Authentic refried beans are so easy and fast to make at home. Serve them as a side dish for your favourites Mexican recipes, filling for tacos or burritos or as a dip for any gathering.
Refried beans are a dominant dish in Mexican cuisine, they are usually prepared to accompany many of the traditional mexican dishes but also to eat them alone only with tortillas. They are eaten in the morning as breakfast or for lunch, but also at nights for dinner.
The word “refried” comes from the name for the dish: frijoles refritos. In Spanish, refritos means ‘well fried’.
I remember when I was a kid, coming back from school so hungry that my mom will give me a taquito con frijoles (taco with refried beans) so I could wait until lunch was ready.
How To Make Them
There are several ways to prepare refried beans, the most common is to just add them onto a frying pan with oil or pork lard then mashing them with a potato masher until they have the perfect consistency: soft and creamy.
Other ways of preparation include the use of extra ingredients such as onion, chili peppers, tomatoes, epazote, etc. those ingredients are previously fried to give the beans a touch of flavor. But in general nothing is needed besides from the beans and the fat where they will be fried.
My mom used to fry them in plenty of pork lard to make them chinitos as she said (dry and curly). Then she will served them in hand-made corn tortillas with a sprinkle of queso fresco. Oh how good they were!
How to serve refried beans
The possibilities are endless! You can serve them as they are with just some queso fresco (or other fresh cheese), as dip with corn chips, spread on burritos or sopes, as a side dish for adobo pork ribs or with mexican divorced eggs. Really, almost anything your heart desires.
What kind of beans to use?
The most common types are pinto, bayo, black. You can use the ones you prefer but I strongly suggest to cook them at home. Here’s our recipe to cook mexican beans (De la Olla Beans).
Can I use canned beans?
Yes, of course! In this case I’ll suggest to first fry a little bit of chopped onions before adding the beans to the pan, to give an extra flavour. Or you can also sauté one garlic clove, add some chillies, a pinch of cumin, etc.
How To Store
After you made them and once cooled, place them into an airtight container. Refried beans can last in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
To reheat them add a little bit of water and stir, then heat them up on the stovetop or microwave.
You can also freeze refried beans. Place them in freezer-proof containers or freezer bags, they last for 2-3 months!
I don’t add extra ingredients to my refried beans because I don’t like to. Of course, this is only a personal preference. So you might find the recipe to be very simple.
Truth is, the only things I pay more attention is: 1) The quality of the beans. I rarely use canned beans because as a Mexican, I’m used to cook beans at home very often. But from time to time I have to use canned beans and in that case I like to get the best quality beans I can.
And number 2), I like my refried beans with pork lard. Sorry, not trying to be unhealthy here, I just like them that way because that’s how I use to eat them since I was a child.
- 2 ½ cup (500 gr) of cooked and drained beans
- 5 Tbsp (80 gr) pork lard or oil (use less if you want)
- Melt and heat the lard in a frying pan over moderate heat.
- Add the beans carefully to the pan.
- Add ½ cup of water (or beans cooking water).
- Let the beans cook for 1 minute mashing them while cooking.
- With a wooden spoon, stir until all liquid has evaporated. The beans are ready when they have a consistency similar to mashed potatoes.