Bernardo’s Mexican Mashed Pinto Beans with Fresh Cilantro and Lime

My gardener Bernardo shared this pinto bean recipe and it has to be one of the most delicious and easiest dishes to make. Bernardo is more of a family friend than my gardener – he has been working with me for over fifteen years; has seen my eldest daughter grow into a young woman, and seen the twins grow from babies to sixteen year old teenagers.

Bernardo loves gardening and landscaping – its his passion. Our friendship began out of our mutual appreciation for gardening and nature.  If Bernardo happens to see me putsing around in my garden whenever he is over for his weekly maintenance he always chats up a conversation. He loves to share his life stories, his gardening tribulations, asks about my Dad who likes to talk to Bernardo when he visits, and sometimes Bernardo will even share gardening stories about his various other client’s gardens.

During one of our conversations recently Bernardo casually asked me if I wanted any tangerines – it turns out one of his clients has a giant tangerine tree that has over 2000 oranges 🍊🍊🍊🍊🍊!!  The tree is so full of fruit that his 85-year old client whom he describes as “springy and the most active 85-year old he has ever seen” was afraid the branches were going to break. She asked him if he could pick the fruit and when Bernardo asked her what she wanted to do with all the tangerines, she told him she only wanted a handful. The rest she asked him to take for his family and friends. Bernardo told me jokingly “People who have lots of fruit on their fruit trees don’t want them, and the people who don’t have much fruit want more fruit.” 😀😀  I told him we humans are never content, we always want what we don’t have 😀.


I was the recipient of this generous bounty – over 300 tangerines! When Bernardo shared these tangerines he literally had a giant garbage bag full of them. Of course I shared these with my friends and family.



Back to Bernardo’s recipe, on one of our chat sessions Bernardo shared a recipe for what he called his comfort food after a long days work when he is not in the mood for a meat-based meal.  He called his comfort food – Mexican mashed pinto beans with fresh cilantro and lime.


Bernardo said he has a bowl of mashed pinto beans just by itself however one can turn it into a substantial light lunch or dinner just by topping it with fresh salsa and avocado and having it with a side of Mexican rice. This is my type of recipe – simple, easy, healthy, and delicious.


Bernardo’s Mexican Mashed Pinto Beans with Fresh Cilantro and Lime
makes 2-3 servings


  • 3 15oz cans pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1 jalapeno very finely cut. To make the jalapeno less spicy remove the seeds and then cut into small pieces.
  • A generous amount of fresh cilantro finely chopped. Bernardo said to be generous with the amount of cilantro as it adds a lot of flavor to the pinot beans.
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lime



  • In a pan heat 2 tbsp oil. Add the jalapenos, garlic, and onions and sauté until onions are translucent. About 5 minutes.


  • Add the pinto beans, salt and 1-cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook covered for 5 minutes. Turn the stove off.
  • Next mash the pinto beans. I used an immersion hand blender to make it easy.
  • Add a generous amount of fresh chopped cilantro and lightly mix-in. Mexican mashed pinto beans are ready.
  • Serve warm with lime wedges, salsa and avocado.



13 thoughts on “Bernardo’s Mexican Mashed Pinto Beans with Fresh Cilantro and Lime”

  1. The mashed pinto beans recipe of Bernardo which you posted looks so good that I will definitely make it. My sister Sharada makes it from fresh beans into chilli dish.

  2. When I grew citrus trees, the fruit was a by product. Grapefruit was my favorite, but also the least abundant. Tangerines were exquisite, but also the most perishable. They were best fresh.

    1. You are welcome! I am sure your daughter will love this, especially as it is so pure in flavor, I find one of my twins who likes simple low spicey dishes loved this pinto beans with cilantro.

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