Homemade Refried Beans

Every time I mention that I make my own refried beans, I get comments and emails asking for the recipe.  Well, there really isn’t a recipe, but if you want the method to my madness to try own your own, here it is!

I started making refried beans at about the same time I did the forehead slap and started cooking my own dry beans.  I try to keep cooked beans in the freezer for convenience, and it costs so much less than opening a prepared can from the store.

Please excuse my mess. 


Serve beans as a side dish topped with cheese, or serve in a variety of Mexican-flare foods:

What are your favorite bean-heavy meals?

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  1. I never thought to use my coconut oil in our homemade refried beans. I’ll have to remember that next time.

  2. I’ve been wanting to try to make refried beans and you’ve just inspired me!

    How long does it usually take to cook them to their desired consistency? Also, have you ever freezed them?


    • Hmmm, I’m not sure. 5 minutes? 10? It takes longer for sure to mash them with my fork when the potato masher goes missing. 😉

      I’ve never frozen them once “refried” but I don’t know why you couldn’t!

    • Rebecca L. says:

      When I make mine in the crockpot, it makes up about 5 cups. I freeze them in freezer baggies in 1 or 2 cup portions and then defrost when needed. They taste delicious! Just stir them up, I have never had a problem with the consistency or anything.

  3. coconut oil – what a concept! I didn’t think of that; I think my hubby (who does most of the cooking around here) has been doing them without oil because he said he couldn’t get the right taste or the right amount. He was quite interested just now when I read this to him. I think we’ll be getting our cast iron skillet out of the camping gear and bringing it back into the kitchen! Thanks for this – I’m going to bookmark this right now.

  4. I love beans! This might be random, but I didn’t know that you could use a cast iron skillet on the flat top, glass stove. Does it work well for you?

    • You know, I’ve read that a time or two also, but I grew up with my mom using cast iron on the glass top so I never thought a thing about it! I don’t even know why they say I can’t or shouldn’t do that, but that’s what I use. 🙂

  5. Homemade refried beans are so much better than canned! The canned ones make me want to gag. When I saw your picture, I thought, wow, I wonder why she doesn’t use a potato masher, it must take forever with a fork. 🙂 Hopefully it will appear soon. I actually have refried beans on the menu for tonight, and my from scratch beans are in the fridge thawing. For those wondering about freezing, they freeze great. When I don’t plan ahead, they thaw quickly in water. I freeze them in zip lock bags.

  6. For any who are as impatient as I am… I simply stick my beans in the food processor and let it whirl. No mashing required and its ready in no time at all. It even mixes in the seasonings for you. ; ) I never thought to freeze them though. That am an going to have to try!

  7. I’ve been looking for a good refried bean recipe. I have a b’jillion vegan cookbooks , but there isn’t a decent refried beans recipe in any of them. Thanks!

    One of my weeknight go-tos is a skillet recipe. One can each of corn (drain), kidney beans, garbanzo beans (each rinsed and drained), and a can of either crushed or diced or stewed tomatoes – whatever you have. That’s the base. Add to that maybe some onions, garlic, green peppers softened beforehand either in water or a wee bit of oil. Seasonings include cumin (a generous amount. Always), and whatever herbs suit my mood: Italian, Mexican, what have you. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes, or as long as it takes to make some cous-cous, quinoa, or brown rice to serve it over. That’s what I call comfort food!

  8. Debbie Jennings says:

    I love this! Thank you so much for sharing your method! =)

    One of our bean heavy meals is to cook some pintos or black beans or even red beans and serving them with a slice of buttered cornbread and some pan fried potatoes. I grew up on meals like this. Yummm Takes me back to the old days when I would stay the summer with my grandparents. We also like a 3 bean salad. I really need to can some more of them.

    • Can them? Can you tell us more about your procedure?

      • Debbie Jennings says:

        Yes, I can the 3 bean salad. I will look up the recipe and post it when I get a chance. They are really good. I do refrigerate them after opening. I like to refrigerate them over-night.

  9. Rebecca L. says:

    I love homemade refried beans, been doing it for years but I make mine in the crockpot, after cooking the dry beans, just add all my spices and things and go ahead and make refried beans. The recipe is actually called “Refried Beans without the Fry”.

  10. I just made your beans and rice burritos last night, and I was wishing I had thought ahead to find out how to make my own refried beans. I’m really trying to get away from eating canned foods. Definitely doing this next time! Thanks!

  11. Debbie Jennings says:

    I love my iron skillets! I have one that is dedicated to cornbread only. The other one is used daily or just about. Did you know that it has been said that you get some of the iron from an iron skillet? And it is supposed to be good for you.

  12. Has anyone ever tried cooking beans in a pressure cooker? I have done green beans and beets so far.

    • Debbie Jennings says:

      You can cook dried beans in a pressure cooker, but you do need to soak them overnight before cooking them in the pressure cooker. Look and see if you can find some pressure cooker recipes. I will look, too.

  13. I thought cast iron skillets couldn’t be used on radiant cooktops. We had one at our last house (military family here) and I thought I read somewhere that the grass will get damaged or cracked by the temperature retention properties of the cast iron or something. Love the idea of using coconut oil.

    • You know, I hear that all the time, but I must not be a rule follower. I’ve always used cast iron on my stove top, and so has my mom. Neither of us has busted the glass top… yet. 😉

  14. I am excited to try this yummy recipe, but I have one question: how much oil do I need? Your recipe just says 1/4 oil. I am new cook so I am not sure and didn’t want to guess.

    • Oh my, no one’s ever pointed out that error. Thank you! 1/4 cup should do it. After that, add a little water or chicken stock if the beans seem too dry while you’re mixing them.

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