Kitchen Bootcamp: White bean mash

Mexican white bean mash served with tortilla chipsFor this month’s Kitchen Bootcamp, Jen challenged us to work with legumes or grains.  I was pleased this challenge did not come earlier in the year because after our trip to Mexico at Christmas, we were a little “beaned out” – having eaten some form of beans with pretty much every meal. They really are very versatile and I don’t cook enough with them so was happy to experiment with a dish inspired by our trip.

Take a look at these pictures from our trip (sorry – a few poor quality iPhone pics there…) and see if you can find something they all have in common…

Yup, there’s always a little side of some form of mashed beans, usually topped with queso fresco and sometimes with an accompanying tortilla chip.  I was a big fan of this – it’s a nice, tasty way to build some extra protein into a meal (though you will also notice the abundance of eggs – another food we didn’t eat for a month after the trip!! Protein overload!).

I was excited to try to recreate this little side dish for this month’s Kitchen Bootcamp and was even more excited to find a recipe for a black bean mash on page 819 of The Professional Chef.  As you can see from the pictures above, black beans were served much less often than say, fava beans, so I wanted to recreate something with a lighter bean.  I found myself with a large amount of white navy beans, leftover from my New Mexican green chile stew so I soaked some of these overnight and got to work, tasting along the way to make sure it was on track..

Yield: 10

Mexican white bean mash

Mexican white bean mash served with tortilla chips

Inspired by a recent trip to Mexico where we were served beans with every meal and adapted from The Professional Chef, p. 819

Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 13 hours


  • 1lb (454g) dried white (navy) beans
  • water (or chicken stock) as needed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons oregano powder
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • crumbled feta and cilantro, to serve


  1. Rinse the beans well in cold water.
  2. Soak the beans overnight.
  3. Drain and rinse the beans.
  4. Place the beans in the stock or water combined with the oregano powder and bay leaf (there should be a couple of inches more water than beans)and simmer, uncovered, for about 60-90 minutes or until the beans are tender enough to mash against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. Most of the water should have evaporated. If you have more than about 1/4 cup, drain the excess. Remove the bay leaf and remove beans from heat.
  5. Add the minced shallots, garlic, cumin, cilantro and oregano and, using an immersion blender, mash until the mixture is as smooth or as lumpy as you like it. I like to keep it a bit lumpy - prefer the rustic look.
  6. Mix the olive oil into the beans. This is not a creamy mixture - it's more dry - so if you are serving it a few days later a drop of olive oil should be mixed in to moisten it a little.
  7. Sprinkle with a little crumbled feta and cilantro and serve as you wish - with breakfast scrambled eggs, with tortilla chips as a dip, in a quesadilla…. The possibilities are endless!

did you make this recipe?

please leave a comment or review on the blog or share a photo and tag me on Instagram @eatlivtravwrite !

I served this to Neil for his breakfast yesterday with huevos revueltos con tocino y tortillas (scrambled eggs and bacon with corn tortillas) but since he had been up all of 5 minutes, he found it “too hard” to eat before a coffee. I say that if someone serves you breakfast as you are seated at the breakfast table, you shouldn’t complain.  He did say thank you though 😉

I enjoyed this as a dip and I can see that it would be great in a quesadilla. I also believe it’s pretty darn close to what we were eating at breakfast in Mexico.

Want to join us working through the chapters of the Professional Chef? Check out the Kitchen Bootcamp page here and buy The Professional Chef on or

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37 thoughts on “Kitchen Bootcamp: White bean mash”

  1. We love white beans. As long as you don’t eat them too much you won’t get tired of them easily. So good and if you prepare them light pretty good for you too!


  2. We’ve been eating more beans for the fiber and protein, but also because of how affordable they are. Love to see another great way to prepare them.

  3. Yummy! I make a white bean dip similar to this and it’s always a hit at parties. I like all your extra additions to this dip though–I will have to try!

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  5. I love that the recipe includes a whole tablespoon of cumin. Cumin and beans are such a great combo. I can’t wait to try this 🙂

  6. I had a really tasty white bean mash sitting under some chicken breast for lunch at the tennis last year, from the ‘healthy choices’ or ‘heart tick choices’ or whatever they named the non-crunchy-fried-etc part of the menu of the fancypants cafe at Rod Laver. I really loved it (despite having a little envy of the chips I spied on other peoples’ plates) and thought it really isn’t served enough. I like the nice chunky texture of yours, and when I’m allowed to eat beans again I think I might just have a crack (insert fart joke here).


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