Fun twist on a Mexican classic that’ll have picky eaters asking for more

By Jim Bailey

There was no way I was able to get any of my children to eat refried beans, even though I could sit down and be satisfied with a can or two alone.

So I took their favorite food, cheeseburgers, and it wasn’t long before I had them eating refried beans without them even knowing. Although they loved this dish, they are still undecided on refried beans, but at least now they aren’t saying no.

1 small onion, diced small
1 teaspoon minced garlic in oil
1 pound hamburger
1 teaspoon each cumin, chili and onion powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups refried beans*
3 cups red enchilada sauce (see NOTE)
8 flour tortillas
8 ounces shredded Pepperjack or Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.

In a large skillet, heat oil until hot. Add onion and garlic, cooking until onion is softened, but not mushy. Drain oil and add burger, breaking it up. Continue cooking, and breaking up until completely cooked through. Scoop out any accumulating oil.

Add refried beans, stirring to combine. Remove from heat until cooled enough to prevent burning if you touch it.

Pour a half cup enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 13×9-inch pan, spreading out in a thin, even layer, covering bottom.

Place all tortilla shells on a work surface and even divide burger mixture among each. Put the mixture in the center of each in a log shape without going near the edge.

Tuck in the sides slightly and roll each into a firm log. Place seam-side down into prepared pan.

Top with remaining enchilada sauce, cover with cheese and bake 20-25 minutes, or until everything is bubbling, cheese has melted and you’re good to go!

* You can easily and cheaply buy canned refried beans. Or you can go to, put ‘Refried Beans’ in the search tab and make them yourself.

NOTE: As with refried beans, enchilada sauce is cheap to buy. But if you have the time and want to be a little creative, simply place 1 (15-ounce) can vegetable broth, 1 (12-ounce) can tomato paste, 1 cup tomato vegetable juice, 1 cup your favorite salsa, 3 tablespoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon each onion, garlic and cumin powder and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat until boiling. Remove to serve chunky or let cool and puree in a food processor or blender.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Filed Under: Community and Arts LifeThe Yankee Chef

About the Author: Jim Bailey is a third generation Yankee Chef, New England food historian and newspaper columnist. His first cookbook, simply titled The Yankee Chef, has been published. He welcomes all feedback, questions or comments at

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.