South-of-the-Border Essentials: Refried Beans

Andy Anderson !


This is my go-to recipe for good refried beans. Over the years I have poked and prodded it, until I came up with this current version. It is always a favorite, and totally beats any “canned” variety.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.


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10 Min
25 Min
Stove Top



  • 3 Tbsp
    sweet butter, unsalted
  • 1/2 medium
    yellow onion, grated
  • 3 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 4 c
    cooked pinto beans, recipe link to follow
  • 1 tsp
    chili powder
  • 1 tsp
    ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp
    lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • ·
    white pepper, freshly ground, to taste
  • ·
    salt, kosher variety, to taste

How to Make South-of-the-Border Essentials: Refried Beans


  2. Here is the recipe that I use for the pinto beans, feel free to use your own version.
    Cooking Under Pressure: Flavorful Pinto Beans
  3. When you make the beans, reserve some of the cooking liquid. You might need it to thin out the beans.
  4. Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
  5. Grate the onions, and the pat some of the excess liquid with a paper towel.
  6. Add the butter to a skillet over medium heat.
  7. When the foaming subsides, add the grated onion.
  8. Cook until the onions soften, and begin to brown, about 3 – 4 minutes, then add the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 60 additional seconds.
  9. Add the beans, then cook and stir, until the mixture come up to a simmer, about 5 minutes.
  10. Add the chili powder, and cumin, and stir for an additional 1 – 2 minutes.
  11. Crush the beans with the back of a large spoon, or put them into a food processor, fitted with an S-blade, and give them a few pulses.
  12. Place the beans back into the skillet, and add the lime juice, and some salt and pepper to taste.
  13. Continue to cook, and taste for proper seasoning, about 5 – 7 minutes.
  14. Chef’s Tip: If the refried beans are a bit too thick, use some of the liquid from cooking the pinto beans to thin it out.
  16. Serve anywhere you would use refried beans. Enjoy.
  17. Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

Printable Recipe Card

About South-of-the-Border Essentials: Refried Beans

Course/Dish: Vegetables
Main Ingredient: Beans/Legumes
Regional Style: Mexican
Other Tag: Quick & Easy

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