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Frijoles refritos (Refried beans)

June 8, 2013


A universally loved simple comfort food, refried beans will easily satisfy a hunger or snack craving especially when used to make chalupas,  tacos,  quesadillas,  burritos,  nachos,  gorditas,  huaraches,  and molletes.  I know I’ve left some out.

This is a vegetarian version of refried beans.  Lard, which gives additional flavor,  is traditionally used to refry.   Another option is rendering bacon before cooking the onions.  Substitute with lard or bacon if you prefer,  but you may have to adapt with more or less of it to suit your taste.

If you are using canned pinto beans, a 15.5 ounce can equals 1 3/4 cup beans including liquid.


2 cups cooked pinto beans (frijoles de la olla)  plus some of the broth

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/4 cup onion diced

1 large garlic clove minced

salt to taste


Optional additions include chopped pickled jalapeno with a little of the juice,  chopped fresh jalapeno or Serrano pepper,  dried oregano,  chile powder, ground cumin,  canned chipotle pepper with a little of the adobo sauce, or your favorite bottled hot sauce.

Heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and fry until they begin to turn brown.  Add the garlic and continue until it starts to brown.   Add half the beans  with a little of the broth.  Mash them with a potato masher or big spoon and continue adding more beans and broth until they are all mashed.  Continue to cook until they have thickened to the desired consistency.  Add your optional  flavorings near the end of frying.  Finally season with salt.  If you think they would  make bread soggy,  they are not dry enough.  On the other hand don’t let them dry out so that they stick too much to your pan.

Refritos does not translate to “refried” .  “Re-” is used to mean “well” or “alot”.

The easiest way to enjoy them is with tortilla chips right out of the pan.

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