Pinto Bean Recipes For 
Delicious Refried Beans

Want to learn how to bring out the best flavor in our pinto bean recipes without using unhealthy lard or bacon grease?

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Refried beans can be a healthy dish as well as a healthy snack for your kids. It all depends on the ingredients you use.

This particular refried bean recipe is fairly easy to make. You just need to plan ahead as it needs to simmer a long time to bring out the best flavor.

I always like to give a little information on ingredients before I give you the recipe. So here goes.

In the restaurant business we used cottonseed oil. Today with much emphasis on health, I have changed to vegetable oil as it is easily found in the supermarket.

Canola oil has enough controversy that I don't recommend it.

Although olive oil is considered one of the healthiest oils, I don't recommend using it either, in this recipe as it changes the taste too much.

I do however, use olive oil in most of my cooking in general.

Roasted Garlic

Some pinto bean recipes call for garlic and this one is no exception. The difference is in the preparation of garlic we use. This recipe calls for roasted garlic which will give the beans a nice rich flavor. It won't over power you or the dish. Click here to learn how to roast garlic Sea Salt

I've started using seasalt in my recipes for a couple of reasons. First, I find that the flavor is actually much better and secondly, it's better for you being less processed and containing more minerals than regular salt. Try it and see if you notice a difference in flavor.

Learn more about different kinds of salts.

Pinto Bean Recipes For Refried Beans

  • 2 cups pinto beans
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 bulb of roasted garlic, approximately 6 or 7 cloves
  • 2 - 3 tsp seasalt, depending on how much salt you like
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 finely chopped tomato, vine ripened or home grown
  • 4 quart pot


First pour your beans out on a table or cutting board. Sort through them and discard any rocks or shriveled beans. This shouldn't take but a couple of minutes to do.

Put the beans in a colander and rinse them under cold water. Pour the beans into a pot.

Add 8 cups of cold water and the bay leaf.

Put the stove burner on high and cover partially with a lid. As soon as the beans start to boil, lower the heat a little but stillcontinue to boil. Cook for 2 hours and keep adding wateras it cooks away.

Stir occasionally.

Keep the water level at 2 inches above the beans. 

A Helpful Hint

I heard this tip from a friend of mine. Her mother does this when she prepares pinto bean recipes.

Keep some water heated on the stove in a kettle or pan. Then when you need to add water to your beans, you have hot water available. Adding cold water will slow down thecooking process while you wait for the beans to boil again.

Little Health Tip

You probably shouldn't add hot water directly from your tap as it could contain contaminants leaching from the pipes and the hot water heater itself.

After two hours of cooking, the beans should be soft and darker brown in color. If not cook them another 20 to 30 minutes. Then add the oil, salt, tomato, and roasted garlic.

You can slide the roasted garlic out of it's sleeve in the bulb, right into the beans.


Do not add salt before the two hours of cooking or your beans will never soften up.

After adding the salt etc. bring the beans to a boil again and lower the heat to low. You want to cook them on a slow boil for an additional 1 to 1 1/2 hours. You will need to stir them occasionally to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

A Little Secret To Great Flavor

To get the best flavor, simmer your beans 1- 1 1/2 hour or as long as you can with all the spices and oil. The longer these pinto bean recipes simmer, the better they will taste.

After 1 to 1 1/2 hours, it seems like all the beans want to do is stick to the pot. This is the point where you turn off the heat, remove the bay leaf, and mash them with a potato masher.

You have just completed one of the best pinto bean recipes around. Enjoy.

Cooking For A Crowd?

If you feel like you need more than 3 cups of refried beans, make 4 or 5. Just add a little more salt,tomatoe, roasted garlic and oil. I always taste as I go and so should you, that way you can make adjustments to your liking.

If you decide to make a larger quantity of beans, just remember that the beans will expand in volume. Your pot needs to be big enough to accommadate this as well as the other ingredients and still have room to mash the beans without making a mess.

Here is a rule of thumb. Never fill your pot more than 1/3 full of beans (before cooking). Also make sure you keep the level of water at 2 to 3 inches above the beans.

Making refried beans from our pinto bean recipes will be delicous served with spanish rice, enchiladas or even by themselves topped with grated mild cheddar cheese.

Try serving refried beans topped with grated cheese and tortillas for a great after school snack for your kids. They'll love it.

Our pinto bean recipes hold up very well and will last several days in the refrigerator.

More Bean Recipes

Sweet and Spicy Black Bean Recipe

Homemade Chili Recipe A Delicious Fireman's Chili Bean Recipe.

Chances are good you are going to need some rice to accompany your beans. Both of these are excellent:

Spanish Rice

Cilantro Lime Rice

Spanish Rice Made With Brown Rice Very healthy dish! 

Return from pinto bean recipes to more Mexican food recipes 

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New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.


Made your apple pie recipe yesterday. Absolutely the best!! And no gap! Your spice mixture was just right.

I have the apple/corer/peeler and it made perfect slices in no time. Thank you so much for your wonderful step by step instructions and for the video. Much appreciated. Lucky me! :)

-B.A. from 

Hi! I just wanted to say that your tortilla recipe/video is pretty much the greatest thing ever! I'm a college student, so it's a really great/cheap thing to make. They're especially good with butter, honey, and brown sugar.

I just have to make sure my family doesn't find out I stopped using the family tortilla recipe! Ha! Thanks again!

-C.M. from 
Queens, New York

I just have to write to you and admit something! I'm preparing your spanish rice recipe at the moment AND....I want to thank you!

I had actually given up on making Spanish rice! No one, or no recipe, until YOURS, ever said to actually BROWN the rice so much.! I think thats the taste difference!

Thank YOU so much.  I followed your recipe exactly,..and it is absolutely wonderful!

-Martha MacDonald from 
Karlovac Croatia

Just to let you know that I found your website and love it. We have very limited Mexican produce in Australia and I am enjoying making your recipes.

I have made your enchilada sauce a few times now.  We all love it and have managed to find pinto beans at our central markets. Good Job. Well done.

-Wendy Sachse from 
Adelaide Australia

Rockin' Robin, you truly rock! I live in china right now, far, far away from my beloved Mexican food. Finding ingredients is hard enough, learning how to make everything from scratch no longer is with your recipes.

Though I've only tried your tortilla recipe, I will certainly be coming back to your site to make retried beans and Spanish rice!

My tortillas were awesome, best yet, thanks for giving us a night of Mexican food all the way over here in China!

-Erin from Santa Barbara, California

THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! I stumbled upon your website today as I searched the web for flour tortilla recipes. I made these just after viewing your video, and five of us devoured them.

SO DELICIOUS. And easy to make! I am most grateful to you for this simple, tasty recipe. Your video was a useful tutorial.

I've not attempted to make tortillas prior to making yours, though we often eat tortillas. We're vegetarians, so I was looking for a recipe which used canola oil instead of lard. You delivered. Merci.

-Frances Bolte

WOW! What a great website. Love how you show what to do and how it is supposed to look. Definitely in my favorites folder.

-Terri M from Florida Keys
Where good Mexican food is hard to find.

Just made your enchilada sauce recipe and that's what I've been looking for. I like the fact it has a little heat but not too much so my kids will eat it. Thank you for posting the recipe. i am turning leftover turkey into turkey enchiladas tonight but the star is really the sauce. Thanks again.

-Tony Starks, California