Refried beans (Frijoles refritos)

The humble refried beans are the quintessential Mexican cuisine staple. Beans are packed with protein, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Refried beans are used in several ways: as a side dish, filling for peppers, sopes, huaraches etc., alone as a dip with tortilla chips and so much more!


  • 2 cups of beans (use black, red, kidney, pinto, black-eyed beans or a combination of beans)*
  • 2 liters of water
  • 3 tbsp. chicken or vegetable broth mix in powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil (can substitute for butter or lard which is used to give the beans more flavour)
  • 2 tbsp. of salt to cook the beans
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • A pinch of chili flakes (optional)


  • Feta cheese, queso fresco or cotija cheese (optional)

*When possible, use dry beans as canned beans contain great amounts of sodium (salt). If you use dry beans soak them in water the night before, they will be hydrated and will cook a lot faster. If it’s not possible soak them in water at least 1 hour before cooking.

In a large pot cook the beans with the water and salt. In the Instant pot: Pressure cook for 50 minutes at high temperature. Reserve 1/2 cup of the water used to cook the beans.

In a large pan sauté, at medium heat, the garlic and onion with olive oil (butter or lard) until the onion gets caramelized. Add the beans and chicken or vegetable broth mix in powder. Mash as much as you’d like, stir and add small amounts of the water used to cook the beans (next time you heat them they don’t get too dry). If you prefer a “hummus-like” texture use a hand blender.
Salt and peeper to taste, add cilantro and chili flakes. Serve with feta cheese on top.

Scrambled eggs with refried beans

Author: Aída Guerra

Foodie, Mexican-Canadian with a passion to share my favourite recipies.

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