Homemade Garlic Refried Beans
Making your own Homemade Garlic Refried Beans is a revelation and making them with tons of garlic is a taste sensation!
When I saw first saw a tweet about Homemade Garlic Refried Beans my interest was piqued. First because I love anything with garlic but I also was curious. Could they really be any good? Were those awful canned beans not the only solution?
I’ve had some great dishes at local authentic Mexican restaurants but even there the refried beans weren’t a highlight. For some reason I’ve never considered making my own so I simply 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 Homemade Garlic Refried 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 this recipe already called for 8 cloves, I kept it the same (though made sure they were all BIG cloves); that was a fair amount; my kind of recipe for sure!
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. A bit of heat always opens up spices, sort of like toasting them might.
Last, I used chicken stock in lieu of water to cover the beans. I do this with everything I make from soups to rice so why not with refried beans? Thankfully I did remember to eliminate salt in the recipe and mine were just about perfect; the salt in the chicken stock was plenty.
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 refried beans wrap without any beef or chicken! Just some beans, cheese, pico de gallo and avocado and it was wonderful.
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.
Although traditionally refried beans are cooked in lard, you can use a variety of different ones 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 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!
You can use them in so many ways too, here’s some of my favorites:
- Tortilla Wraps as shown which layers beans, cheese, salsa, and avocado.
- Nacho Momma’s Beef, Bean and Cheese Tortilla Dip
- Refried Bean and Beef Nachos
PIN IT! ‘Homemade Garlic Refried Beans’
Homemade Garlic Refried 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)
- Preheat the oven to 275°F.
- Put the pinto beans into a colander. Pick through and remove any foreign objects and dried, shriveled or dis-colored beans.
- Rinse them well and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Taste the beans and adjust with salt if desired.
You’ve convinced me, I need to make some homemade refried beans. Although you know I’m going to make them in the pressure cooker.
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.
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!
They were good Jayne but of course I would love to see your take too!
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.
No harm in that; I’m tempted to try this with some canned beans and compare the end result. Just keep cooking!
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…
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!
These look amazing! Refried beans are one of my favourite simple enchilada fillings – so tasty and pretty healthy too 🙂 thanks for the recipe!
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.
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!
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!).
From the 8 cloves of garlic to the bacon grease you had me! 🙂 I alway up the ante on garlic too, I just love the stuff.
My thoughts exactly; they were seriously huge cloves or I would have HAD to throw in a couple more. 🙂
A new Costco is opening up an hour from here in only THREE months. Yes, I know, I’m excited too. 🙂
I love your refried beans and that wrap looks fantastic.
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!
I’ve made my own before and you are right. There is no comparing the two. GREG
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.
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!
Scrumptious! My Peter would love this dish, Barbara! Thanks so much for sharing. xo
Gorgeous Barb! Now I really, really want to try this:)
Do it…so good Wendy!
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.
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!
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.
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.
I always use canned beans, but normally use black beans because the guys love them so much. I figure if they are good enough for Rick Bayless, they are good enough for me. Yours look wonderful too! Next time I cook a pot of dried beans, I promise to use this recipe.
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?
Sorry Barb, I misunderstood what you were saving about canned. You are so right, I hate those canned refried beans too, funny flavor. Yep, Rick and I use canned black beans from our refried, although I love the pintos too. Still can’t wait to give these a try.
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. 🙂
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.
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.