No-fail refried beans

Refried beans recipe by Primary Beans


Once you’ve made a pot of beans using our guide, you’ve allllmost made refried beans. All you need is a little more fat to fry everything up. If you can find quality, pasture-raised lard, use it for the best flavor. Then, the magic comes during the mashing process, performed right in the skillet, adding just enough bean broth so that the consistency is velvety. We LOVE refried beans and all that they offer. Smear them, slather them, use them as stuffing, or devour them by the forkful.  

Which beans to use? NegroFlor de Junio, Bayo, and Mayocoba all work great. 

What you’ll need

  • A batch of beans in their broth, cooked according to our guide (use Mexican flavor combination)
  • Some lard or neutral oil, or a combination   
  • Coarse salt
  • ½ white or yellow onion, diced
  • A fresh or dried chile (optional)


Strain beans reserving the broth. Heat lard or oil in a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed skillet until very hot , you’ll want about ¼ cup fat for every 4 cups of beans. If using lard, it will start to turn golden (which is good!). Add onions until they begin to brown around the edges. Then, add the beans and some of their broth, about 1 cup for every 4 cups of beans. Simmer for a few minutes and start mashing with a wire masher until the beans are velvety. You can leave the bean lumps, or continue mashing until very smooth. Cook the beans for longer to thicken, or add more broth to thin.


We imagine this with…

Crispy corn tortillas (bean tostadas!). A warm, high-quality flour tortilla (bean burritos!). Scrambled eggs, hot sauce, avocado, and warm corn tortillas (breakfast tacos!). The options are endless.

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