It’s meatless Monday and this veteran vegetarian is here to tempt you with a seasonal twist on Mexican Refried Beans. After cooking this up, I can’t believe I never thought to add pumpkin before to this classic favorite.

The pumpkin flavor comes out in a subtle but distinct way that really goes well with the pinto beans and spices in the dish. Serve them up as a dip or as a filling for wraps, topped with some hot sauce and sour cream if desired, or alongside a bed of grains, such as quinoa or rice. I served mine up with some Jalapeño sauce and [highlight]Quinoa Goat Cheese Parmesan Cakes[/highlight].

Refried Beans with Pumpkin

Refried Beans with Pumpkin

Refried Beans with Pumpkin

  • 2 cups dried pinto beans (6 cups cooked)
  • 2 cups plain pumpkin purée
  • 5 to 6 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 2 to 3 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace or nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
  • juice from 1 lime (2 tablespoons)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sea salt, to taste
  • fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Rinse the pinto beans and soak for 8 hours or overnight in several inches of water. Drain and rinse, then transfer to a large saucepan and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Simmer for 50 to 60 minutes or until the beans are tender. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add the pumpkin purée and mash the mixture with a fork or potato masher. Set aside.

Meanwhile, soak the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes, then drain and finely chop.

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the shallot, ginger and jalapeños, and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Now add the spices and continue to stir for another minute. Pour in the fresh tomatoes, add the sun-dried tomatoes, and simmer, stirring often, until the tomatoes are softened and the sauce is thickened, roughly 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet or non-stick frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the mashed beans and pumpkin and tomato sauce. Cook, stirring often, until your desired consistency is reached — about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and season with salt and pepper.

Yields 6 to 8 servings.

Other refried bean classics from my kitchen:
[highlight]Refried Beans with Sun-Dried Tomatoes[/highlight]
[highlight]Classic Refried Beans[/highlight]

Based in London, Ontario, a veteran vegetarian for 22 years serves up a collection of delicious culinary creations from her kitchen, with an emphasis on spicy Indian dishes. If you want to know what sensible vegetarians eat, Lisa's Kitchen is the place to be. All images and writing in this post are copyright Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen

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