The Best Refried beans recipe for your favorite traditional Mexican style food. Creamy, buttery, rich and so delicious Homemade Refried Beans are much better than the canned ones.
Try this Homemade Refried Beans recipe, make from starch in your Instant Pot or in Indian Pressure Cooker.
The homemade Refried beans are best for the Vegetarians and Vegans as many canned beans contain Lard(not suitable for consumption by vegetarians and vegans). These are also high on preservatives and salt which is not good for the health if we are continuously using it. So, it is best to make it at home which takes just a couple of mins, less than an hour, minus the beans soaking time.
- What are Refried Beans
- Which is the right bean to make Refried Beans
- Refried Beans in Instant Pot
- Why to pre-soak the beans before cooking in IP
- Ingredients to make the recipe
- How to make Refried Beans in Instant Pot
- Refried Beans in Indian Pressure Cooker
- Refried Beans in Open Pot(Stove-Top Method)
- How to make the Refried beans with the Canned beans
- Storage and Shelf life of Homemade Refried Beans
- How can I use Refried beans in my cooking
- Recipe Card for Refried Beans or FRIJOLES REFRITOES
- Best Refried Beans Recipe
What are Refried Beans
Refried beans are cooked and mashed beans( mainly Pinto or Black Beans are used) and served as side or as an ingredient to various Mexican dishes like in Burritos, Enchiladas, Bean dip etc.
Refried beans is a dish made from boiled/cooked and mashed beans, a traditional in Mexican and Tex-Mex Cuisine. These are also very popular in many Latin American countries. These are also known as FRIJOLES REFRITOES.
Pinto beans are commonly used to make refried beans. Dry beans are soaked overnight which are then boiled, the liquid is then separated from the beans using strainer. Cooked beans are then mashed and fried or baked in small amount of oil with onion and garlic. Liquid is used to adjust the consistency of beans as the mashed beans tend to become very dry.
Refried Beans are not the fried or double fried beans as the name suggests (in the beginning I too thought it as the mashed fried beans or something like that). During my growing up years in India, I was not very much familiar with Mexican Cuisine. Only when few years back, International food joints started opening we got introduced to this wonderful Cuisine , which has so much similarity to our Indian Cuisine. That time it used to be occasional visits to try out or explore the cuisine. When I shifted to The USA then only I started exploring and cooking/making the Mexican or the Tex Mex Cuisine.
Is Tex-Mex Cuisine the same as Mexican Cuisine
Many people take Mexican and Tex- Mex Cuisine as the same. But there is a marginal difference in the two as per the ingredients used. Tex- Mex is the fusion created by people in Texas for the Mexican food(that's what I understood from various online resources). If you want to know more on the topic then you can google search as lot of information is available online.
Which is the right bean to make Refried Beans
Pinto Beans are known to be the best choice for Refried Beans, though many people also like to make it with Black beans. My personal choice is Pinto beans as these are more buttery and creamy than the other bean varieties. I have also used Cranberry Beans to make Refried beans. Cooking time for the other bean varieties is almost the same as the Pinto beans.
Refried Beans in Instant Pot
Since we are making the Refried Beans from scratch, cooking beans in open pot takes too much of time (about 1-2 hrs).
Instant Pot has come as a blessing especially for making one pot nutritious meals. The food gets cooked so quickly(as compared to the open pot method), retaining all the nutrients and one does not have to keep a watch while the food is getting cooked.
Making Refried Beans in Instant Pot can't get much easier as it takes a couple of mins and is ready within an hour. Only time taking thing here is pre-soaking the beans for a couple of hours.
It is a kind of dump all and cook recipe.
Why to pre-soak the beans before cooking in IP
Many people do cook beans directly in pressure cooker without presoaking. But in India we always have the practice of soaking any kind of beans for a couple of hrs or overnight.
Soaking beans/legumes like Red Kidney Beans, Black Eyed Beans, Chickpeas and many other prior to cooking or boiling
If you do not want to pre-soak beans it is fine, just increase the cooking time to 10-15 mins more than the time given in the recipe card for cooking the beans.
It takes about 40 mins to cook pre-soaked beans, it will take around 50 mins to cook the unsoaked beans. Hardness of water also plays a part. So if the water in your area is hard then it should be about 50-60 mins in all for the cooking time of unsoaked beans.
Ingredients to make the recipe
Dry Beans- Dry beans like Pinto, Black Beans, Cranberry Beans. One of my friend makes so cream beans with Cannellini beans.
You can also use canned beans to make refried beans, but my preferred way is to make from dried beans.
Spices- Cumin Powder, Paprika or Kashmiri Chilli Powder, Mixed herbs. You can also use Taco seasoning instead of adding different spices. Very little oil just a tbsp is required to make the refried beans. It is a low oil, keto friendly recipe.
Onions and Garlic to enhance the flavours.
Optional- The magic ingredient for my homemade refried beans is the Salsa(store bought or homemade)
How to make Refried Beans in Instant Pot
Wash the dry beans nicely 2-3 times in tap water.
Soak for about 4-5 hrs. If you do not want to soak then after washing you can directly cook the beans. I prefer to soak beans prior to cooking.
When ready to cook. drain the water from the soaked beans, and keep beans aside.
To make the recipe in your IP, switch on the SAUTE MODE for 5 mins. When the display shows HOT, add oil, then finely chopped/minced garlic, onions and saute till the raw smell of onions and garlic goes away.
Then Cancel the Saute Mode, add the beans.
Then add all the spices and the salsa if you are using it in the recipe.
Add about 3 cups of water and then give a light mix and cover and seal the lid.
Set the PRESSURE COOK MODE on or set the timer to 40 mis. You can also cook the beans in Bean or Chilli Mode. It takes the same time.
Once the time is up, let the pressure release naturally.
Then check the beans.
Using a potato masher or hand mixer, mash the beans to creamy or chunky consistency. The beans gradually absorb liquid or or you can first dry some liquid or take out the liquid , reserve it and then add it to thickened beans.
Or, you can also take out beans in a separate bowl or in the inner pot, transfer the cooked beans and then with a potato masher or hand held blender, mesh the beans to desired consistency. Add the water from the cooked beans to get the desired consistency.
It's ready to serve!
Refried Beans in Indian Pressure Cooker
Refried beans can also be made in Indian Pressure cooker. I still do lot of my cooking in our traditonal pressure cooker. IF you do not own an Instant Pot your can still easily make Refried Beans at home.
In India Pinto beans, are known by the name Chitra Rajma Variety. It is easily available at the local stores and also online.
Checkout the details in the recipe card.
Refried Beans in Open Pot(Stove-Top Method)
Cooking beans in open pot takes lot of time (about 1-2 hrs). Even if you pre-soak the beans then also it is going to take time. I never cooked the beans in the open pot, but you can cook in a covered pot till the beans are soft and mushy.
How to make the Refried beans with the Canned beans
I will not suggest the canned beans in the recipe. But if you want go ahead. In that case we have to cook the beans for a less time. Pressure Cook the beans only 5-10 mins. so that flavours blend well.
You can simply make FRIJOLES REFRITOES from canned beans in open pan also. Cook the beans with spices for about 20 mins so that the flavours infuse nicely and beans get a bit more soft and creamy and easy to mash.
Storage and Shelf life of Homemade Refried Beans
Homemade beans can be stored in good quality refrigerator friendly air-tight containers. Stays good for 3-4 days. Stored refried beans get a bit thick, so add water when reheating or using them in the recipes (if it is too thick).
You can also freeze it for a couple of months. I have stored for about a month. As many times I make a big batch and then freeze to use for whenever we want to enjoy our favorite Mexican food at home. If you are freezing a big batch then, store in portions as much as you want to use at a time. Thaw in refrigerator at least 4-5 hrs or overnight before using.
How can I use Refried beans in my cooking
Refried beans are a great side with Mexican dishes. You can make Burritos, Mexican Pizza, Burrito Bowls, Tostadas, loaded cheesy Nachos, make soups along with other vegetables. I will soon be updating the recipes for the different dishes.
Sometimes I simply spread the refried beans on tortillas, these homemade Spinach Tortillas, or leftover Chapatis, add some lettuce or any salad leaves and salsa and make quick wraps for kids.
Do checkout some of my favourite Mexican Recipes on the blog
Recipe Card for Refried Beans or FRIJOLES REFRITOES
Best Refried Beans Recipe
- Instant Pot
- Mixing Bowl
- Potato Masher/Hand Blender
- 1.5 Cup Dry Pinto Beans
- 1 medium Finely Chopped Onion
- 4-5 Minced/Finely Chopped Garlic Cloves
- Finely chopped Jalapeno as required
- 3/4 Cup Salsa optional
- 1-2 tsp Cumin Powder
- Paprika Powder as required
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp Mexican Seasoning or Taco Seasoning or as required
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- Wash the dry beans nicely 2-3 times in tap water.1.5 Cup Dry Pinto Beans
- Soak for about 4-5 hrs. If you do not want to soak then after washing you can directly cook the beans.
- When ready to cook. drain the water from the soaked beans, and keep beans aside.
Make Refried Beans in Instant Pot
- Switch on the SAUTE MODE for 5 mins. When the display shows HOT, add oil.1 tbsp Olive Oil
- Next add finely chopped/minced garlic, onions and saute till the raw smell of onions and garlic goes away, around 30 secs-1 mins.1 medium Finely Chopped Onion, 4-5 Minced/Finely Chopped Garlic Cloves
- Also add chopped jalapeños or deseeded green chillies.Finely chopped Jalapeno
- Then Cancel the Saute Mode, add the beans.
- Then add all the spices and the salsa if you are using it in the recipe. Add Taco seasoning instead of using all the spices.3/4 Cup Salsa, 1-2 tsp Cumin Powder, Paprika Powder, 1 tbsp Mexican Seasoning or Taco Seasoning, Salt to taste
- Add about 3 cups of water and then give a light mix and cover and seal the lid.
- Set the PRESSURE COOK MODE on or set the timer to 40 mis. You can also cook the beans in Bean or Chilli Mode. It takes the same time.
- Once the time is up, let the pressure release naturally. It will take another 20 mins.
- Now take a potato masher and mash the beans to chunky or creamy consistency.
- Once the beans are meshed to desired consistency, take out in a bowl or contained in which you are going to store the beans.
- Use as and when required.
- Homemade Refried beans can be stored in good quality refrigerator friendly air-tight containers. Stays good for 3-4 days.
- You can also freeze the Refried beans for a couple of months. I have stored for about a month. As many times I make a big batch and then freeze in portions as much as you want to use at a time. Thaw in refrigerator at least 4-5 hrs or overnight before using.
- Stored refried beans get a bit thick, so add water when reheating or using them in the recipes (if it is too thick).
Do try this easy homemade Refried Beans and you will never want to go back to the canned ones. Use it in making your favourite Mexican favorites like burritos, mexican pizza and many more.
Hope you will try the recipe and you and your loved ones will surely love it as much as my family loves it.
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