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How To Make Homemade Refried Beans

How to Make Homemade Refried Beans

Guest post from Jill of The Prairie Homestead

If there is one food worth learning to make from scratch, it’s refried beans.

Homemade refried beans are:

1. Healthier –– Canned, store bought beans are usually full of hydrogenated oils and preservatives.

2. Frugal — I can get a 25-lb. bag of pinto beans from Azure Standard for around $25. That means I’m only paying about 75 cents for the beans I need to make this recipe. (This recipe makes at least as much as 2-3 cans from the store.)

3. Better tasting — To be perfectly honest, I despised refried beans for the longest time. It wasn’t until I learned how to make them myself that I discovered that I actually love them! Homemade refried beans have a much better texture and are full of flavor.

With reasons like that, you have to give these beans a try, at least once. 😉

Want more make-it-from-scratch ideas? I highly recommend Easy Homemade by Mandi Ehman. This ebook contains more than 60 recipes for homemade kitchen staples and it’s beautifully laid out, well-illustrated, and packed with great ideas and recipes.

Making refried beans from scratch transforms a rather boring side-dish to a flavor packed feature that just might end up being the main event on your menu. It’s worth giving them a try!

Jill writes from the homestead she shares with her husband, daughter, and ever-changing assortment of animals. When she’s not in the kitchen preparing traditional foods, you’ll find her outside riding horses, growing vegetables, milking her cow, and killing rattlesnakes. She blogs at The Prairie Homestead, where she enjoys encouraging readers to return to their roots, no matter where they may live.

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  1. says

    Great post!

    I’ve made “refried” beans in the past, and they are SO easy! When I make a batch of beans in the crock pot, I just mash them with the cooking liquid for a quick version. You can do this with either pintos or black beans. My family is content with beans as a main dish once a week because there are SO many different options in cooking them.

    • yvonne says

      That’s what I do to. In the crockpot with it’s own juices and a few seasonings (cumin, garlic, chili powder and salt). It’s SOOOO easy and cheap. We freeze them and pull them out as we use them.

    • Megan says

      I have tried making homemade retried beans in the crock pot before, but I returned to your recipe because they were so much more flavorful!! Great recipe. I’m making them for the fifth time right now.

  2. says

    I make refried beans in the crockpot and freeze the leftovers. I usually soak the beans for 24-36 hours with fennel seeds to de-gas and possibly sprout them before cooking.

  3. Heather says

    Refried beans are just something I won’t touch. Then about a year ago I made homemade ones and I was hooked! So much better than store bought!

  4. Vanessa says

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how to freeze there, as in, what kind of containers do you use? I would love to hear it!

    • BethB says

      Those two cup twist close Ziploc containers are about the same size as one can.

      I mix mine with taco meat and freeze it that way. Stretches the meat and is more efficient when we have tacos.

      • Courtnie says

        I learned from a good friend to cook my pinto beans with chiharonie or how ever it’s spelled. The ones from the Mexican market with meat on them. Refried they taste great like carnitas in a tortilla with all the toppings. Cheap and kids love them

    • says

      I also just use whatever tupperware or ziploc plastic containers I have hanging around. In a pinch, you could also use 1 quart freezer baggies. Just remember to label your beans– trust me, you won’t remember what they are after a month or two! :)

    • says

      I use whatever tupperware-style plastic containers I have hanging around. You can also use a 1 quart freezer baggie in a pinch. Just remember to lable your beans– if you are like me, you won’t remember what they are after a month or so in the freezer! 😉

  5. Amanda says

    I soak my beans with apple cider vinegar to remove anti-nutrients like phytic acid. 1tbsp per cup. It really does make a difference in digestion. :)

  6. says

    Great recipe – can’t wait to try this one. I have only ever purchased refried beans from a can, and while they were quite good, I was concerned about the amount of sodium. I usually add some fresh cilantro and a squirt of lime juice if I’m using chili powder as a seasoning, though they also taste good with curry powder instead of chili (or use half and half.) These are great in wraps with rice and tomatoes too.

    • Sakura says

      I used to be on WIC a long time ago, they gave us a bean recipe pamphlet style book. You could see if they have something similar. One of our favorite Bean recipes is called Bean Pie and it came from that book.

  7. says

    Ever since DH got cross contamination from a can of refried beans (he’s allergic to wheat), I’ve been making them from scratch. Recently we tried black beans instead of pinto and loved it!

  8. says

    This is timely. I’ve just set some pinto beans soaking and was going to look up a refried beans recipe online tomorrow to make.

    Jill’s great. I’ve just been reading her new ebook, Your Custom Homestead. It’s fabulous. Right up my alley and so inspiring.

  9. says

    Thanks for this. My daughter loves beans and rice like you get at the Mexican restaurant. Do you happen to have a good homemade recipe for rice like they serve in the Mexican restaurant to complement the beans?

  10. Patrice says

    A few years ago we had a bunch of leftover pinto beans from a barbeque we had hosted. I’d never had homemade refried beans before, so I thought I would give them a shot. In my husband’s exact words “they make the canned stuff seem like catfood by comparison”.

  11. karen says

    I love refried beans. I add one tsp of chix broth concentrate and use bacon fat as the fat. Delish. Now I’m hungry!

  12. Becky says

    I have been making refried beans for a long time. I cook a pot with some chopped up bacon. When they are done I use my hand mixer to mash them up and add shredded cheese. So easy, economical and best of all so much better than the canned beans.

  13. says

    Homemade refried beans are the best!! My favorite way to make them though is to use a pressure cooker. Often people are scared of pressure cookers, but they have electric ones now. You can go from dry beans to refried beans in less than an hour and half.

  14. Carol says

    Thanks so much for this recipe! I was just talking with my daughter about doing this last week and was wondering how I was going to figure out how to do it. Now I have what I need thanks to you! Got a great bargain on tortillas and now I have the filling!!

  15. Anita says

    Anyone know how long you can keep the beans once you freeze them? Like a month, 6 months, what? I really want to try this because we eat mexican food a lot. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Marcelaine says

      I have taken refried beans out of the freezer after 2-3 months and they’ve been fine. I use them often enough that they’ve never lasted longer than that because we ate them.

  16. says

    I don’t use recipes because I add species to my satisfaction. But I do add everything mentioned here (use bacon grease — yes, know that’s unhealthy). But I also add two other things 1) Fresh cilantro and 2) salsa my friend makes (which is diced tomatoes, tad of peppers).

  17. Veronica says

    Hmm when I read this recipe I was a little confused. So I turned to my coworker and asked her how she made refried beans. Her recipe was pretty much like the one I grew up with. You add a bit of oil and hit it up. Put in the beans and mash them up. Sometimes we will get creative and add some chorizo. The fat it releases is what we use to fry the beans with. But I have never heard of adding all those spices to refried beans. In my Mexican family, and most of the Mexicans I know, it’s all about being simple. It’s a quick side dish made from very inexpensive ingredients.

  18. stacy r says

    I have been making “refried beans” for a few years now. But I don’t actually “re-fry” them. I start with dried beans, soak overnight, then cook them in my pressure cooker (life saver) with chopped onion for 12 mins. Then I remove most of the liquid (save some in case I need to add it back later) add basically the same spices listed in your recipe and use my hand mixer to mush it up. So easy. Thanks for the inspiration. After reading this I decided to make a batch tomorrow. Just put beans in to soak.

  19. Danielle says

    I just wanted to let you know that I make these refried beans all. the. time. They are so delicious and easy! Thank you so much for the awesome recipe. My family and I love it!

  20. Andrea says

    OMG! Thanks and praise to be to God. And thank you for this post. I love refried beans but have not had them in years because I can’t stand the canned version. For a change in pace for dinner last night I made Mexican and wanted beans and wondered how easy it would be to make my own…then I came across your post. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I made these last night and they were absolutely amazing! And super easy to make. I will definitely make these again. Thank you ☺

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