Homemade Refried Beans

Here’s how to make your own refried beans from scratch. Sure, it is more difficult than simply opening a can, but it’s not too hard and the result is so worth it.

Homemade Refried Beans

I know for many of you, the thought of making your own homemade refried beans from scratch is probably the last thing you want to think about- and I get it, why make your own when you can so easily open up a can? I understand completely and most of the time honestly, I do the same. But sometimes days come, like Sundays, when time is long and cooking feels pleasurable. Perhaps you are having guests over and want to create something a little extra special. Or maybe, like me, you look at your overstuffed pantry and decide it’s time to start using some things up. In any case, the recipe is simple and the work easy. Make a batch on Sunday and use it during the busy work week, or freeze in small batches. There is something very gratifying about making good use of pantry items.

Homemade Refried Beans

1.Soak the beans

2.Boil the beans

3.Puree the beans


With 10-15 minutes of hands-on time, the beans practically make themselves. And what you end up with is a luxurious pot of goodness that you can feel truly and utterly proud of. Divide and freeze for later, or make a batch and use during the busy week.

Most any dried bean will work here, so feel free to experiment – pinto, kidney, black beans or specialty beans like you see here from my favorite bean company- Rancho Gordo.

Homemade Refried Beans

Once they are cooked, simple puree with their own cooking liquid, a little olive oil and season to your liking.

No mashing required in this recipe. What I love about these beans is how creamy they are. They can be adapted to your own taste and heat tolerance. I love the hint of smoke from Smoked paprika and heat from chipotle – but leave these out if this is not your preference.

Before serving, drizzle with olive oil or sprinkle with queso fresco cheese and fresh cilantro.

Homemade Refried Beans

There are so many recipes these would pair well with….try them in these baked tacos, or in my new favorite dish ever – Tlayudas. Make a Bean Bowl with warm refried beans as the base, top with crumbled queso fresco ( or feta) tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, cilantro, drizzled with olive oil- or simply serve as a vegan, gluten-free side dish.

Homemade Refried Beans
Prep Time
Cook Time
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Here's how to make your own refried beans from scratch. Sure, it is more difficult than simply opening a can, but it's not too hard and the result is so worth it.
Recipe Type: Side
Serves: 6 cups
  • 2 cups beans ( pinto, black beans, or try something different!)
  • 5 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 bay leaves ( or 2 teaspoons dried oregano)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½-1 teaspoon chipotle powder ( optional)
  • ½-1 teaspoon smoked paprika ( optional)
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil ( optional)
  1. Place beans in a bowl or pot and pour 5 cups of water over top. Let them sit on the counter overnight or for for 8 hours, they will swell and double in size. Drain.
  2. Place soaked beans in a large pot with 5 cups of fresh water. Add salt, cumin, chili powder and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and turn heat to low then simmer gently until tender, about 2 hours.
  3. Drain the beans , reserving the cooking liquid, and removing the bay leaves.
  4. Place them in the food processor with the additional salt and spices. Add 1- 1 ½ cups of the cooking liquid into the food processor and puree until smooth. Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil to the puree, if you like for extra richness and delicious flavor.
  5. Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve, or divide and freeze, or simply refrigerate for the week. They will keep for 3-4 days.


Sylvia Fountaine

Sylvia Fountaine

Caterer and chef of Feast Catering Co., my blog Feasting at Home is where I share wholesome, seasonal recipes we cook at home.

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