Homemade Refried Bean Recipe

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What’s your favorite food? I have a hard time naming an absolute favorite but I do have a top five and a top 10. Refried beans are in my top five. I love refried beans mixed with rice and bean and cheese tacos on flour tortillas and refried beans on nachos – you get the idea. But, I don’t love canned refried beans which used to be my only option when I wanted to make Mexican or Tex-Mex inspired food at home. Enter my homemade refried bean recipe.

Homemade Refried Bean Recipe

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This is my quick refried bean recipe. I have another that starts from scratch with dry beans that’s a little more involved and a little less healthy – this is my quicker and healthier but still better than canned refried beans any day recipe.

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I’ve used vegetable broth in this recipe. However, I have subbed chicken broth in a pinch and I don’t notice a huge difference in taste. If you don’t care about the beans being vegetarian and want to use what you have on hand, chicken broth also works.

Homemade refried beans = super simple ingredients

We buy onions in bulk and seal them in our vacuum sealer. We have had our vacuum sealer FOREVER. My husband had it before we got married and we’ve been together for almost 12 years. This one is similar to the one we use at our house.

The smaller you can get your onions, the better. They add a ton of flavor to the refried beans but I don’t like big chunks of onion in the finished product.
refried bean recipe
Make sure you rinse and drain the canned pinto beans very well when you make these homemade refried beans

If you like chunkier refried beans (or want a little bit of an arm workout) you can use a potato masher. If you want a smoother consistency, you can put them in a food processor. I sometimes put mine in my Nutra Ninja and pulse for just a few seconds for ultra smooth refried beans. 

I like thinner homemade refried beans in dips – like my layered bean dip – and when making nachos. I like thicker and chunkier beans for bean and cheese tacos or for beans served up on a plate as a side dish. 

I like refried beans all by themselves and yes, I eat them cold out of the fridge, which everyone in my family thinks is weird. This version is a little healthier than beans made with bacon grease or lard.

Homemade refried beans
Beans are a great source of protein and make a great vegetarian meal.

Next time a recipe calls for refried beans, whip up your own homemade version. This one beats the pants off the pre-made canned refried beans. They also make a perfect partner for tacos, so try this out for the next time you have Taco Tuesday at your house. And, while you’re at it, try my baked chicken tacos.

 

Homemade Refried Beans

Prep Time 8 hours

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 cans (15-16 oz) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock or broth
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice

Instructions

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil and cook onions until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

  2. Add garlic, cumin and chili powder

  3. Cook about 30 seconds or until fragrant

  4. Add beans and vegetable broth and stir to combine

  5. Cover and cook over medium heat about 5 minutes

  6. Remove lid and reduce heat to low, mash beans using a potato masher until desired consistency

  7. Continue cooking for 3-5 minutes 

  8. Remove from heat and add lime juice

  9. Add salt to taste, if desired

  10. Serve immediately or store in airtight container in the refrigerator

  11. Add a little water or oil if the beans become dry


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