 4-6 slices of cooked and chopped bacon or ¼ cup pickled jalapeños when mixing the bean and chorizo mixture.
- If using canned beans, make sure not to drain the liquid! You’ll be using it in the recipe.
- If using homemade beans, you’ll need about 4 ½ cups of cooked beans and 1 ½ cups of bean broth. You can use cooked beans following my stovetop or crockpot bean instructions.
- Blender. Having a high-speed blender helps tackle any job in the kitchen, especially in making a smooth consistency.
- Cast iron skillet. Nothing beats a good high-heat skillet to cook, bake, or make something cheesy in.
Storing and Reheating
To store: Let the beans cool completely, then place them in an air-tight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
To reheat: Place the leftover frijoles in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Heat for 5-10 minutes until warmed through.
Photography by Ashley McLaughlin.