Homemade Refried Beans

My husband isn’t a big fan of canned refried beans, but he’s LOVES them when I make them myself. Even leftovers of them get eaten up quickly.

Homemade refried beans are super cheap and they freeze great. And while I am listing the recipe below for only 1 pound of beans, I don’t cook such a small batch. If I am going to make them, I usually do at least 3 lbs at one time and I freeze the leftovers into smaller portions for future meals.

Here’s how I do them. You will notice that I DO NOT add extra fat. Yeah, they are yummy with some lard, bacon grease, or olive oil added, but I like to keep them as low in fat as possible so I don’t add anything like that — and they are still great!

Homemade Refried Beans

1 lb of dry pinto beans
1-3 cloves of garlic, chopped (I usually use 3)
1/2 – 1 full onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
a sprinkle of red chili pepper flakes (optional)

The night before you will need your beans, clean the beans well and check for small rocks, etc. Place in a large bowl and fill with water. Make sure you bowl is big enough – the beans will get larger and absorb a lot of water. I generally fill up my bowl to the top with water.

The next day, drain the beans and rinse well. Place beans into a large pot and add fresh water, enough to cover it by about 1″ or so. Add onion and garlic to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 hours or so, stirring occasionally. Do keep a watch on the water; if the beans still need to cook but the water is barely covering the beans or even going below the beans, you’ll want to add more water to keep them covered.

After 1.5 – 2 hours, carefully remove one or two of the beans from the pot with a slotted spoon. Taste the bean (my preferred method) or use a fork to mash the beans. If they aren’t very tender, continue to cook longer until a tested bean is very tender and soft. This process could take up to about 3 hours or so – it depends on a lot of factors, such as how old your beans are, how hard your water is, etc.

Once the beans are very soft, drain off most of the liquid from the pot, reserving it in a bowl or large measuring cup. Return the pot of beans to the stove and continue heating them on low-medium. With a potato masher, start mashing up the beans. During this process, add the seasonings. Continue to mash/stir beans. If beans become too dry, as small amounts of the reserved bean liquid back into the beans.

Optional: If you like things spicy, you can add a diced jalapeno to the water when you add your onion and garlic. Or you can add some red pepper flakes during the time you add all of the other seasonings. This recipe is very low fat, but refried beans can also taste great with the addition of lard, oil, or bacon grease during the mashing/stir phase.

Yields: 12 1/2 cup servings
One serving = 2 WW points

So that’s it – they really are quite easy and so good for you. I always make a large batch, using them for dinner on whatever day I make them, and then freezing the leftovers in quart size zipper bags. Refried beans are great as a side dish ) or as the main ingredient for burritos, tostadas, etc.

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