Homemade refried beans are the perfect, simple side dish. A few simple staple ingredients come together to create this side dish that is so much better than the canned version. You’re going to love them!
My family has a tradition for measuring how good or bad a restaurant is. It’s completely biased, but it’s a method we’ve been using for years. Order the most basic, the simplest dish on the menu and see how it turns out. It sounds ridiculous, but the simple dishes are sometimes the hardest to master. How do you take a dish with few ingredients and make them shine?
I know what you’re thinking; refried beans are the backup singer to any Tex-Mex combo platter. But rest assured, these beans are a star in their own right.
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Tips for preparing Homemade Refried Beans:
- Sort through and rinse your beans before starting on this recipe. This is non-negotiable. When beans are harvested, pebbles can sometimes make their way into the packaging. As you can imagine, pebbles do not make for enjoyable food.
- Refried beans need some sort of fat for frying. Traditionally, manteca is the fat used, but I enjoy using olive oil. I always have it on hand, plus I think it has a cleaner flavor in the beans themselves.
- I use my pressure cooker for this recipe. Have I mentioned how lost I would be without it?! The beauty of using a pressure cooker is you can skip the long soak overnight. I usually cook it for 30 minutes, and my beans come out perfectly tender. You can add additional time if needed.
- Save that cooking liquid! If your beans are too thick in the skillet, this broth will help thin it out.
- Add the cooked onions to the skillet when you go to refry your beans. They should disintegrate into the beans while adding wonderful flavor.
- I mix in Monterey Jack cheese at the end; it helps give the beans a creamier texture. Only make sure the pan is off the heat. You can also skip this step if you’d like.
These homemade refried beans are so delicious and so simple. I hope you enjoy them as much as me and my family do! 🙂
Homemade Refried Beans
- 6-Quart Pressure Cooker
- 1 lbs dried pinto beans sorted and rinsed
- 8 cups water
- 2 medium yellow onions quartered
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- pinch cumin
- salt to taste
- ½ cup monterey jack cheese shredded
- queso fresco optional
- Place the rinsed beans, onion, bay leaved, and water in the pot of a 6-quart pressure cooker. Place the lid of the pressure cooker on the pot, locking it in place and adjusting the pressure valve according to manufactures instructions. Once pressurized, cook for 30 minutes. Once the 30 minutes has passed, allow the pressure cooker to depressurize.
- Heat the olive oil in a large 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Once the oil begins to glisten, ladle in two scoops of the beans into the skillet. Gently mash the beans with the back of a wooden spoon until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the beans have thickened. Repeat the process again until the all the beans have been added to the skillet.
- Remove the pan off the heat and add the shredded cheese, cumin, and salt. Stir until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add a little amount of the cooking liquid. Serve immediately topped with queso fresco.