Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups dried pinto beans
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat or extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions

  1. Rinse the pinto beans in water, removing any debris or defective beans.
  2. Place the rinsed beans into a stock pot. Pour in enough water to cover the beans by a few inches (about 3 quarts, or 12 cups, of water).
  3. Bring the beans to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Continue to cook the beans for 2 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender. Then strain them and pour them into a large bowl. Set the bowl aside.
  4. Finely chop the onion and place it into a small bowl. Mince the garlic and place it into a separate small bowl. Set the bowls aside.
  5. In a heavy skillet, heat the bacon fat or olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion. Sauté until the onions are translucent. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Cook, stirring frequently until the garlic becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  7. Add the strained beans and 1/4 cup of water to the pan. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes.
  8. Reduce the heat to low. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the beans in the pan as they cook until you reach the desired consistency. If the refried beans seem dry, add a splash of water and mix it in.
  9. Remove the beans from the heat. Add salt to taste. Cover until you are ready to serve.

Supplies

  • stock pot with lid
  • colander
  • large bowl
  • two small bowls
  • heavy skillet
  • potato masher or fork

Refried beans are a staple of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. This smooth and creamy side dish will complement almost any food present at a Mexican feast. Whether you enjoy the beans on their own or as a spread to add sweet, earthy flavor to your burritos or tostadas, homemade refried beans are vastly superior to any canned variety.

Are There Other Ways To Prepare Refried Beans?

instant pot

The term refried beans comes from the Spanish phrase frijoles refritos. In Spanish, refritos means "to fry." In our featured recipe, we prepare refried beans on the stovetop by mashing and frying them in a heavy skillet. Refried beans may be prepared in other ways, however -- such as in an Instant Pot. Preparing refried beans in an Instant Pot reduces the time needed to cook the beans and eliminates the need for multiple pots and pans.

Instant Pot Refried Beans

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 1/2 cups dried pinto beans
  • 7 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
bowl of refried beans

Step 1

Set the Instant Pot to sauté and heat the bacon fat or olive oil. Add the chopped onion. Sauté until the onions are translucent. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Step 2

Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Cook, stirring frequently until the garlic becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds. Turn the sauté function off.

Step 3

Add the beans, broth, and apple cider vinegar; stir to combine. Secure the lid, turn the vent to the sealed position, and cook the beans on high pressure for 50 minutes.

Step 4

When the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release naturally for 25 minutes. Then carefully remove the lid.

Step 5

Drain the beans over a large bowl, reserving the bean water. Set the bean water aside.

Step 6

Add the drained beans back to the Instant Pot. Using a potato masher, mash the beans in the pan until you reach the desired consistency. If the refried beans seem dry, add some of the reserved bean water. Serve the beans immediately.

Is It Okay To Use Canned Beans?

can of pinto beans

If you're short on time, and you happen to have a can of pinto beans in your pantry, you can substitute canned beans for dried beans in our stovetop recipe. Before using the beans, drain the liquid from the can. Add 1/4 cup of water for every 15 ounces of pinto beans you use, adjusting accordingly for your desired consistency.

How To Make These Refried Beans Your Own

pot of black beans

Typically, refried beans are prepared with pinto beans; however, don't let that stop you from experimenting. Black beans and kidney beans are popular substitutes. Don't forget that tasty add-ins can help make this dish your own.

  • Try adding a splash of milk for a velvety smooth finish.
  • A dollop of sour cream mixed in will make this dish creamier and tangier.
  • If you like spice in your life, add some jalapeño peppers, or keep it simple with a splash of lime or a garnish of cilantro.
  • Cheese lovers will love the taste of cheddar swirled into the warm, earthy flavors of this yummy dish.

What To Serve With Refried Beans

plate of nachos

Are you looking for some fabulous recipes to pair with your homemade refried beans? Take a look at some of our favorites!

Cooking refried beans is a relatively simple task, and homemade beans are much more delicious than what you can purchase at your local grocer. Once you whip up some of your own refried beans, we guarantee that you'll want to do it again and again.

Subscribe to the Oola Newsletter

Oven-Baked Dutch Baby Pancake Life in Flavor Brittany Baxter Read More
Light And Fluffy Copycat IHOP Pancakes Life in Flavor Brittany Baxter Read More
Copycat Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits Life in Flavor Brittany Baxter Read More
Cookie Settings