Adventures of a former overseas missionary, pilot's wife, and mom of 4 girls

Favorite Recipes – Refried Beans June 9, 2011

Filed under: Favorite recipes — junglewife @ 1:30 pm


Now, I was going to tell you that these are the most delicious refried beans EVER.

But, honestly, I haven’t tried that many recipes for refried beans, and there may be some out there that are even MORE delicious than these! But these are pretty tasty, and I think you’ll find them delicious, too.

This honestly isn’t much of a recipe. It’s more of a guideline, since everything is to taste. But I’ll tell you how I do it here, and then if you try it, tell me how you liked it!

But, just so this looks more recipe-like, here’s what you’ll need:

Beans (dried, fresh, or canned)

Bacon grease




Lime juice

So, to start this recipe, you need to eat some bacon. You do eat bacon in your house, right?  Good. The reason you need to eat some bacon is so that you will have some leftover bacon grease. You do save the bacon grease when you cook bacon, right? If you don’t, you need to start! I know, it sounds kinda gross, but honestly, it’s not.  Get an empty glass jar (a jelly jar works well) and every time you cook some bacon, just pour the leftover bacon grease into the jar, and store it in the fridge.  Just keep in in there. Use it when you need some, and every time you cook bacon, top off the jar. Yes, some of the grease will stay in there for a long time. But it’s grease. It’s not going to go bad. Don’t worry.

And you will also need some beans, of course.  Dried red beans are just great. Scared by dried beans? Don’t be. Start the night before, and put them in a bowl with a lot of water covering them, and let them sit all night long.  The next day, drain the water, put them in a pot with more water covering them, and simmer on low until the beans are tender – it will probably take a couple of hours. That’s it! DON’T add salt until the beans are done cooking – it will make them tough if you do.

We are lucky enough to be able to buy fresh red beans at the market here.  And gas for the stove is expensive, so what I do is rinse the beans, and then put them in my pressure cooker and cook for about 15 minutes. The result? Perfectly cooked beans.

If you are really desperate you can use canned, drained kidney beans. But the other day I used a can of canned beans and they just didn’t taste all that good to me. Evidently I have been spoiled by fresh.  Oh the hardships of living overseas 🙂

Anyway, to make your beans you also need some chopped onion and garlic.  How much? Well, about 1/2 onion and a few cloves of garlic always works for me.  In fact, just about everything I make (excluding sweet goods of course!) starts with onion and garlic. Yum.

So, grab a decent-sized saucepan. Heat up some of that bacon grease. A few tablespoons should be good. If you don’t have bacon grease (the horror!), add some vegetable oil, and heat until it’s hot.  Add the garlic and onion. Saute until it’s nice and tender. Add a little more bacon grease or vegetable oil if it looks like it needs it.  Then add your cooked, drained beans.  Stir them around a bit, and then use a potato masher to mash them up a bit inside the pot. They will probably look a little dry.

Then, add my secret ingredient – lime juice!  Grab a lime or two, depending on how big they are, and squeeze the juice right into the beans.  As you stir it all together, the beans will get a bit creamier and not as dry. If they are still dry, add a little milk. Yes, I said milk.  Or if you saved it, some of that bean juice leftover from when you drained the beans. Stir it all up.

Add salt to taste, and that’s it, you’re done!

See, wasn’t that easy?  I know I have no measurements in here.  That’s because the amount of beans I have is never the same. I get them from the market, and buy them by the “pile”, which is always a different size. So I cook up my beans, and use more or less of everything else depending on how many beans I have. So just taste at the end, and if it needs more lime juice, add it!  If you want a little more bacon flavor, you can even add a little more bacon grease. Just add everything a little at a time, because once you’ve added too much salt, sorry, I don’t know how to fix it!

Now make some bean burritos, or just a pile of rice topped with these beans and a little salsa and guacamole. Yum! Simple and delicious!


4 Responses to “Favorite Recipes – Refried Beans”

  1. Gracia M. Says:

    I did that once and they were soo much better than canned refried beans, but I’ve been lazy since then. You’ve inspired me to try again.

  2. @ngie Says:

    Yum! I use my pressure cooker to do beans, too. These are some great tips! And your telling was very fun too 🙂

  3. Conney Jo Keel Says:

    Sarah, looks like a really good recipe. And that’s exactly how I cook, too. If you add too much salt you can: mix with something unsalty like plain rice, or add a bit of sweet like honey, sugar, molasses, or even cooked, mashed carrot. Just don’t tell your husband. They get creeped out with food secrets. 🙂


  4. Carmen Says:

    I adore all your cook by scratch recipes. I need to learn to do more so I really appreciate the time you spend in putting these up!

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