Refried beans: Frijoles refritos (Mexican Kitchen)

articles Food & Cuisine Recipes

Karen Hursh Graber


  • 1 kilo (2.2 lbs) black or pinto beans, cooked
  • 10 Tbs. oil
  • Chiles Güeros or wax chiles

Start by toasting the chiles over a low flame or on a comal (or griddle) until the skins begins to blister and the chiles become slightly cooked.

Heat a heavy pan or skillet over high heat until very hot (a drop of water should “dance” in the skillet when it is ready). Add the oil and the beans. I always use an unslotted spoon or ladle as this seems to include enough bean juice to make them the consistency I like.

Let them simmer in the oil, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes and then mash with a potato masher. When the beans are done, add the chiles and serve.

Serve with

Anything! eg Make bean and cheese burritos.


Refried beans range from very soupy to very dry depending on each person’s preference. Feel free to experiment with the amount of bean “juice” you add to your refried beans and discover which consistency you like best.

I always allow the beans to simmer in the oil for a little longer than 5 minutes since it seems the longer they simmer the sweeter the taste of the final product, but again, experiment and find out what works best for you.

You may also want to try frying some chorizo (Mexican saussage), salt pork or onion in the oil beofre adding the beans for a different flavor.

If you are watching your fat intake, you can decrease the amount of oil without changing the taste too noticeably.

Published or Updated on: October 28, 2014 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2008

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