Refried Bean Tamales


[donotprint]Before anything I need to post a disclaimer: I did not prepare these tamales. Somebody gave them to my mom but she knew I’d like to post them here so she asked for the recipe. But trust me, they are delicious and are like nothing you’ve tried before.

Getting that out of the way I’ll say that even though I’ve made pipian before (green mole made with pumpkin seeds), my mom’s for me will always be the best. Her recipe is basically the same than the one published on that link, but she only used 1/2 lb of pumpkin seeds, 1 lb tomatillo, 2 serrano peppers, 2 garlic cloves, 1 onion, 1 leaf of hoja santa and chicken broth, about 1 lt. That’s it. One of the most delicious moles you’ll ever had.


The pipian was very good, but what made that dinner incredibly good was the refriend bean tamales that went with it. Like I mentioned above, we didn’t prepare them ourselves, but were given to my mom by a friend of hers. She was kindly enough to share the recipe with her so I could post it here. They are very easy to make and go perfectly with moles of all kinds.[/donotprint]

Refried Bean Tamales
Recipe type: Appetiser
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 15
  • •1 kg (2 lbs) of prepared corn masa dough (see note below)
  • •100 gr (3.5 oz) lard (hmm delicious, right?)
  • •salt to taste
  • •about 2 cups of refried beans, drained
  • •avocado leaves (optional)
  • •corn husks for tamales (found at your local Mexican market)
  1. In a large bowl mix corn masa, manteca and salt. It has to be dry enough to mold.
  2. Extend the resulting dough over a flat surface forming a square of about 2 cms (1/2 to ¾") thick. You can do this in 2 batches
  3. Spread refried beans on top of the masa and carefully roll it.
  4. Cut pieces of about 12.5 cm (5 inches) wrap them in avocado leaves and then in the corn husks.
  5. Cook the tamales in a big steamer for about 35 minutes or until they are thoroughly cooked.
  6. Serve hot with pipian or any other mole.


¡Buen provecho!


  • Those tamales are original! I love refried beans, so I'm sure that I'd gobble this treat.



  • On the list for next year's cooking trials!

  • Lucky you to have such friends Ben. With the mole these must have been incredible.

  • Lucky you! Refried beans are absolutely delicious Ben!

  • Tamales, what a nice gift!

  • Tamales are one (of many) Mexican dishes that I haven't attempted yet but I always love refried beans! The whole shebang sounds delicious!

  • Ben–I think tamales require lard. Period. But I had to make some recently for someone without lard. They were happy with the results, but I wasn't . Have you ever made tamales sin manteca? Is there some secret that would make them passable? Thanks!

    • Victoria, to tell you the truth, I've never made tamales myself! That's something my mom and I will tackle next in our cooking adventures.

  • Just wanted to let you know that the Presto Pasta Nights #193 roundup is now posted. Thanks for sending in your Meatballs with Poblano Sauce recipe!

  • I am going to search for an hoja santa to make the pipian and the tamales are mouth watering….

  • I would love to make some Mexican tamales at home!They look so delicious,Ben!

Leave a Reply