In traditional Mexican cooking, the bean of choice for refrying is the pinto bean. Seasoned simply with garlic and salt and cooked in pork lard or bacon drippings, these smooth, creamy beans pack big flavor. Forego the soaking and cook beans directly in water to create a rich, luscious stock that will keep your beans moist and delicious.

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 115 min

Total time: 125 min

Classic Refried Beans
Copyright Recipe © 2015 Woodland Foods


Makes 5 servings

  • 1 Cup Pinto Beans

  • Water

  • 2 Tablespoons Lard, or bacon drippings

  • 2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and finely chopped

  • Salt


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of lard, drippings or oil in medium heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute.

  2. Add beans and just enough cooking liquid to cover. Bring beans to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until very tender. If beans get too dry add 1 or 2 cups of water at a time.

  3. When the beans are cooked to very tender strain but keep the liquid. Add the last tablespoon of lard to the pot and place over medium heat. Add the beans to the hot grease and fry briefly. Coarsely mash beans with back of spoon until desired consistency is reached. Add reserved bean water to maintain desired consistency. Season to taste with salt.