The Splendid Table's Refried Beans with Cinnamon and Clove

October 22, 2013

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
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 20 min


  • 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
  • 1 (14-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
In This Recipe


  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.

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