Refried Beans from Scratch

Total Time
Prep 30 mins
Cook 2 hrs 30 mins

i got this recipe from a great cookbook that is full of fabulous "from scratch" recipes. this one is great. It takes time, but it's worth it. i make batches and freeze them so i never have to worry about taking the time to make them during the week. They say flavor can be improved if you cook the beans through step 3, then cover and refrigerate overnight before completing the recipe.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Rinse beans under cold running water, picking out any debris or bad beans.
  2. Place beans, water, 1 T shortening and sliced onion to a 3 quart saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1.5 hours, or just until beans are tender, not soft.
  3. stir in salt, cover and simmer over very low heat for 30-45 min until beans are very soft. DO NOT DRAIN.
  4. heat remaining 1/3 c shortening in heavy large skillet over high heat until very hot. add chopped onion and garlic. reduce heat to medium. cook and stir 4 min until onion is softened.
  5. Increase heat to high. add 1 cup undrained beans. cook and stir, mashing the beans with a a potato masher.
  6. as beans begin to dry, add another 1 cup undrained beans. cook and stir mashing beans.
  7. repeat until all the beans and cooking liquid have been added and the mixture is a coarse puree. Adjust heat as needed to prevent burning. total smashing time is about 20 minute.
Most Helpful

I liked this recipes because it uses no lard and it can be tweeked to my liking.I added Cumin and pepper with the chopped onions and salt .Im thinking next time of trying liquid smoke for a mesquite taste or chili powder or make it cheesy,so many ideas.Thanks for sharing Im off to the kitchen

windscapitbulls_9080238 September 15, 2013

Though this smelled wonderful while it was simmering the end result was bland. I am not overly creative with spices, but tried adding chili pepper, ground black pepper and hot sauce. Still bland. I have achieved the same results with two cans of refried beans, one can of pinto beans and some similar spices. Not yucky, just a lot of work and mess for not a lot of flavor.

pixie-chick January 11, 2009