Refried Bean Sauce with Eggs on Top

A homestyle Mexican breakfast skillet, just puréed kidney beans and tomato sauce studded with crispy corn tortillas and sautéed onion and pepper, topped with a little cheese and huevos, eggs cooked sunny-side up right in the sauce. Wow. What a hearty, protein packed dish for a weekend breakfast or brunch or even a late-night supper.

Refried Bean Sauce with Eggs on Top ♥, a hearty protein-packed weekend brunch recipe.

A Classic Mexican Recipe, Huevos Cuauhtemoc (Emperor Cuauhtemoc’s Eggs). Real Food, Hearty & Filling. Cooked on the Stove, Finished in the Oven. Budget Friendly. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly. Vegetarian. Naturally Gluten Free.


HIM, making conversation: “So we’re off to Mexico next week, can’t wait to spend a day in the Seasons of My Heart cooking school in Oaxaca.”

HOUSEGUEST, with enthusiasm: “Lucky you! I just love quesadillas.”

HIM, gently. “Quesadillas aren’t really Mexican food.”

HOUSEGUEST, displaying an intimate relationship with the Taco Bell menu. “Oh yes they are. I just love the chicken quesadillas. And the chalupa baja. And the ranchero soft taco.”

HIM, recognizing futility. “See you when we get back. We’ll give you a full report.”

Refried Bean Sauce with Eggs on Top ♥, a hearty protein-packed weekend brunch recipe.

So Forget TacoBell.

Instead, just cook breakfast at home with familiar, easy-to-find ingredients like canned kidney beans, tomato sauce, poblanos and corn tortillas.

This is a protein-packed hearty breakfast, my own adaptation of Huevos Cuauhtemoc (Emperor Cuauhtemoc’s Eggs) and a crowd favorite for a make-it-now or mostly make-ahead brunch. The protein is a welcome change from the high-carb and high-calorie bready stratas so typical of make-ahead brunch recipes.

Refried Bean Sauce with Eggs on Top ♥, a hearty protein-packed weekend brunch recipe.

What Are Refried Beans?

Did you know?! Refried beans aren’t twice-fried beans!

It’s a translation error, somehow rijoles refritos became "refried" beans instead of the intended "well-fried" beans.

So these days, you can buy a can of beans labeled "refried beans". But don't. Really, don't. It's no shortcut and a regular can of kidney beans is cheaper and way more healthy.

Language aside, in this easy egg dish, I love how the puréed beans and tomatoes thicken into a mixture reminiscent of refried beans, just without all the fat and unnecessary calories that are found in canned refried bean products!

Tortilla Strips for Refried Bean Sauce with Eggs on Top ♥, a hearty protein-packed weekend brunch recipe.

What's In These Mexican Eggs? Pantry Ingredients!

In all my recipes and most well-written recipes, every ingredient serves a purpose. Each one matters. Each one contributes to the overall dish. It's not that an ingredient can't be substituted by something else but when choosing the substitute, it's important to understand why the original ingredient was present in the first place.

  • Refried Bean Sauce The sauce's base and beautiful red color come from a can of kidney beans and a can of tomato sauce, puréed in a blender and cooked down a bit in a skillet. Other beans work just fine taste-wise but you'll lose the pretty color.
  • Added Texture But! That sauce needs texture so I add some gently sautéed peppers and a few crisp tortilla strips.
  • Cheese & Eggs Once that sauce is cooked, sprinkle it with grated cheese, a Mexican cheese if you happen to have one but no stress in the cheese department. The eggs are cooked right in the sauce, just use the back of a spoon to make a depression and drop in the eggs. Finish it all in the oven ... and pour yourself a coffee, breakfast will be on the table in no time.

Bookmark! PIN! Share!

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this easy breakfast hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

Refried Bean Sauce with Eggs on Top ♥, a hearty protein-packed weekend brunch recipe.


Hands-on time: 35 minutes
Time to table: 50-60 minutes
Serves 6
A single large skillet works fine for cooking everything but you might need to split the mixture into two skillets to have room for six eggs.
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 corn tortillas, cut in strips, we cut 3x one direction, about 10x in the other
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 poblano pepper or 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 15 ounces canned red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (see TIPS)
  • 16 ounces canned tomato sauce
  • Cooked Refried Bean Sauce
  • Tortilla Strips
  • Sautéed Veggies
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 ounces (85g) grated cheese, preferably Chihuahua or cotija cheese if available, otherwise a "three-cheese Mexican", cheddar, American or another good melting cheese

Heat oven to 375F/190C.

PREP STEPS I'm a prep-as-I-go cook and have written the recipe for this style. But other cooks may want to prep a few things before beginning to cook, especially if cooking when there are distractions / commotion in the kitchen. This includes (1) slicing the tortillas (2) chopping the onion and peppers (3) blending the beans and tomato sauce in the blender (4) grating the cheese (5) chopping the cilantro. In fact, each of these could be done way ahead of time, even the night before serving, say. Just refrigerate separately. For a real make-ahead breakfast, you might even do a lot of the cooking ahead of time, including (1) crisping the Tortilla Strips (2) cooking the vegetables (3) blending and cooking the Refried Bean Sauce to thicken. That's 80% of the cooking and 80% of the dishes, done ahead!

CRISP THE TORTILLA STRIPS In a large, oven-safe skillet, heat the 1/2 tablespoon olive oil until shimmery, fry the tortilla strips until crispy. While they're crisping up, there's plenty of time to chop the vegetables, rinse and drain the beans, grate some cheese. Once the strips are done, lift them out of the skillet and set aside.

SAUTÉ THE VEGETABLES In the same skillet (no need to clean it out), heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmery, add the onion and peppers and sauté until just soft. Lift the onion/pepper mixture out of the skillet, set aside, it's okay to put them on the same plate as the Tortilla Strips but don't mix them together.

BLEND & COOK THE REFRIED BEAN SAUCE While the vegetables cook, purée the beans and tomato sauce in a blender until smooth. (Be sure to rinse the blender afterward, this stuff dries like adobe!)

After the Sautéed Vegetables have been lifted out, add the Refried Bean Sauce to the skillet and cook on medium high (take care, it can really bubble up, see TIPS), stirring often, until it thickens some, though not so much that it turns into a gummy paste (see TIPS).

If making in advance, stop here and refrigerate each of the prepped ingredients separately. Rewarm the bean-tomato mixture before proceeding.

COMBINE (At this stage, two skillets may be needed for there to be enough room for all six eggs. If so, transfer half the mixture to a second skillet.) Stir the Tortilla Crisps and Sautéed Vegetables into the Refried Bean Sauce.

With the back of a spoon, create six "cradles" in the combined mixture. Sprinkle the skillet with cheese, then gently break an egg into each depression.

BAKE for 15-20 minutes or until the eggs are cooked.

FINISH Sprinkle the top of the Refried Bean Sauce and cooked eggs with cilantro.

SERVE with additional warm corn tortillas and savor!

ALANNA's TIPS The combination of tomatoes and red kidney beans produce the sauce's beautiful red color. For flavor and texture, black beans work, pinto beans work, other beans work, but do sacrifice the pretty color. The Refried Bean Sauce can bubble up like the mud volcanoes at Yellowstone so wear an apron, keep stirring or cover and cook more slowly. For softer yolks, fry the eggs separately until just set, then gently slip them into the "cradles" and finish cooking under the broiler.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Serving: 248 Calories; 12g Tot Fat; 5g Sat Fat; 225mg Cholesterol; 800mg Sodium; 20g Carb; 5g Fiber; 7g Sugar; 13g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 5 & PointsPlus 6 & SmartPoints 8 & Freestyle 4 & myWW green 7 & blue 4 & purple 4
Adapted from The Art of Mexican Cooking, the 500-page tome of "traditional Mexican cooking for afficianados" where cookbook author Diana Kennedy never once mentions nachos and dispenses with both quesadillas and chalupas in three pages. My Disclosure Promise

A Mexican-Style Brunch Menu

Mexican Fruit Salad

Refried Bean Sauce with Eggs on Top
(recipe above)
with Lime Crema,
Warm Corn Tortillas, Sliced Avocado & Sliced Tomato
& Quick Jalapeño Pickles

Savory Cornbread Muffins

~ Mexican recipes ~
~ egg recipes ~
~breakfast & brunch recipes ~

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)

~ tortillas ~
~ poblanos ~
~ bell peppers ~
~ dried & canned beans ~
~ cheese ~

~ All Recipes, By Ingredient ~
~ How to Save Money on Groceries ~

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2010 & 2021 (repub)

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. You are speaking my language with this breakfast dish. Full of protein and flavor - I wouldn't have to eat again until dinnertime! I got a good chuckle from the conversation that you overheard.

  2. This looks absolutely to die for - I am having this for dinner tonight! Refried beans are a major weakness of mine.

  3. Made this tonight for dinner with some leftover beans, tomato sauce, and stir fried peppers. Added a bit of cumin and paprika and it was great! Thanks for the idea!

  4. Anna Linnea ~ So glad you liked it, I do so appreciate your taking the time to let me know!


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna