The Splendid Table's Refried Beans with Cinnamon and Clove

By • October 22, 2013 7 Comments

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Author Notes: A completely inauthentic cheater's method for light and fast refried beans -- plus an unexpectedly sexy spice combo you haven't tried (on beans) yet. Adapted slightly from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper (Clarkson Potter, 2008).Genius Recipes

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 large onion, chopped into 1/4 inch dice
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • One 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained
  • Two 15-ounce cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Generously film the bottom of a 10-inch skillet with olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions with salt and pepper to taste until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, jalapeño, cinnamon, and cloves, and cook the mix until it is fragrant, about 1 minute, taking care not to burn the spices. Add the tomatoes, crushing them as they go into the pan. (Do this carefully, or they may squirt juice at you.) Sauté for another minute.
  3. Stir in the beans and water. Bring to a fast simmer, crushing the beans with a potato masher as they cook, and scraping the bottom of the pan as the beans begin to thicken. Simmer until the beans are thick, about 10 minutes.
  4. Blend in the butter, and taste for seasoning just before serving.

More Great Recipes: Beans & Legumes|Side Dishes|Tomatoes

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Comments (7) Questions (0)


6 months ago pattyrat

I thought these might be a welcome change, but I personally didn't care for the cinnamon and cloves in this recipe. Prefer my refried beans with the more traditional seasonings - garlic, cumin, chili powder, etc.


5 months ago SoupLady

Sorry to hear it (I really love this recipe); but, I get it, it's a little strange to put cinnamon and clove in beans. I think you could leave them out and use cumin and chili powder instead and they would be very tasty.


8 months ago Pinky TutuTwo

Does anyone know what kind of bowl that is in the accompanying photo??? I inherited this same bowl from my mom and have always loved it but have no idea where it came from!


9 months ago Renee B

This recipe sounds and looks delicious. Would pinto or Roman beans be a good bean substitute? Kidney beans are a much nicer color but don't agree with me.


over 1 year ago Olypeninah

Look no further. This recipe is da bomb. Plain beans? No way. Love the spices! I am so going to make certain my daughter has this memorized before she goes off to college. Soooo good!


almost 2 years ago Burf

genius recipes never cease to amaze me. I've learned not to second guess measurements, textures, preconceptions,…. It's definitely different than what you get out of the can, but my house was totally diggin' this. Fantastic!


almost 2 years ago Polly

Looks more like dal than refried beans.