How to Make Refried Beans from Scratch

Refried Beans are considered as a staple food in Mexican cultures and is pretty easy to make. All you need are beans, water and a pot, the rest are just the accessories that you include to enhance the taste of the dish.

Prep time: 1 day
Cook time: 30 min
Total time: 1 day and 30 min
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Utensils: Saucepan, large bowl, wooden spoon, measuring cup, serving plates.

Cooked pinto beans: 4 cups
Butter, coconut oil, beef tallow: 3 tablespoon
Chopped onion: 1 cup
Cloves minced garlic: 5
Cumin: 2 1/2 tablespoon
Paprika: 2 tablespoon
Sea salt: 2 tablespoon
Chili powder: 1/2 tablespoon
Black pepper: 1/2 tablespoon
Milk, as needed (water or bean broth can be used if your family is dairy-free.


  • 1

    Use a large bowl and place the dry beans in it. Fill the bowl with considerable amount of water, enough to dip the dry beans 1 or 2 inches in the water. Allow the beans to be soaked overnight. Remember that one cup of dry beans equals to 3 cups of cooked beans. So measure how much you need to cook accordingly.

  • 2

    Drain and rinse the beans next day. Cover them with fresh water and simmer them for a couple of hours until they’ve turned tender. Don’t rush in on preparing the utensils for the next step as you’ll have plenty of time to do that.

  • 3

    Put the onions in a large pot or saucepan and heat them until they’re soft and translucent. After heating the onions, add the minced garlic, cooking it for a further 1 to 2 minutes.

  • 4

    Add your beans in the saucepan. Make sure that if your beans are dried and without liquid, add extra water or milk.

  • 5

    Include some cumin, paprika, salt, chili powder and black pepper in the mixture.

  • 6

    Allow the mixture to cook on low heat for about 10 to 20 minutes. Make sure that you stir it continuously so that the mixture doesn’t end up being sticky.

  • 7

    If the mixture has turned dry, you’ll need to add a bit of water or milk in it.

  • 8

    Once the beans have been thoroughly cooked, it’s time to spice up things a bit. Mash the beans with a potato masher or a heavy wooden spoon. Whether you want to leave slightly chunky beans or a super smooth mixture, it’s entirely upon you. Sprinkle some pepper or red chilies upon it as you like.

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