Homemade Garlic Re-Fried Beans

Garlicky Homemade Re-Fried Beans | @CreativCulinary

When I saw Rebecca from the blog Foodie With Family tweet about these re-fried beans my interest was piqued. First because I love anything with garlic but also was just curious. Could they really be any good? Were those awful canned beans not the only solution? I knew there must be one; I’ve had some great dishes at local authentic Mexican restaurants but for some reason I’ve never considered making my own so just deleted them from any recipe that called for them since I think the canned stuff is, in the words of my daughter when she was young, ‘yuck.’ It was time to test; could Garlicky Homemade Re-Fried Beans really make a difference?

The notion that they were garlicky made them pretty appealing too; I simply love garlic. If a recipe calls for a clove; I put in two. Or three. Since Rebecca’s already called for 8 cloves, I kept it the same (though made sure they were all BIG cloves); that was a fair amount…GO REBECCA!

Garlicky Homemade Re-Fried Beans | @CreativCulinary

I’m betting if we put our beans side by side they would be an almost indiscernible difference in taste but I just love doing something different to EVERY recipe; I simply can not help myself so I did change it up just a bit. I love what caramelized onions do to the overall flavor profile of a dish so I cooked mine first before they got added to the other ingredients. I also did not have anything but dried Ancho Chile Pepper so decided to throw the pepper and the oregano into the mix with the sauteed onions…thinking a bit of heat would open them up a bit; sort of like toasting them might. Last, I used some chicken stock in lieu of just water to cover the beans. I do this with everything I make from soups to rice so why not with re-fried beans? Thankfully I did remember to eliminate salt in the recipe; mine were just about perfect; that additional salt was not necessary due to the stock being salted.

Garlicky Homemade Re-Fried Beans | @CreativCulinary

How were they? In a nutshell they were life changing. Fabulous. Deep, rich taste combined with a decidedly ‘not’ gummy texture. I like that I can define the texture too. I actually used my immersion blender but was cautious; I left larger chunks for texture and I thought they were perfect. A first for me? A re-fried beans wrap without any beef or chicken! Just some beans, cheese, pico de gallo and avocado and it was wonderful.


moretortillas It didn’t hurt that I’ve recently discovered the most amazing tortillas at Costco. They’re raw and simply need a quick minute or two in a hot frying pan to brown and I’ve been using them for everything but they were made for these beans.

Rebecca calls for a wide variety of fats you can use to cook the beans in after they’ve simmer for a long time in the oven. I did use bacon and I would not change that but use what works for you. Using a vegetable oil and water or vegetable stock instead of chicken stock and you’ve got a great vegetarian dish too. I can not wait to have some neighbors over for an afternoon of these and my favorite margaritas. Come on warm weather; you’re all I need now!

Garlicky Homemade Re-Fried Beans | @CreativCulinary

Homemade Garlic Re-Fried Beans
  • 1 pound (2 cups) dried pinto beans
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil,
  • ½ an onion, trimmed of both ends, peeled, and roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dried Ancho Chile Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp dry powder for chicken stock (Knorr's)
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ to ½ cup peanut, canola, or vegetable oil, vegetable shortening, lard, or bacon grease (I used bacon fat)
  1. Preheat the oven to 275°F.
  2. Put the pinto beans into a colander. Pick through and remove any foreign objects and dried, shriveled or dis-colored beans.
  3. Rinse them well and set aside.
  4. Put the olive oil into a large Dutch oven; heat to medium high and saute the chopped onions until almost brown. Add the Ancho Chile Powder and oregano and saute for one minute.
  5. Add the beans to the post and cover them with 2 to 3-inches of fresh water; add dried chicken stock, then stir in the garlic and bay leaves.
  6. Bring to a boil, put the lid tightly in place on the dutch oven and place in the oven for 60-90 minutes (*See notes), or until the beans are quite tender.
  7. Add the fat of choice to a cast-iron or other heavy-bottomed 8 to 12-inch skillet over MEDIUM HIGH heat. When it is shimmery, use a ladle to transfer about 3 cups of the cooked beans and liquid to the skillet.
  8. When this comes to a boil, add 2 more ladles-full of beans and liquid. Let it return to a boil and repeat the process (2 ladles then boil) until all the beans have been added then drop the heat to MEDIUM LOW.
  9. Stir the mixture vigorously with a wooden spoon to help break up the beans. Keep simmering until most of the beans are broken up and the mixture is creamy and thick. There will still be some whole beans visible in the pan(**See Notes). Keep in mind that the mixture will continue to thicken as it cools.
  10. Taste the beans and adjust with salt if desired.
The final cooking time on the beans is largely dependent on how old your dried beans are. This doesn't necessarily mean that if you just bought them they're newer. That's okay, it's a product that's MEANT to be shelf-stable for years. Just have a little patience, add more water while it's in the oven if it starts running out too soon, and you'll be rewarded with delicious beans!

*If you want a smoother end-product, you can use a potato masher in the pan to help break up the beans while they cook. If you want an ULTRA smooth finished product, you can whirr the cooked beans in a food processor fitted with a metal blade.

As previously mentioned, I simply used an immersion blender to help break up the beans; leaving the overall mixture chunky.



    • Creative Culinary says

      You know…I almost did that but thought I should try it both ways. I haven’t used my yet so know I have a reading/learning curve and just wanted to get the beans on! You’ll have to let me know; you’ll surely beat me to the punch.

  1. says

    These look amazing, such a delicious photo! I adore refried beans and have actually been working on my own recipe, I may shelve that to try yours now!

  2. says

    I haven’t branched out yet into cooking with dried beans; I’m still using canned beans. But I’ve gotten to the point where I’m making my own re-fried beans now unless canned refried beans are on sale.
    Edward Antrobus Most Recent Post: Six Can Chili

    • Creative Culinary says

      No harm in that; I’m tempted to try this with some canned beans and compare the end result. Just keep cooking!

  3. says

    Wow! I have always loved refried beans but these sound so much more amazing. I have never made them from scratch; they are just one of those things I find so daunting but you make it look so doable. And I love the way you served them. I might just try this. Mmmmm…

    • Creative Culinary says

      Really easy; I mean it’s really sort of like making a big pot of soup and then cooking it down and mushing the beans…easy peasy and SO good. I have NEVER in my life thought I would love a plain bean burrito but I do now!

    • Creative Culinary says

      So much healthier making your own because you can watch the fat portion; they’re really not fried actually the way I did them except they’re done in a frying pan; I could have reduced the bacon fat and lessened the fat and might try that next time.

  4. says

    I have to tell you…re-fried beans are not my favorite food. Manservant eats them right out of the can. And let me tell you that canned re-fried beans remind me of what I used to feed my toy poodle when I was 6 years old. I hated opening that can and opening a can of re-fried beans reminds me of this. Now, that being said…These look like really good re-fried beans and I may just have to rethink this and make Manservant’s day!
    Abbe@This is How I Cook Most Recent Post: Salted Butterscotch Chocolate Tart or Gone, But Not Forgotten

    • Creative Culinary says

      Well, it’s that can thing…I am so with you! These are so beyond that…he will love you forever (but then he already does!).

    • Creative Culinary says

      I am a certified Costcoaholic. Be careful out there; it happens. Only place you can go to buy a gallon of milk and spend $300 too!

  5. says

    I love homemade refried beans – nothing like the stuff from the can. After the real deal one can never go back. Yours sound wonderful. And I am thrilled to hear about these tortillas. I will have to see if our Costco has them. Thanks for the tip.

    • Creative Culinary says

      If you click on the link on my post it will take you to their site Adri where you can do a zip code search and see if your Costco is included. They are so good; I would NEVER consider making my own from scratch with these available!

  6. says

    I don’t think I’ve bought those canned refried beans in decades! I more often make well-cooked beans than refried ones (with tons of flavor, of course!), but when I do make refried ones I leave mine pretty chunky — I love texture. These looks wonderful! Costco has some good stuff; one of these days we’re going to have to break down and join. Only reason we haven’t is so many things are sold is such huge quantities, and it’s a bit of a drive for us to get to the closest one. Still should do it, though. Anyway, great dish — thanks.
    John@Kitchen Riffs Most Recent Post: Italian Celery and Mushroom Salad

    • Creative Culinary says

      The re-fried in this case was a misnomer of sorts; yes, you are adding a frying agent but not really frying them as much as cooking them down. Before I mashed them up they could have just been bean soup and been good!

      So, I am a HUGE fan of Costco and it’s just me…so I say go for it. The only thing I don’t buy in bulk now that my kids are on their own is fruits and veggies except onions and garlic since I both use them a lot and they last a long while. Get a FoodSaver and make it work!

  7. says

    I can honestly say that I’ve never had refried beans that I truly thought to be delicious. I’ve come to think of them as just something to fill the plate when ordering my favorite entrees at our local Mexican eateries. However, admittedly, I’ve never tried cooking my own and I’m more than certain that the ones I’ve had haven’t been as carefully prepared as these! I just know that they could be delicious if cooked correctly so I’m anxious to give your recipe a try.
    Lana @ Never Enough Thyme Most Recent Post: Green Goddess Dressing

    • Creative Culinary says

      I could have said those same words Lana; I would have NEVER had a wrap with just beans either so it was the ultimate taste test. They passed…hope you do try them and let me know what you think.

    • Creative Culinary says

      I use canned beans sometimes too but I just can not stand canned re-fried beans. So you use canned black beans to make re-fried beans; is that what you (and Rick) are saying?

        • Creative Culinary says

          I just knew it! I’ll have to try the black beans, or a combination or…who knows? Next time it’s going to be using my new pressure cooker. Wish me luck. :)

  8. Elizabeth says

    Wow, I have got to try these. I’ve cooked a lot of beans in my day but I’ve never seen this method of cooking them in the oven. Must try! I’m a big fan of refrieds (and garlic)….I just wish they weren’t so fattening.

    • Creative Culinary says

      It was convenient; I’m sure I could have done them on the stovetop too and next time I’m trying my slow cooker! You add the fat to them so keep it to a minimum and reduce it a bit Elizabeth; I think for the quantity produced that it really isn’t all that bad.

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