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Refried Beans

Refried beans is cooked and mashed pinto beans and is integral part of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. If you usually try them out of a can, this fresh-super easy recipe is no excuse not to make them yourself at home.



Pinto, means painted in Spanish, they got their name cause of the brown specks in pale pink that looks like a painting. As most other beans, pinto beans are not only high in protein content but they also have very high fiber content.



There are two ways to initially cook the beans – with a pressure cooker or cooking them in slow cooker. Since we make beans so often, I use a pressure cooker. It greatly cuts down on the cooking time, you don’t have to soak the dried beans overnight nor have to cook them overnight in slow cooker for the restaurant style texture and taste.

Alert vegetarians and those who don’t prefer bacon, this will be helpful!  Traditionally as well in many restaurants bacon fat (lard) is used in this recipe. Olive oil can be substituted while making at home if you are vegetarians like us!

Ingredients you’ll need:

1 1/2 cups of dry pinto beans
5 cups of hot water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 Finely chopped seeded Jalapeno
1/2 tbsp or to taste – Taco seasoning**
Salt – to taste
Vegetable broth or water
Cheddar cheese (optional)

**Taco Seasoning is a pre-made mixture of chili powder-cumin powder-black pepper powder-onion powder-garlic powder-paprika powder-dried oregano and salt that works great with many Mexican recipes.

Cooking time: 30 minutes soaking time and 30 minutes cooking time.


Cleaning & Soaking: Rinse the beans in water and clean them well. Soak the beans in hot water for 30 to 45 minutes.

Cooking the beans: Using a Pressure cooker. Transfer the soaked beans with water in which the beans were soaking to the pressure cooker and cook up to 5-6 whistles on medium flame until the beans are soft and the skins are barely breaking open. Allow the pressure cooker to cool completely before opening. The cooking time will vary depending on the batch of beans you have. The beans are done when they are soft and the skin is just beginning to break open. do not discard the water in which beans cooked.


Add Olive oil to a wide, thick bottom frying pan on medium high heat. Add chopped garlic, onions & Jalapeno and cook them until translucent.


Add the beans and using a fork mash them, until they are a rough purée.


Add Taco seasoning  and salt (the taco seasoning has a little salt in it so add accordingly), I prefer not to mash the entire lot of beans. Keep a few intact that will eventually mash as they cook and give that chunky texture.


As you cook add about a 1/4-1/2  cup of broth or water to the pan.


Add more water if necessary to keep the fried beans from getting too dried out. Add salt to taste.


Add a handful (roughly 1/2 cup) of grated cheddar cheese. When beans are heated through and cheese is melted, the beans are ready to serve.


Serve with Tortilla chips. Wait for few more recipes with leftover refried beans, I doubt if there is going to be any left! Make a couple of extra servings, they are great to be stored in refrigerator for couple of days.

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November 2017
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