Homemade Refried Beans


Open-faced Refried Bean Sandwiches.

Refried beans are such a common convenience product in a can, it’s easy to forget how much better they are homemade. Homemade refried beans are cheaper than cheap and you get to make use of your fresh garden veggies, so they’re much more nutritious.

This recipe makes approximately the same amount as you’d get in one large-size can. You can add more, or less, heat depending on the peppers you use, and make them vegetarian–or not.

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How to make Homemade Refried Beans

1 1/2 cups dry pinto beans
1/4 cup vegetable oil or bacon grease
1 tomato, diced
1/2 of a small onion, minced
2 jalapeno or banana peppers, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
cayenne pepper (optional)

Rinse and drain beans. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and soak for one hour (with the lid on the pot). Rinse and drain again then cover with water in the same pot and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, another one to two hours, until tender. Drain (reserve liquid).
In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil or bacon grease. Add tomato, onion, peppers, garlic powder, cumin and cayenne pepper (a little, a lot, up to you!); saute on medium-low until onion and peppers are soft (about 15 minutes).
You know I’m sauteeing in bacon grease.

Continuing to cook, add drained beans, seasoning with salt to taste. Using a potato masher, mash beans in the skillet, adding cooking liquid from the beans as needed.
Once beans are mashed and well-blended, turn off heat. You’re done! Grab some tortilla chips and cheese!
But wait! You might try something a little different than the usual burritos or nachos, try Open-Faced Refried Bean Sandwiches. This makes a fast, light lunch or a tasty side as part of a larger meal.

Open-Faced Refried Bean Sandwiches

slices of french bread
olive oil
homemade or storebought refried beans
cheddar cheese

Preheat your oven broiler on high. Place french bread slices on a baking sheet. Drizzle each slice with olive oil. Spread a couple tablespoons of refried beans over each slice then top with cheese. Broil until the cheese melts.

Serve with salsa. I make a quick, fresh salsa by mincing two tomatoes, half of a small onion, one jalapeno pepper and one banana pepper then mixing together with a dash of lemon juice, a sprinkle of cilantro, salt, and pepper to taste and a 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.

P.S. Find more great homemade salsa recipes here.

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.

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  1. KateS says:

    Love refried beans!!
    Who knew they didn’thave to come out of a can?! 😮

  2. shirley says:

    I grew up on refried beans, only we called them mashed beans and we ate them on cold biscuits. I was shocked when I saw my first can of refried beans in the store.

  3. CindyP says:

    Well that’s just simple… there’s just another product that doesn’t have to be bought in the can! The list just keeps getting longer! Yay!

  4. Carol Langille says:

    Good morning, Suzanne! Holy cow…it’s not quite 7 am and I am starving for a refried bean sandwich but I’m at work and have no broiler, no beans and no bread. Just an appetite now.
    These look great….can’t wait to try them. I have beans in the pantry….doesn’t take that long to cook them up. Okay…I’m asking off early today!

  5. Nancy in Atlanta says:

    ummm, not a fan of refried beans, but I might try it with black beans.

    Re the broken eggs – I suspect Mean Rooster found a new way to attack…if you won’t let him sire chicks from those eggs, he’s not going to let you have them either!

  6. Kacey says:

    Not a fan of refried beans, but I never even thought of making them homemade. Very cool. I’ll have to suggest it to my dh, he loves them.

  7. Debi Rodriguez says:

    What a great Recipe! Refried beans are a staple in my house, and always from scratch. I have never thought of making them this way, looks yummy!

  8. Katharina says:

    Refried beans are so healthy. With all the soluble fiber in beans, everyone can afford to cook the veggies with bacon fat. This is a wonderful recipe and we could all stand to eat more beans. Those who don’t like beans should add them slowly to their diet and develop a taste for them as they are cheap, healthy and can see us through hard times to come. Thanks, Suzanne! If you have more bean recipes, my family would love to try them.

  9. KentuckyFarmGirl says:

    These look good! I’ll have to try them soon!

  10. auntbear says:

    …gosh that looks soooooo yummy!Already got supper on the stove but but I’m making this soon.

  11. monica says:

    :wave: How did you know I have some soaking on the counter??? :hungry: This looks better than what I had in mind though. thaks for the recipe.

  12. Carol Ann says:

    I am definitely making these tomorrow. I usually buy the organic refried beans in a can, but don’t like the expense. These will be much cheaper and, I suspect, taste better as well. Thanks Suzanne!

  13. Stephanie says:

    Just dropping a note to thank you for this recipe – for some reason, I always thought homemade refried beans were difficult and/or unhealthy. I just made these and they came out so amazing, buying a can of bland beans at the store just became totally impossible. YUM!

  14. Susie says:

    Suzanne – have you ever canned this recipe? I have a bag of dry pintos I was going to cook and then pressure can, but I’m wondering if I can’t take the extra steps to actually make the refried beans THEN can them? Please feel free to email me – I think this is a pretty old thread. THANKS!

    • Suzanne McMinn says:

      Susie, I haven’t ever canned them and don’t know anything about it. (I haven’t ever canned any beans, period.) A good idea might be to go to Farm Bell Recipes and click on Recipe Requests in the menu bar and post a message asking about canning refried beans. Someone who knows more than me can answer you there!

  15. Amy says:

    I made these last night for dinner. They were absolutely delicious. Homemade bean burritos definitely makes for an inexpensive meal. Thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂

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