If you enjoy making and eating Mexican food as much as my family does, then it is definitely worth learning to make refried beans from scratch. Homemade refried beans are healthier for you since the store-bought canned refried beans are usually contain hydrogenated oils and preservatives. The are a great whole food recipe that are also very inexpensive to make. To me, they also taste so much better than the canned alternatives. They really are that good – and you can flavor them any way you like!
In fact, to be honest, I always thought that I didn’t like refried beans. I often tell my husband that the canned versions taste weird or “like dirt.” It wasn’t until I decided to make refried beans from scratch a few years ago that I discovered how much I really do like them. I can adjust the flavors in my recipe to my family’s tastes and I can also control the final texture when I puree them.
Homemade Refried Beans
If you prefer, you may start with canned pinto beans. You would use 2 (15-OUNCE) cans for this recipe. Drained and rinsed well.
- 4 cups Homemade Pinto Beans
- 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 1 cup sweet onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- chicken stock (To thin beans to desired consistency)
- In a large pot or saucepan, saute the onions in the oil until they are soft and translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Add the beans. Stir in the cumin, paprika, salt, chili powder, and black pepper.
- Bring to a slow simmer and allow it all to cook on low heat for 10-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- If the mixture seems too dry, you may need to thin it with a splash of chicken stock.
- Once the beans have cooked for a while and the flavors have had a chance to meld, mash the beans with a potato masher, fork, or an immersion blender to your desired consistency. Adjust seasonings, as needed, to taste. Enjoy!
I usually double or triple this recipe and freeze the beans in 2 cup portions (which roughly the same as one can). I freeze some as pinto beans and the rest as refried beans. When I freeze these as pinto beans for use in soups, stews or rice and beans, I simply add some of the leftover bean broth to them and freeze in quart sized bags. As a rule, beans freeze well and do not become grainy or have an otherwise undesirable consistency after freezing so feel free to make the whole package at once and fill your freezer with quick weeknight side dishes!
If you liked these Homemade Refried Beans, you may also enjoy these recipes: