How to Make Refried Beans
Instead of reaching for the prepared can at the supermarket, learn how to make refried beans for your next Mexican meal. When cooked from scratch, this dish will be lower in fat and sodium than the canned convenience product. Refried beans are an ideal side dish for tacos, but they can also be used inside tortillas or as part of a layered dip.

Traditionally, pinto beans are used for refried beans; however, black or red beans can be substituted. While canned beans are perhaps the easiest option, dry beans aren't that much more difficult--plus they're much less expensive. Simply soak the beans per package directions prior to using.

Beans are part of the legume family, which also includes peas, lentils and peanuts. They're a great source of protein: Just one cup of beans provides as much as 16 grams. According to the USDA's nutritional guidelines, beans satisfy requirements of both the protein and vegetable groups. Beans are also an excellent source of fiber and nutrients such as folate and potassium.

Transcript
Hi, everyone. I'm Judith. Well, today I'll be showing you how to make frijoles protein-packed and full of fiber really health and delicious. So what you'll need is 2-1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1 pound of dried pinto beans, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 pound of salt pork with the rind removed or sliced bacon finely chopped. Today, we'll be using sliced bacon. 1 cup of chopped onions, 1 serrano or jalapeño chili seeded and finely chopped. Today, we'll be using jalapeño. 1 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic, 6 cups of water and 1/4 teaspoon of cumin seed. Alright, so for our frijoles, we soaked these dried pinto beans according to package instructions. If you wanna use black beans, that's fine too. Frijoles are either pinto beans or black beans. So, they are all nice and soft and ready to go. So, in our Dutch oven next to us, we have it on medium high heat. I'm gonna put some of that oil in there. Let that get hot and we're gonna cook our bacon or our pork which I'll be using until it gets nice and brown. So, our bacon is browned nicely on a high heat there. So, let's turn the heat to a medium and we're gonna add now the chopped onions and our pepper in there. And we're gonna cook that for about 4 minutes. So, the onion and the chili has been cooking for about 4 minutes and now we're gonna add in our garlic. So we always have the garlic in right in the last minute because if you let the garlic burn or cook too much, it becomes very bitter and you don't want that bitter taste in your dish. So we're gonna cook that garlic for 1 minute more with the rest of the ingredients. Alright, so now it's time to add in our beans. Now, make sure you drain your beans after soaking them so they're all prepared. So we're gonna put in the beans into the mix. Add in the cumin seed and that's just gonna give wonderful flavor to the whole pot and then, of course, the water. Lovely. So we're gonna bring that to a boil now. And once it's boiling, we're then gonna reduce the heat to a medium low to a simmer more or less. We're gonna let it simmer for about 30 minutes with the lid on. After 30 minutes, we're then gonna add in some salt to taste and we're gonna simmer it for another 30 minutes more. So, our frijoles have been simmering for a total of about an hour, an hour and 5 to 10 minutes and they are-- it's done now, beautiful to perfection. So let's just bowl that up. And remember, halfway through at 30 minutes, we added some salt to taste. And that just looks gorgeous. You've got that lovely saltiness of the bacon, that cumin flavor. Oh! Serve it up with a nice piece of chicken or pork and that is gonna be one great dinner. So there you go, that's how you make frijoles.
What You'll Need
  • 2 1/2  teaspoons salt

  • 1   pound dry pinto beans

  • 1   tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/4  pound salt pork, rind removed, or sliced bacon, finely chopped

  • 1   cup chopped onions

  • 1   serrano or jalapeno chile, seeded and finely chopped

  • 1   tablespoon finely chopped garlic

  • 6   cups water

  • 1/4  teaspoon cumin seed


Step By Step
1
Soak beans according to package directions; drain.
2
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add salt pork; cook 2 minutes, until browned. Reduce heat to medium; add onions and chile and cook 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add drained beans, water and cumin seed. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Add salt and continue to cook 25 to 35 minutes more, until tender. (Can be made ahead. Cool. Transfer to large microwaveproof container. Cover and refrigerate overnight. To reheat: Microwave on High 10 minutes, stirring once after 5 minutes, until heated through.)


Note
  • Per 1-3/4-cup serving for Frijoles: 460 calories, 20 g total fat, 6.5 g saturated fat, 17 mg cholesterol, 1,337 mg sodium, 55 g carbohydrates, 18 g protein, 110 mg calcium, 10 g fiber
Variation
  • Refried Beans (Frijoles Refritos): Prepare beans as directed through step 2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil or lard in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup finely chopped onion and cook 2 to 3 minutes, until browned. Add 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add 2 cups cooked beans and 1/3 to 1/2 cup bean liquid to skillet. (Or, microwave 2 cups refrigerated beans and 1/3 to 1/2 cup bean liquid on High, 2 to 3 minutes, until room temperature, and add to skillet.) Mash beans and liquid coarsely with back of wooden spoon or potato masher. Cook 1 to 2 minutes more, until heated through, adding more bean liquid or water if needed. Transfer beans to a food processor. Process just until smooth. Makes 2 cups (4 servings).
Note
  • Per 1/2-cup serving for Refried Beans: 225 calories, 11 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 7 mg cholesterol, 536 mg sodium, 24 g carbohydrates, 8 g protein, 51 mg calcium, 5 g fiber
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