Frijoles Refritos (Re-fried Beans)

Blog Post | September 9, 2016 | By

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This is one of the simplest things to make in Mexican food. Lard isn’t necessary, but it does make for a better flavor. ‘Round here, if I smoke a shoulder or a leg, I’ll make a point of cutting off a nice big section of the skin/fat and render it to get some smokey (yeah I know it can be smoky, too) lard. Just a little bit goes a long way to getting a creamier texture in your re-fried beans.

Something that ought to be explained, is that our translation of “re-fried” is a bit of a misnomer. Really, these are fried beans, fried really well. In Spanish, that there “re” is used for emphasis, to mean very, or really. My wife would refer to me as re-guapo. So, refritos = very fried. Basically, these are blended/mashed beans, seasoned and cooked to uniform consistency. Let’s try not to make them into glue, though.

Re-fried beans are a two step process, before you mash, season and fry, they need to be cooked and hydrated. Why? Two reasons; 1. That’s how they taste good. 2. Under-cooked beans are mealy and can make you sick. Seriously, they can poison you.

Go get your pot of beans ready…. and now that 8 hours have passed, you can make some re-fried beans. You’re going to need something to mash them with. The bottom of a sturdy plastic cup, a potato ricer, or a strong slotted spatula will all work. You can use a stand-up or immersion blender, also, but I think mashed and stirred gives the best consistency.

Oh hey look, the recipe.

Re-fried Beans
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
582 calories
1 g
61 g
64 g
0 g
25 g
74 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
36 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 582
Calories from Fat 578
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 64g
Saturated Fat 25g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 29g
Cholesterol 61mg
Sodium 0mg
Total Carbohydrates 1g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 4 to 6 tablespoons lard
  2. 1 tablespoon finely chopped white onion
  3. 1 recipe of "Frijoles de olla"
  1. Melt the lard in a medium skillet or frying pan, don't burn it.
  2. Fry the onion in the lard until the onion is translucent, don't burn it.
  3. Get some of the beans in the pan and smash 'em. Give them a stir, add more beans.
  4. Add, stir, add, stir, add stir. Don't burn them.
  1. Note: You get to choose the consistency of your beans. If you want them thicker, cook them down on low heat, taking care to stir so they don't burn/stick. If you like them loose, you may add a bit of the bean water from your Pot 'o Beans.
  2. Flavor: Consider adding some cumin. I prefer beans with cumin. Salt to taste.
Adapted from The Art of Mexican Cooking
Adapted from The Art of Mexican Cooking
The Smokey Sombrero