Easy Refried Beans

I am planning to post the much awaited Tostada recipe, but before that I wanted to share how I make refried beans. Just recently I made the complete switch from canned to homemade beans after I read the ingredients and found partially hydrogenated soybean oil on the list. I really, really try to stay away from anything that says 'partially hydrogenated', and let me just tell you it is hiding in lots of things in the supermarkets.

I make my beans in the crockpot; 1 part beans to 3 parts water, on high for 5-6 hours. When they are tender enough I chop up a whole onion and saute it with a tablespoon of olive oil on medium low heat for about 10 minutes.

Sometimes I need to add a little water, but it usually takes on a nice color like this:

Then I add my spices - chili powder, cumin, salt and minced garlic. Usually I eyeball it, but for all of you, I measured what I put in. (see recipe below) I mix this lovely stuff into the soft onions,

then turn it on low and cook while I get the beans in a pan.

I choose a wide pan so the beans are easier to smash. I add about 1/2 cup of bean broth (from the crockpot) then mash them up. I use a wooden masher that we have, but in a cinch you can use a canning jar or glass.

If you find the beans seeming a bit dry, just add more bean broth. Once they are mashed to the consistency that you like, you add the onion/spice mixture.

Mix all that together, add more salt to taste if you want, and that's it. Very easy, but so much better for you and so much yummier, refried beans.

Easy Refried Beans


3 c. dry pinto beans
9 c. water
1 onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c. bean broth


Combine water and beans in crockpot. Cook on high for 5-6 hours or until beans are soft. Drain; reserving bean broth. In small saucepan, saute onion on medium-low heat in olive oil for 10 minutes until tender and brown. Add spices including garlic; turn heat to low and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add a little water if this mixture is too dry. Put drained beans in a large saucepan or pot with bean broth; coarsely mash. Add onion/spice mixture to beans and combine. Heat on low; stirring occasionally. Add salt and more bean broth if needed.


  1. My mouth is *so* watering right now... :)

  2. This looks so yummy! Thanks for the recipe. I'm going to pin it so I can remember to come back here :)

  3. Thanks, Renata! I should add that since I posted this I use an immersion blender to mash the beans. Gets them much more like 'store bought". :-)


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