How To Make Refried Beans

Refried beans are a staple in Mexican cuisine. They are versatile, full of flavor, and can be served with a variety of dishes. Although the name suggests that they are fried twice, in reality, they are only cooked once and mashed. Here’s how to make refried beans at home in just a few easy steps.


1 pound of pinto beans
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons of chili powder
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of salt
4 cups of water
1/4 cup of vegetable oil


1. Rinse the beans
Place the beans in a bowl of cold water and remove any debris. Then, rinse them thoroughly under running water.

2. Soak the beans
Soak the beans overnight in a bowl of cold water. Make sure the water covers the beans by at least two inches.

3. Cook the beans
Drain the beans and place them in a pot with the chopped onion, minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for about two hours or until the beans are soft.

4. Mash the beans
Once the beans are cooked, remove them from the heat and drain the excess water. Mash the beans using a potato masher or a fork until they reach a smooth and creamy consistency. You can also use a blender or a food processor, but be careful not to overdo it, or the beans will become too smooth.

5. Fry the mashed beans
In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the mashed beans to the skillet and fry for about 10 minutes or until they are golden brown, stirring occasionally.

6. Serve your refried beans!
Your refried beans are now ready to serve. Enjoy them as a side dish with tacos, burritos, or quesadillas, or use them as a base for bean dip.


Q: Can I use canned beans instead of dried beans?
A: Yes, you can use canned beans instead of dried beans. However, canned beans are already cooked, so you can skip the soaking and cooking steps and go straight to mashing and frying them.

Q: Can I use other types of beans, not just pinto beans?
A: Yes, you can use other types of beans, such as black beans or kidney beans, to make refried beans. However, keep in mind that different types of beans have different cooking times and may require different amounts of water and seasoning.

Q: Is there a vegan alternative to vegetable oil?
A: Yes, you can use other types of oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil, as a vegan alternative to vegetable oil.

Q: How do I store leftover refried beans?
A: Store leftover refried beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. To reheat them, add a tablespoon of water or vegetable broth before heating them in the microwave or on the stovetop.

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