Super Simple Refried Beans

There is nothing sexy about refried beans.  Nothing.  We all know the famous “Beans, Beans” song.  They are probably one of the Top Five Least Attractive Foods to Photograph.  If you were taken on a first date where the person took you to a place for some “great refried beans,” there probably wouldn’t be a second date.  All that aside, homemade refried beans are freakn’ delicious.

refried beans

Growing up I refused to eat beans.  They looked gross and tasted even worse.  Of course, my experience was generally limited to cheap restaurant beans which can’t hold a candle to homemade beans.  Once I ventured into the wide world of making my own beans at home, I was an instant convert.  This recipe is beyond simple, delicious and can be whipped up in time to pair with your new favorite salmon tacos.

Traditional refried beans use old fashioned lard as the fat base.  Rick Bayless (aka. the Mexican Cooking God) has a great recipe that uses bacon fat.  This new recipe replaces the lard with a heart-healthy fat: olive oil.  It tastes just as good and is much better for you.  Besides, who just happens to have lard laying around their kitchen these days?  Not I.

refried beans

The method for making these beans is similar to my other favorite bean side dish, Mashed Rosemary White Beans.  This is just a Mexican spin on the same technique.  You want to warm the minced garlic in olive oil, toss in a couple cans of beans, add some liquid (in this case, water) a little seasoning (ground cumin and salt) and mash away.  You can mash the beans to whatever consistency you prefer.  Doesn’t get much more simple that that?


Super Simple Refried Beans

Yield: 3-4 servings

Total Time: 10 minutes


2 (15 oz) cans pinto beans, drained
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons salt (or more to taste)
1/3 a can of water


- Cover the bottom of a medium-sized saucepan with olive oil and minced garlic. Heat over low heat until garlic become fragrant and begins sizzling in the pan.
- Add the pinto beans and water (fill one of the bean cans up about 1/3). Increase heat to medium and stir. Continue stirring and smash beans against the side of the pan with a large wooden spoon.
- Add cumin and salt. Continue stirring and smashing the beans until desired consistency is achieved. Serve warm!

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2 Responses to “Super Simple Refried Beans”

  1. 1
    Matt — September 11, 2011 6:30 pm

    Perfect healthier alternative to a side dish! And easy to make!

  2. 2
    Jaime — September 30, 2014 7:36 pm

    I visited your blog based solely on the name. Then I read where you said you’re just “sassing around the kitchen” and I was sold.

    I’ll have you know, missy…that I too am an American girl but I’m living in Morocco and I’m just doin’ the ol’ Razzle-Dazzle in my kitchen. BOOM!

    Thanks for the post! :D Can’t wait to try dem dare bayyyyyns!

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