I don't think I would ever sit down to eat just a bowl of refried beans, but they make everything they're served on, with, or in, infinitely better. Just as long as you use lard to make them.

Recipe Summary

prep:
10 mins
cook:
2 hrs
additional:
10 hrs
total:
12 hrs 10 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Beans:
Refried Beans:

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Drain soaked beans and transfer them to a stock pot. Add garlic, epazote, and cold water. Place pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Stir. Reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered until beans are soft, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Drain the beans and reserve all the liquid.

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  • Melt lard in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and salt; cook until onions start to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in serrano pepper and chipotle powder; cook 1 minute. Transfer drained beans into skillet. Mash about half the beans with a potato masher or back of a spoon. Ladle some bean cooking liquid to skillet. Continue to mash and stir beans as you gradually add more liquid. Mash until the beans have reached your preferred consistency and texture. Taste and add more salt, if desired.

Chef's Note:

You can substitute 1 teaspoon dried oregano for 1/2 teaspoon epazote.

If you want the beans loose enough to spoon over tortilla chips for nachos, you'll probably need to add all the cooking liquid. But that's up to you.

Nutrition Facts

317 calories; protein 12.2g 24% DV; carbohydrates 37.7g 12% DV; fat 13.7g 21% DV; cholesterol 12.2mg 4% DV; sodium 490.9mg 20% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (46)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
08/07/2017
OK, the lard is IT. I could wax poetic about the interesting way lard can take heat (medium high), the wonderful smell while frying, the insane flavor of the refried beans, and on and on... I followed this verbatim and usually I use recipes as more of an 'idea'. So, having had lots of homemade refried beans, let me say that these are spot-on. I do love Chef John's recipes. Bravo!! Read More
(37)
63 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 54
  • 4 star values: 9
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
08/06/2017
OK, the lard is IT. I could wax poetic about the interesting way lard can take heat (medium high), the wonderful smell while frying, the insane flavor of the refried beans, and on and on... I followed this verbatim and usually I use recipes as more of an 'idea'. So, having had lots of homemade refried beans, let me say that these are spot-on. I do love Chef John's recipes. Bravo!! Read More
(37)
Rating: 5 stars
10/08/2017
These were by far the best refried beans ever. I will never eat them from a can again. Chef John is my new cooking guru. Read More
(17)
Rating: 4 stars
04/25/2019
Way better than caned beans!!! We loved it a lot. But instead of the leafs on top we put Mexican sour cream and it was DELICIOUS! Read More
(7)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/26/2019
These beans turned out so yummy! I used bacon fat I had stored because my store didn't have lard. Online people said bacon fat works so I went for it, not disappointed at all. I want to say this is either the 6th or 7th recipe of Chef Johns I have tried, not a single one has been disappointing, they've all been great so far. Got so many more to try next. Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
10/12/2017
Chef John ROCKS!! Used canned beans and hid the can of lard (what they don't know...) Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
02/18/2018
I have been trying to make beans for 10 years and they have been so so. I stumbled on to this recipe and tried it and it is to die for. It has to be the lard that makes the beans so good. I have made this according to the recipe and once I used green chiles and it was just as good. I would rate this 10 stars if I could. Read More
(4)
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Rating: 5 stars
09/12/2017
My family will never eat canned refried beans again. This was excellent. Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
04/19/2018
It's personal, but for my next batch I'll probably drop to one Serrano instead of two. Of course, the Serrano's I bought we're rather large. Excellent and easy recipe. I doubt we'll ever eat canned again. I cooked the beans in a pressure cooker, so I didn't need to soak them overnight and it only took 45 minutes to cook the beans. I highly recommend a pressure cooker. My wife is still raving about how delicious this recipe is. Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
06/14/2017
Wayyyy better than the canned stuff, and super easy. I love homemade options over store bought. After we ate dinner I froze smaller portions for future taco nights, nachos, or whatever we may want received beans for. I love chef John's recipes, keep up the good work. Read More
(4)