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!


  • This is really a great tamales that you made. I love to see the different dish that you make that we are not used to.

  • I love authentic Mexican food and tamales are my favorite when cooked right. These look amazing!

  • Again, wow. I feel like I say that a lot, but I'll tell you this: I mean it every time. Wow.

  • I absolutely need to try this recipe!!! love making tamales!!!!!!!

  • Oh my gosh, Ben… these look fantastic! Yum!

  • Just perusing past recipes and noticed these tamales. I LOVE bean tamales but my aunts in Mexico make them with beans with yerba santa and wrap them with regular corn husks and we eat them with Chicken Mole Poblano. SSSOOOOo GOooodd!!!

  • how do you wrap them

  • please im going to make them tomorrow and i need to know so they look like in the picture

  • hey Ben… Since I moved from LA to the Midwest I’ve been banging my head on a wall trying to find some decent Mexican food. I’ll be giving these a try asap and get me mexi fix. Any tips for these?

    • Eat them with some mole! They are delicious :)

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