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Beans, a staple in the Mexican kitches: Frijoles by Karen Hursh Graber © 2003

Since pre-Hispanic tmes, beans have been a staple in the Mexican kitchen. They appear in a world of traditional recipes, from frijoles refritos or refried beans to frijoles charros (cowbooy beans) and many many more.


  • 1 kilo (2.2 lbs) black or pinto beans
  • 1 harge onion
  • 1 head of garlic, whole, unpeeled
  • 5 tablespoons of salt or to taste

Place 2 litres of water on to boil. Clean, sort and rinse beans removing any rocks and dirt. Once beans have been thoroughly cleaned, and rinsed, place in the boiling water, cover and simmer for 2 hours. At the end of the 2 hours, add the onion, garlic and salt, cover and simmer 2 hours more or until beans are tender.

Serve with

Once the beans are tender they can be served as is or refried, and served along with any other dish you like.


Beans go sour if not properly refrigerated. I suggest allowing the beans to come almost to room temperature and then refrigerating. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and can be turned into a variety of different dishes and accompaniments.

Published or Updated on: January 1, 2003 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2008
Contact Karen Hursh Graber

Follow Karen as she travels through the Central Mexican state of Puebla, meeting local cooks, tasting the food, and collecting recipes. With over 75 recipes, plus sections on ingredients and cooking techniques, the book takes the reader on a journey through one of Mexico's oldest and most renowned culinary regions. It can be ordered online.

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