Refried Beans

“Dried beans are always cheaper to buy than canned and homemade always tastes better than store-bought, so making refried beans from scratch is a great option. This recipe makes quite a lot of refried beans, but you can always freeze any leftovers.” – April Ferre

Refried Beans

Course: Side Dishes – Rice & Beans
Cuisine: Mexican


  • 1 Pound Dry Pinto Beans
  • 1/2 Large White or Yellow Onion Diced
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt Divided
  • 2 Tablespoons Lard or Olive Oil
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1 Jalapeño Finely Minced, Optional
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Mexican Oregano


  • Rinse pinto beans in a colander and remove any unwanted pebbles.
  • Place beans in a large Dutch oven and add diced onion, bay leaf and 1 teaspoon salt. Add water to cover approximately 2 inches.
  • Bring water to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for approximately 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender. Drain beans, reserving the bean broth water.
  • Return Dutch oven to the stove and melt lard over medium heat. Add the garlic and jalapeño and sauté for 1 minute.
  • Return beans to the pot and add cumin, oregano and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Add 3/4 cup bean broth and continue to stir the beans. If you like your beans chunky, you can use a potato masher or if you like them more smooth, use an immersion blender. Additional bean broth can be added to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Taste and add additional salt if necessary.
  • If serving as a side dish, garnish with a little chopped cilantro, some cotija cheese or melted cheddar and/or jack cheese.


Soaking beans overnight is not necessary for this recipe, but if you want your beans to cook faster, place them in a large Dutch oven overnight with water to cover approximately 2 inches. When ready to cook, drain and rinse the beans and proceed as directed above.

2024 Adapted Recipe – April Ferre – Adapted from Isabel Eats & Tastes Better from Scratch

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