Refried Beans

I am going to make a confession that might shock some people. Ready? Here I go. Up until a couple of weeks ago I had never made refried beans before. Yes, you read me right. I grew up in Mexico, the land of frijoles refritos. In my parents’ restaurant they made pounds every day and yet I had never made them myself. I always bought them canned at the store.

In the meantime some of my foodie friends were making refried beans so I had to get my act together and start making my own. After all, refried beans is something that we eat a lot here. We just love them. I’ve tried a couple of recipes, but this one is my favorite so far. These refried beans are not the healthiest ones, but they are not as greasy as some others I’ve eaten. The fat used comes from the Mexican chorizo, I don’t add any other kind of fat. So they are kinda healthy and delicious at the same time.

Refried Beans
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
  • •1/2 lb Mexican chorizo
  • •1 small onion
  • •4 cups cooked pinto beans drain
  • •Chicken broth (if needed)
  • •2 epazote leaves, finely chopped(remember our stinky friend?)
  • •salt (if needed) and pepper
  1. Peel the chorizo casing (it is the thin skin of the chorizo tubes) and fry it in a hot cast iron skillet or heavy skillet until it browns.
  2. Add onions and sautee in the chorizo fat until translucent (actually they will turn red).
  3. You can either smash the beans with a potato smasher or with a blender, food processor or hand blender. Smashing them with any kind of machine will result in smoother refried beans. If you use a potato smasher add the potatoes to the skillet and smash them. If using a processor, blend them with a little bit of chicken broth before adding them to the skillet.
  4. Add epazote and adjust seasoning. Cook for 20 minutes over medium low heat stirring constantly.

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This is such a simple recipe for frijoles refritos that I really don’t know why I neglected to make them for so long. This week’s question at the forum is about refried beans. Do you like them? Do you make them yourself? Do you have a recipe you’d like to share with us?

¡Buen provecho!


  • I should try this as I’ve never been a fan of refried beans I’ve had out & Matt likes them in burritos

  • For shame! Just kidding.. A little fat wont kill ya. They look tasty.

  • There are still a lot of Greek and Cypriot dishes I have not cooked yet. The dish looks delicious.

  • Ben, I can’t believe you! You never made refried beans???? Man, that was a staple in my house for the longest time. Can’t eat without beans, rice and tortillas. I love beans with chorizo. Have you ever had a scrambled egg, bean and chorizo breakfast burrito? It’s fantastic.

  • I don’t believe I’ve ever tried refried beans with chorizo…I can just imagine the taste!

  • Finally 🙂 They look *delicious* — a little fat is ok, so I’ll give your recipe a try. I have a 2lb bag of beans sitting in my cupboard just begging me to make them into refried beans.

    Thanks for the shout-out!

  • Chorizo? In beans? Holy moly guacamole, give me a fried egg on top, and I’d be in heaven!

  • Ben, this looks great! I made refried beans for a Tex-Mex layered salad & used lardons which also worked well, though my motivation was that it isn’t possible to buy refried beans!! (or at leat I couldn’t find any). I made the salad to feed a crowd when England was palying in the rugby world cup & it was a fab evening!

  • Mmmm…beans…the magical fruit! We love refried beans. I’ve made them lots because after I’ve cooked a big pot of pinto beans, they go farther if they get mashed. The guys are usually good for a couple of bowls, then I mash the rest for burritos and tostadas. Huevos rancheros…or just plain ol’ refried beans with onions, cheese, and cilantro. Hahahaha — it’s not yet 5am and I’m craving beans. Crazy!

  • Hey – my last comment didn’t get added!!

    Anyway, was something along the lines of…

    … YUM!

    And that the health factor in the beans must surely outweigh any fat content from the chorizo 😉

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