Homemade refried beans make the perfect side dish with Mexican food or stuffed into your taco or burrito. They’re a great way to gets the health benefits of beans during the summer months, too, when you’re not feeling like chili or bean soup. The storebought versions can have some sketchy ingredients like trans fats in them. I have had some luck with organic canned versions being clean of junk (Meijer brand, around $1 on sale — The fewer the ingredients, the better!), but I prefer to make my own for budget reasons.
Refried beans aren’t very photogenic, but there they are behind the yummy Mexican rice.
- 1 ½ cups dried pinto, black or red kidney beans, picked over and rinsed
- 6 cups water
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 c. finely chopped onions
- 1 tsp whole cumin seeds or ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- ½ c. grated jalapeno jack cheese
- ½ to 3 Tbs freshly squeezed lime juice, plus ¼ to ½ tsp grated zest (I never have zest)
- ¼ c. toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)
- Soak the beans overnight (see here for details).
- Drain soaked beans, add fresh water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook a few hours.
- Drain the cooked beans. Reserve the cooking liquid to thin the refried beans.
- In the pot or a large skillet, heat the remaining Tbs oil.
- Add the onions and cumin and cook over med-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are limp, about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic and oregano and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are lightly browned, 2-3 minutes more.
- Stir in 1 cup of the bean cooking liquid.
- Lower heat to medium and add half the beans.
- Use a potato masher or fork (or hand mixer) to mash them.
- Add remaining beans and mash. You can leave the mixture quite coarse, with some beans intact, or continue mashing until fairly smooth.
- Stir well and make sure the beans are thoroughly heated.
- When most of the liquid has been absorbed, turn off the heat.
- Stir in the cheese, 2 Tbs lime juice, lime zest, and salt to taste.
- Add more lime juice, if needed to create a citrus edge.
- Serve hot, with a sprinkling of grated cheese and pumpkin seeds (if using).
If you missed the last Monday Mission, click here.
Other Great Recipes:
- Mexican Beans and Rice
- Homemade 100% Whole Grain Tortillas
- Veggie Bean Burritoes
- Homemade Guacamole
- Frugal Homemade Pizza Sauce
- Jamaican Meat Marinade
Find great tailgating appetizer recipes at Life as MOM’s Ultimate Recipe Swap.