What’s For a Side Dish? Refried Beans!

Okay. Here’s the recipe I used in my crazy bean adventure. The original recipe calls for fresh onion (which is what I used), but to make this completely food storage friendly you could use dried minced onion, or dehydrated onion dices as well.

Homemade Refried Beans

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  • 1 cup pinto beans, already soaked overnight
  • 1/4 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • pinch of cumin
  • 3 cups of water
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil


  1. Place all of the ingredients, except the olive oil, into a slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. Check the level of the water occasionally to make sure no beans are cooking out of water. If so, add more hot water to cover.
  2. Once the beans have cooked, strain them and reserve the liquid. Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding the reserved water as needed to attain the desired consistency.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the beans to the oil and saute them up a bit (this is the refried part). Serve as a side dish or use in any of your yummy dishes that call for refried beans.

Two variations I want to try on this are to use half black beans and half pinto beans, and also adding some canned green chilies. Sounds awesome.
Also, a tip I’ve read… you can make a big batch of beans and then freeze the leftovers to use at a later date. That way you don’t have to start the whole process over again the next time you need some beans! Woohoo! 😀

Adapted from Refried Beans Without the Refry

Shop Taste of Home (Readers Digest)

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