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 and can be served as a side or component of nearly any Mexican-inspired dish.

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. Rinse beans and soak in stockpot, covered with plenty of water, for 8 hours or overnight. Drain, and refill with fresh water to cover. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes, then reduce heat and simmer until very tender, about 90 minutes. Drain, reserving cooking liquid.

  2. Heat 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.

  3. Add beans and just enough cooking liquid to cover. Bring beans to a simmer. Coarsely mash with back of spoon until desired consistency is reached. Season to taste with salt.