These Easy Homemade Refried Beans are fragrant with onion, garlic, and earthy pinto beans with a hint of smoky bacon.
These Easy Homemade Refried Beans are so simple to make and way better than the canned version. There is no comparison. I’m kicking myself for ever buying a can of refried beans.
I love the earthy, delicate flavor of pinto beans. I have to stop myself from getting carried away and adding too many spices to my refried beans. Cumin and chili powder do go well with beans and taste great in a bean dip, but go easy on the spices and that delicate flavor can really be savored. The hint of smoky bacon perfectly accentuates and brings out the flavor of the beans. You can also use vegetable oil for the beans if you like, they will still be delicious.
Simply soak the beans and boil them until soft (this is super quick in a pressure cooker). Sauté onion and garlic in a little bacon fat, add the cooked beans, and mash to your heart’s content. You can mash until they’re smooth or keep them chunky. Add cooking water to make them as thin or thick as you like. I like mine stick-to-the-ribs thick and chunky.
Easy Homemade Refried Beans are a perfect (many would say a necessary) accompaniment to Tex-Mex meals. Use them in burritos, quesadillas, tostadas, or as a topping for nachos.
- 1 pound pinto beans
- fat from 4–6 slices of bacon or vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
- 1 teaspoon paprika (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Soak beans overnight in water or quick soak in boiling water for 1 hour.
- Drain and rinse beans.
- Put beans in a large pan (or pressure cooker), and cover beans with water by 2 inches. Boil beans until soft, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours (30 minutes in pressure cooker).
- Drain beans and reserve 1 cup of boiling liquid.
- Heat bacon fat or vegetable oil in a large pan and sauté onions a few minutes until soft. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add cumin and paprika if using. Stir to mix. Add drained beans to pan and mash with a potato masher, adding cooking liquid as necessary to achieve the desired consistency.
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Turn off heat and serve.
- Beans will thicken somewhat as they cool.