Sarah's Secret Recipe Refried Beans

Total Time
Prep 10 mins
Cook 30 mins

I have been making this recipe for years. It is a very simple recipe and it always meets rave reviews. I prefer it with bacon fat (I'm the sort of person who keeps bacon drippings in a canister in the refrigerator), but if you don't have any on hand, or want to make this recipe vegetarian, it tastes almost as good with vegetable oil. Black beans are my favorite, but you can also make this recipe with nearly any other type of canned bean. I've used pinto, kidney, cannelli and even chickpeas. Use this as a dip or a filling for burritos.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Saute onions in bacon fat until softened.
  2. Add the beans and their juice, do not drain first. Add epazote and cayenne now, if using.
  3. Simmer over medium to medium-low fire until the amount of liquid is reduced and beans are softer. Squish the beans with a potato masher (note: you can avoid this step by processing the beans in a food processor before adding them to the pan).
  4. Add cheese and simmer beans. Scrape drying beans off the sides and bottom every couple minutes and stir. The finished product should be a sludgy consistency not soupy.