Online Recipe Book

Refried Beans

How to Cook Everything, Mark Bittman, c2008, page 418
2 - 3 servings
Prep info
20 min with cooked beans
Prep time
Not set
Cook time
20 minutes
Time required
20 minutes
Oven preheat


  • 57 g lard ((4T) or bacon fat, or butter, or half the amount of oil)
  • 2 c cooked pinto beans (or pink or black beans, liquid reserved)
  • 1/2 c finely chopped onion
  • 2 t ground cumin (to taste)
  • 1/4 t ground cayenne (to taste)
  • 3/4 t Salt (Sea)
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 1/4 t onion powder
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • bean liquid (or broth or water, as needed)


Put the fat in a large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium heat.  When hot, add the beans and mash with a large fork or potato masher until they're the texture you like.  

Add the rest of the ingredients, and continue to cook and mash, stirring, until the beans are more or less broken up (some remaining chunks are fine) and the onion is lightly cooked, about 5 minutes more.  Thin with a little of the bean liquid (or broth or water) until you get the consistency you want.  Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.  Garnish with cilantro if you like.


SJ Note 26 Sept 2009: These needed a bit of help, and still seem to be missing something, but they were much, much better than our last attempt, and an improvement over the canned version.  Will continue to tinker with it.