Refried Beans

IMG_0826 Beans are a superfood, both nutritionally and in their ability to stretch a budget. With the many varieties of beans and the countless ways to flavor them, they’re a great way to add nutrition without breaking the bank or getting bored with your food.

Mixed dried beans

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I love beans and we eat them very regularly (HA! Get it? Beans have lots of fiber?) around here. I love mexican food so of course I think these are great, but David, who isn’t a big mexican food fan, loves these. Between these delicious refried beans and sour cream, I think I might make a tex-mex fan out of him yet.

Refried Beans


1 lb. dried pinto beans water

1 onion, chopped 1 stick (1/2 C.) butter 1-2 t. salt 2 t. cumin 2 t. chili powder

1. Rinse dry beans well with cool water, then place beans in a large dutch oven or pot. Cover with water, plus about 3 inches (the beans will absorb the water as they soak). Let soak for at least 8 hours, but I just leave mine overnight.

2. *Cook beans on medium low or low heat for 4-6 hours until they are very soft. Make sure the beans aren’t boiling away or you’ll lose too much moisture and the bottom will burn. You want them to just barely simmer for a long time.

3. Cut butter into fourths and place one piece into a large frying pan. Heat the pan over medium high heat. When the butter has melted add the chopped onion and cook until onion is soft.

4. Using a slotted spoon, scoop 1/3 of the beans into the frying pan. Add another chunk of butter and start smashing with a potato masher. When the butter is melted and the beans are smashed, add more beans and another chunk of butter. Repeat until all the beans and butter are mixed in, mashed and melted.

5. Stir in the salt, cumin and chili powder. Add some of the bean cooking liquid if the beans are very thick, or just simmer for a few minutes if they are too runny.

*Technically you’re supposed to rinse the beans again before cooking them.

Notes: This makes a bigger batch than we eat at one meal, so I usually freeze the beans in 2 cup portions. We eat these in the usual way, with tacos and such, and also just topped with a little cheese and scooped with tortilla chips. Easy and healthy lunch!

Yield: About 8 cups of refried beans.

Adapted from Tammy’s Recipes.