Until recently, I’d never considered making homemade refried beans. Now I doubt I’ll ever do otherwise.
Have you ever wondered how to make refried beans? They are so easy and the flavor and texture is far superior to what you’ll eat from a can.
Most of the recipes I looked at for making refried beans called for you to mash them with a potato masher and that’s a perfectly great method. But if you lean toward lazy **ahem**, toss them in the food processor and whirl them to just the consistency you’re after. Just a few pulses and you’ll have lots of little bean chunks, or continue pulsing until the beans are creamy.
I recommend cooking dried beans, it’s really easy to do in your slow cooker with this salt soak method. And you’ll want some fat in these to give them that creamy, smooth texture. I had some leftover bacon fat which infused these beans with fabulous flavor. But stock or bean cooking liquid and non-hydrogenated lard or olive oil will work just as well. (Almost.)
Recipe Video on How to Make Refried Beans!
- 1/4 cup bacon fat non-hydrogenated lard, or olive oil
- 1/2 onion minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- pinch crushed red pepper
- 3 cups cooked pinto beans (freshly cooked or 2 15.5 ounce cans drained, reserving liquid)
- 1/3 cup bean cooking liquid or liquid from canned beans or stock: chicken, beef or vegetable
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat fat or oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until softened and onion is nearly translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in cumin and crushed red pepper. Add beans and bean cooking liquid or stock. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook and stir until beans are heated through and begin to break down.
Transfer bean mixture to food processor and pulse until beans reach desired consistency and return to pan. Or mash beans with potato masher. Serve.