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Homemade Refried Beans

Creamy spicy homemade refried beans. A wonderful side dish or great base for tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos or tostadas.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Meatless
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Tricia


  • 8 ounces Pinto Beans
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 large white onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 4 cups water


  • Sort the beans and discard debris.
  • Rinse the beans and drain. Place the beans in a large pot and cover with cold water by a few inches. Cover and set aside to soak overnight.
  • Drain the beans and put back into the pot with 4 cups of clean, fresh water. Add the garlic and heat over medium until the beans come to a boil. Cook the beans maintaining a simmer for 1 - 1 1/2 hours or until the beans are tender. Add additional water if needed during cooking.
  • Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the liquid. Mash the beans, season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • In a large skillet heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until tender. Add the mashed beans to the onion and cook until the bean liquid is absorbed. Salt and Pepper the beans to taste and continue cooking for about 5 minutes, adding a little reserved cooking liquid if needed.


Refried beans are great in burritos, nachos, quesadillas, tacos or on tostadas, or as a tasty side dish
Feel free to add other seasonings to taste - cayenne, cumin, chili powder, etc.
Many traditional refried bean recipes call for bacon or lard to be used in place of the oil. We try not to eat cured meats so we created this version as a healthier alternative. Olive oil is not the authentic choice in traditional Mexican cooking.