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Refried Beans
Refried Beans Header

Refried Beans is something you can make at home cheap with relative ease for your next Taco Tuesday Meal. It keeps in the freezer extremely well, too. So a big batch can be made up and portioned before being frozen. This recipe is in the same style as Old El Paso Refried Beans.

Old El Paso Refried Beans Ingredients

Cooked Beans, Water, Contains Less than 2% of: Partially Hydrogenated Lard, Salt, Vinegar, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Spice, Chili Pepper.

Homemade Refried Beans Ingredients

Made with Pinto or Black Beans, Fat, Broth, Taco Seasoning and Vinegar.


The Standard Beans used for Refried Beans are either Pinto Beans or Black Beans. However, other kinds of beans can be used just as well.

For a better end product, soak the beans overnight in water to give them time to absorb the water and cook up much easier and evenly through.


Less than 2 % of lard seems to be extremely low for me, unless we are talking about Rendered Pork Fat. That might be the case.

Beans naturally cry out for Fat. Whether it be Hummus, Baked Beans, or here for Refried Beans. Fat added to the Beans will bring a far superior mouthfeel and taste to beans than beans without fat.

Rendered Pork Fat

With some Pork trimming that you might have saved. If not you can use Beef Suet or Lard in its place but Rendered Pork Fat will give you the best flavor.

Heat on medium heat and cook until you render the fat out and the pork is golden crisp. Any leftover fat can be refrigerated and used for other things.

Check out my post on Rendered Fat to learn more.

Rendered Pork Fat
Rendered Pork Fat


The broth is going to assist us when puréeing the Beans. It will get cooked out when we fry the beans and the flavors will intensify. You can use just water as well.

The trick here is the Liquid to Bean ratio in the final product. You can always reduce further or add more water/broth to adjust the consistency.


This is definitely needed to lift the flavors up a bit more. Giving you a better refried bean paste with lifted Flavors.

Refried Bean Seasoning

Old El Paso lists Salt, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Spice, and Chili Powder. In its place, we use Taco Seasoning. Add as much as you like for your preference.

Vegetarian Version

For a Vegetarian Version, replace the Fat with Vegetable Shortening and the Broth with Vegetable or Mushroom Broth.

Cooking the Beans

There are a couple of ways to do this. However you choose, the objective is to get easily mashed beans.

You can choose to soak the beans overnight, which will reduce the cook times and allows the beans to cook more evenly due to the intake of water.

You can also cook until just al dente and remove some to roughly mash and continue to cook the rest till easily puréed and then add in the rough mash beans with the puréed beans for added texture.

Pressure Cooker Beans

Place the beans in the pressure cooker and heat on max. After the first whistle, drop the heat to medium-high and cook 12–15 minutes for beans that have not been soaked.

Quick Release and check if the beans are good. If not, leave in the hot water for a while or return to the pressure cooker to finish and then strain.

Slow Cooker Beans

Place the beans in the slow cooker with water to cover and cook until done. This will take a few hours depending on whether you soaked the Beans or not. For Soaked Beans, this will be about 2 hours for Beans that have not been soaked longer.

Bean Puree

Once we have the Beans cooked where they are soft and easily mashed. Strain out the Beans and add them into a food processor with the Broth to assist in moving things along.

Add in chopped Onions, Garlic, Peppers if desired for more flavor when puréeing the Beans.

Puree Pinto Beans
Puree Pinto Beans

Frying the Beans

Place the puréed beans in the pan with the hot rendered Pork Fat and add the Taco Seasoning to taste. Start with a small amount, as the broth evaporates the flavors will intensify. Then add more Taco Seasoning towards the end to adjust the seasoning.

Fry the beans on medium heat until you get to the Volcano Stage. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes or so. Refried Beans have the tendency to dry out fast, depending on the water content.

The objective when frying the beans is to create a fond that can be incorporated into the paste, while at the same time cooking the beans down to the correct texture.

For Big Batches, you can portion and freeze these and use them later.

Volcano Stage

While cooking the Re-fried beans on medium heat, you are looking to cook until the Volcano stage.

The Volcano Stage means that while cooking the refried beans. It creates little holes (Volcanoes) that hold their shape and steam escapes, evaporating the water. If you listen closely, there will be a moment where it starts to whistle.

At first, the volcanoes will not hold their shape and instead flap a bit. Once they start holding their shape, and they steam consistently, you are done or just before this. Set aside for a few minutes to cool. Mix and serve.

Refried Bean Consistency

Cook the beans a little past done. It should mash up very easily. You want to purée the beans until very smooth. It may be desired to reserve some beans and add them into the refried beans paste to mash up a bit for a chunkier version of refried beans.

Refried Beans

Refried Beans

Refried Beans is something you can make at home cheap with relative ease for your next Taco Tuesday Meal. It keeps in the freezer extremely well, too. So a big batch can be made up and portioned before being frozen. This recipe is in the same style as Old El Paso Refried Beans.
Servings: 1 portion
Prep15 minutes
Cook 2 hours 15 minutes


  • 1 Slow Cooker
  • 1 Skillet
  • 1 Food Processor


  • 2 C Pinto Beans - soaked the night before
  • 2-3 Tbl Rendered Pork Fat - can use Beef Suet or Lard
  • 2 Tbl Taco Seasoning or more
  • 1 C Pork Broth
  • 1 tsp Vinegar - or more depending on taste


  • Slow Cook the Beans until very tender and easily mashed. About 2 hours. Strain out and place the Beans into a Food Processor with Pork Broth to move things along and purée.
  • Render Pork Fat by heating up some pork fat in a skillet on medium heat. Continue to cook until the fat has been rendered, and the Pork is crisp. Remove the Pork Crisp and add in the Beans. Mix well.
  • Add 1 Tbl Taco Seasoning and 1 tsp Vinegar and continue to cook. Mix more often as it thickens, and scrape the bottom of the pan.
  • Continue to cook until desired consistency, adjust the seasoning with more Taco seasoning and allow to cool.
  • Once cooled, you can adjust the consistency by adding in water until the cooled Refried Beans are the consistency you want. You can also adjust the seasoning with more Taco Seasoning or Vinegar.


Rendered Pork Fat can be substituted with other forms of fat like Beef Suet or Lard.
Chop the Pork Fat into small pieces for easier rendering over medium to medium low heat. 
Portion leftover Refried Beans into Ziploc bags and freeze.
Course: Condiment, Ingredient, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: El Paso Style Refried Beans, Refried beans, Refried Pinto Beans
Author: JAH

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