Refried Beans a very basic dish here in South Texas. In fact, it never occurred to me to post a recipe because we make them almost every day here at the ranch! However, I finally got the memo that not everyone makes them (duh!) so here is my recipe!
Start with cooked beans
First, you need to start with cooked beans. Maybe that detail seems crazy obvious, but I have friends and relatives who have never made refried beans and that was their first mistake! But please understand I am here to help, not mock. There are loads of dishes that I am unfamiliar with making (Baba ganoush comes to mind…I haven’t mastered every dish in the world either!)
Once you have cooked beans (here is a recipe and video) it is time to make your Refried Beans. The term “refried” doesn’t actually mean that the beans are fried over and over again. In Spanish, “frijoles refritos” means “beans that have been very well fried” where “fried” can also mean “sautéed.” Technically, “frijoles refritos” are a “guiso” which is a standard way of sautéeing and then stewing. Carne guisada (also a guiso) is made almost identically to Refried Beans.
Frijoles refritos can be served as a side dish or as the filling for simple tacos or tostadas. Most often they are used as a binder in tacos, adding silky saucy texture to burritos and chalupas. I love warm refritos alongside a morning plate of eggs, which also makes a wonderful supper too. This is one of the first recipes I learned how to cook and is still one I enjoy almost every day.
Also, try the variation of extra special Refried Beans with onions and tomatoes as demonstrated in my video. They are extra satisfying and filling. Either way you prepare them, you can’t go wrong!Print
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Total Time: 10 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
2 tbsp. vegetable oil, lard or bacon drippings (30ml)
2 cups cooked beans (342g – either pinto, black, pink or mayocoba)
Bean broth as needed (liquid from cooked or canned beans)
Salt & pepper to taste
Crumbled queso cotija, queso fresco or shredded cheddar
Add the vegetable oil to a 1 ½ qt skillet (1.5lt) and heat over medium flame. Add the cooked beans and a spoonful of the bean broth. Mash the beans in the skillet until they reach the consistency you prefer. Add more broth for thinner consistency or for thicker consistency, allow the beans to sauté for more time. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Garnish as desired.
To make Refried Beans with Onions & Tomatoes, before you add the cooked beans to the heated pan, sauté 2 tbsp. of chopped onions (20g) for two minutes until translucent. Add 2 tbsp. chopped seeded tomatoes (22g) and saute for another minute. Add the cooked beans and follow the recipe as described above. Please see video for more instructions.