Wednesday, September 17, 2014

RECIPE: How to Make Homemade Refried Pinto Beans


The pinto bean is a variety of common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris). It is the most common bean in the United States and northwestern Mexico. Either whole or mashed, it is a common filling for burritos. The young pods may also be harvested and cooked as green pinto beans.

When most of us think of refried beans, it's the pinto bean version that comes to mind. This is definitely true in Texas or Mexican cooking. If not pintos, black beans are the second most common choice in refried bean recipes. Pinto beans are the most common choice for refried beans for good reason: pinto beans make absolutely stunning refried beans. Cooked pinto beans have a slightly sweet, earthy flavor, and are plump, tender, and creamy, which means they mash easily and superbly.

This homemade recipe makes enough refried beans to fill about 8 large burritos, allowing about 1/2 cup refried beans per tortilla. A word of advice: In this recipe it is very important to cook the beans until they are meltingly tender—a state that would be overcooked for most other recipes.


Refried Beans is a Misnomer

The name is based on a mistranslation: in Mexican Spanish, the prefix re is an informal form of emphasis meaning "very" or "well", which has been confused with the English re, which indicates repetition. Thus, frijoles refritos really means "well-fried beans", not "fried-again beans". In this dish, the beans are often fried (once), but may also be baked, thus making the term "refried" a misnomer on two counts.

Guidelines for Preparing and Cooking the Pinto Beans

(1) Allow about 55g/2oz dried weight per person. Once soaked and cooked they'll at least double in weight.

(2) Wash the pinto beans. Place in a strainer and wash under a running tap. Remove any obvious debris, such as small stones or twigs. Also, remove any beans that don't look up to standard. You only need to rinse the beans for 30 to 60 seconds. The main purpose of this rinse is to stir up and loosen any major pieces of debris. Debris usually appears in the form of small stones. You do not have to examine the beans too carefully during this process, especially if you purchased them from your trusted source, but you should keep your eyes open for anything that looks out of place.

Related Post: How to Cook Beans or Legumes

(3) Soak the beans. Pinto beans need soaking for several hours before cooking, preferably overnight. Add a teaspoonful of bicarbonate of soda (only on slow soak method) to speed things up. Pre-soaking the beans helps to break down the oligosaccharides that contribute to increased flatulence. There are two common methods for soaking the beans:

   b) Slow soak method: Add the beans to a container and water, at a ratio of 2-3 cups water per 1 cup dried beans. Place the beans in a container with lid and put into the refrigerator to soak overnight (minimum 8 hours). Why in the refrigerator?, this will prevent the pinto beans from fermenting.

   a) Quick soak method: Place the pinto beans into a casserole or saucepan. Fill with 2-3 cups of water per 1 cup dried beans. Bring to the boil for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover with the lid and let stand for 2 hours before cooking.

(4) Drain. Never cook beans in the water they were soaked in or you re-introduce the oligosaccharides that contribute to increase flatulence in humans. Always discard the soaking water, rinse and cook in fresh water and add the salt only after cooking (salt toughens the skins). Read the advantages and disadvantages why you need to discard the soaking water here... Homemade Refried Black Beans Recipe -Frijoles negros refritos

Refried Black Beans from Scratch

Boiling the Beans: 1- 1/2 to 2 hours

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking the refried beans: 20 minutes

Yield: 6 to 8 side-dish servings


2 cups dried pinto beans, soaked overnight or using the quick soak method
8 cups water
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 fresh jalapeño or serrano chiles, minced (seeding is optional)
1 small onion, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper


1) Drain the beans. 

2) Combine the beans with the 8 cups fresh water in a large saucepan. 

3) Cover and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are very tender approximately after 1- 1/2 to 2 hours. 

4) Skim off any foam that rises to the top of the pot.

5) In a large nonstick skillet over low heat, heat the canola oil. 

6) Add the garlic, chiles, onion, chili powder, and cumin, and saute until the onion and chiles are very soft and fragrant, about 10 minutes. 

7) Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to the skillet, adding about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid at the same time. The beans are ready when they are at a consistency suitable for mashing. Remove a bean and press it with a fork to see if it mashes well. If it does, the beans are ready.

8) Mash the beans with the back of your spoon or a potato masher, adding additional cooking liquid as needed to achieve a creamy consistency. 

9) Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

10) Serve warm.

Your family will surely enjoy another health and delicious recipe... Acarajé- Black-Eyed Pea Fritters- Brazilian Food Recipes

Quick Serving Ideas for Refried Pinto Beans

a) Heat pinto beans together with cooked rice. Add cooked chopped fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, zucchini and carrots. Season to taste and enjoy this simple-to-prepare one pot meal.

b) Layer cooked pinto beans, chopped onions and tomatoes and shredded cheddar cheese on a tortilla. Broil in the oven until hot and cheese melts. Top with chopped ripe avocado and cilantro.

c) Blend together pinto beans with oregano, sage, garlic and black pepper for a delicious spread that can be used as a crudité dip or sandwich filling.

CALORIE COUNTER: Refried Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other beans. In addition to lowering cholesterol, pinto beans' high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. When combined with whole grains such as brown rice, pinto beans provide virtually fat-free, high quality protein. But this is far from all pinto beans have to offer. Pinto beans are also an excellent source of molybdenum, a very good source of folate, and a good source of protein, vitamin B1, and vitamin B6 as well as trace minerals like copper, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.

A Grade
90 Calories

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1/2 cup (130 g)
Per Serving
% Daily Value

Calories 90

Calories from Fat 9

Sodium 180mg
Potassium 419.97mg
Carbohydrates 18.9g
Total Fat 1g
Saturated Fat 0g
Dietary Fiber 7g
Sugars 1g

Protein 6g


VIDEO-How to Cook Refried Beans

Did you know?... Avocado Benefits: Top 10 Health Benefits of Eating Avocado


Queiroz Kda S, de Oliveira AC, Helbig E et al. Aug 2002. Soaking the common bean in a domestic preparation reduced the contents of raffinose-type oligosaccharides but did not interfere with nutritive value. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo);48(4):283-9.

Rosengarten, David. 2003. It's All American Food: The Best Recipes for More Than 400 New American Classics. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0-316-05315-0.

McGee, Harold. 2004. On food and cooking: the science and lore of the kitchen. New York: Scribner. ISBN 0-684-80001-2

Wolke, Robert L.; Marlene Parrish. 2005. What Einstein Told His Cook 2: the sequel: further adventures in kitchen science. W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 978-0-393-05869-7

Wood, Rebecca. 1988. The Whole Foods Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Prentice-Hall Press. PMID:15220.

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