The pros: Trader Joe's Organic Refried Pinto Beans Salsa Style is tasty, spicy, and affordable.
The cons: This is more of a medium heat, so if you are sensitive to heat you've been warned.
Beans. Say what you want about them. Call them the magical fruit with all the occasional unpleasant side effects, but you can most certainly call them filling. I'm 100% sure no one sits down to a dinner where a bean dish is the star and is hungry an hour later. Same can be said about this can. There are four servings in a can and that makes for a filling meal.
Now, there was a previous rendition of this product that was vegetarian. However, as of June of 2016, the vegan variety made their appearance on the shelves. I can honestly tell you I never had the previous variety, but am happy to tell you that this is a solid product.
Obviously, the biggest change here was the shift from vegetarian to vegan. Beyond that you are getting 15 ounces of refried beans, which is a bit of a misnomer, they aren't refried. They are boiled first and then they are mashed. From the Spanish word "refritos" it's easy to see where the translation becomes refried.
With half a gram of fat per serving, these are refried beans without the refry part. Out of the can, it's not a terribly attractive food to look at. Out of the can it came out looking almost as terrible as a dish my husband loves: corned beef hash. However, once you remove the shape of the can from these refried beans, it looks more like the traditional mash you would expect to see.
The mash is lumpy with hints of salsa. You could see the occasional tomato and chili pepper here and there, but it looked nothing like the more familiar pico de gallo. Be warned though, it says salsa on the can, but there is no indication of heat levels. This was a lot more on the medium hot side which took me back a little. So if you are planning on serving it to anyone who is sensitive to the heat, then consider yourself warned. I had mine with lots of other fresh items like tomatoes, rice, and cheese which all helped to temper the heat in this product.
Overall, for $1.29 this is one of the better refried beans on the market. I'd recommend it if you are willing to have your refried beans with a medium heat. As for me, I'll buy a few more of these to keep on hand for some easy meals.
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
The can of Trader Joe's Organic Refried Pinto Beans Salsa Style:
The nutritional information:
The ingredients and how to prepare:
How Trader Joe's describes this product:
Would I buy this again? Yes, I would buy Trader Joe's Organic Refried Pinto Beans Salsa Style again. It was quick, easy, nutritious, and tasted good. It made for a few inexpensive dinners (and huevos rancheros the next morning).
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!