Mexican Refried Beans

Mexican refried beans. You either love them or hate them. I easily lean on the side on loving refried beans. I must admit that I probably was not a real fan of these until I moved to Dallas, Texas in my young adult life. It was apparent that in southwest, refried beans were a real staple on many Tex-Mex plates. Dallas was also the place where I really fell in love with Tex-Mex food.

There are also the type of refried beans that differ in texture. You know the type, the kind you get that are fairly soupy, and those that are thicker, like a nice batch of mashed potatoes. The thicker ones are the ones I tend to like, the ones that can be lathered on a tortilla to make a chimichanga, or further more, the base of many Mexican dishes, whether they be huevos rancheros, molletes, or tortas. I often eat them by themselves, much like I would if I were to snack on a bowl of mashed potatoes. Refried beans are heavenly, and are a must make.


  • 1 lb of pinto beans, cooked according to direction
  • 1 large onion, cut in half
  • 1/2 head of garlic, plus 4 cloves
  • 5 strips of bacon, reserved bacon fat
  • salt, to taste
  • shredded jack cheese, optional

You have choices when cooking the beans. If you planned ahead, you can soak them overnight, otherwise, if you had an after thought, you can quickly bring them to a boil, and once boiled, set them aside, and let them sit for about one hour. Whatever you do here, make sure you filter the beans, skimming through them before you cook them, removing any rocks or other strange finds. Trust me, you will find something, and the last thing you want to bite into is some sort of pebble!

So, I went with the quick cook method, and after an hour of sitting in the boiled water, I drain them, and add them back to a large pot, adding more fresh water, about 2-3 inches above the beans. Return back to the stove, add in the half bulb of garlic with skin on, and half of the large onion, and bring to a boil. Once boiled, cover, and simmer for another hour, if not longer. Check the beans on the hour mark and check the tenderness. If they are tender, then we can move onto the next step.

During the cooking time, finely chop the remaining half onion, and the four cloves of garlic, as well as cook the bacon in a large, deep skillet. You want the bacon fat here, and you know what you can do with the bacon. That can be your snack, or if you live in a house full of kids that just love bacon, well, enough said.

Once the beans are tender, take about one cup of the bean water, and set aside. This will be used during our mashing process. Remove the onion and the garlic.

Warm up the bacon fat on medium heat. Add in the onion and garlic, and let this cook down for a few minutes. Add in the cooked pinto beans, and mix well. Season with about one teaspoon of salt. Add in about half of the reserved water, and begin to mash. If you have a potato masher, get it out, and get your arms a working. Mash for a few minutes, making sure you continue to mix everything with the masher. Mash to your desired texture, and add more water if necessary. Continue to cook on medium heat for a few more minutes.

Plate, and serve with a bit of shredded cheese on top.

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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

4 thoughts to “Mexican Refried Beans”

  1. I am a HUGE fan of refried beans. I love them spread on a slice of bread with some roasted sweet potato slices. Good stuff.

  2. This is sooo funny. I’m in Norway and I can’t find refried beans anywhere in this country, so I go online to find a recipe and I found your website. I should have remembered your website to begin with and just went there to look first ha ha ha. I WILL try this recipe and let you know how it turns out. I will go to the store and see if I can at least find pinto beans here :-)) Thanks Dax, I now have your website on my favorites and will go here often!!!

  3. This was a great recipe… I will be making these often. I put some hot peppers into mine and left the rest as is for the rest of the family. Delicious….now I’m going to try your jalapeno pepper dip recipe on here for company this weekend, however I can’t imagine I will find any sort of serrano peppers in this Country, any ideas? :-))

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