In the vibrant tapestry of Mexican cuisine, beans emerge as a cornerstone, offering not only sustenance but also a rich canvas of flavors, textures, and colors. From the comforting embrace of a humble bean stew to the artistic presentation of a refried bean taco, the myriad types of beans used in Mexican cooking contribute to the diverse and intricate culinary landscape of the country. With this in mind, we at Eddie’s Mexican Restaurant would like to highlight common beans used in Mexican Cuisine.
Beans have been a staple in Mexican cuisine for centuries, dating back to pre-Columbian times when indigenous cultures cultivated various bean varieties as a primary protein source. Today, these legumes continue to be an integral component of Mexican dishes, celebrated for their versatility, nutritional value, and ability to absorb the rich flavors of the ingredients they’re paired with.
One of the most iconic beans in Mexican cuisine is the black bean (frijol negro). These small, ebony gems are often used in dishes like frijoles refritos, or refried beans, where they are cooked until tender, mashed, and then fried to create a smooth, savory paste. Black beans are also commonly featured in soups, stews, and alongside rice, providing a hearty and earthy foundation to countless meals.
Pinto beans (frijol pinto) take their name from their distinctive mottled appearance, resembling a painted canvas. They’re beloved for their creamy texture and slightly nutty flavor. Pinto beans are a staple in dishes like chiles rellenos, where they are stuffed inside roasted poblano peppers and often topped with a rich tomato sauce.
Red Kidney Beans
Red kidney beans (frijol colorado) add a robust presence to Mexican dishes. Often used in chili con carne, these beans hold their shape well and absorb the bold flavors of spices and meat. They’re also found in traditional stews like frijoles charros, a cowboy bean stew enriched with bacon, chorizo, and aromatic herbs.
Peruano beans (frijol peruano) bring a delightful creaminess to the table. Their pale color and delicate texture make them perfect for dishes where a smooth consistency is desired. These beans are often featured in soups, such as sopa de lima, a fragrant and tangy Mexican lime soup.
The Mayocoba bean (frijol mayocoba) shines with its buttery, velvety texture. Its flavor is mild yet distinct, making it an ideal companion in dishes that showcase subtler profiles. Mayocoba beans work wonders in salads, rice dishes, and as a filling for tamales.
Authentic Mexican Cuisine in Las Vegas, Nevada (Just Minutes from Summerlin, North LV, Paradise, Lone Mountain & Henderson, NV)
While these are just a few examples, the world of Mexican beans extends even further. Black-eyed peas (frijol caupí), flageolet beans (frijol flageolet), and various heirloom bean varieties showcase the country’s commitment to culinary diversity. In Mexican cuisine, beans go beyond mere sustenance; they are vehicles for tradition, innovation, and cultural expression. Whether starring in a beloved family recipe passed down through generations or integrated into contemporary culinary creations, beans continue to embody the soul of Mexico’s culinary heritage. As a canvas for flavor, a source of sustenance, and a symbol of unity, the multitude of beans used in Mexican cooking forms a vibrant mosaic that celebrates both the past and the future of this dynamic cuisine. Though we do not feature all of these common beans used in Mexican Cuisine, we do use several types to specific dishes. When you have a craving for Mexican food in the Las Vegas Valley, try out Eddie’s Mexican Restaurant for lunch and dinner and satisfy your cravings.