Refried Mashed Beans

Source:  Rochelle; cir. 2000’s

Tortilla with salad added
Tortilla with salad added

The cornerstone of Mexican cuisine – Refried Mashed Beans

They say, the ‘refried’ or mashed bean is the mashed potato of the Latin world. As a result, beans are a side dish, or the main event in most every Mexican dish, understandably so. The bean, is an extremely healthy little nugget. Nutrient wise, it’s virtually fat-free and high in proteins and amino acids. It’s the perfect food for sustaining life. That is to say, it’s also the perfect ingredient in Mexican food. A world without beans would be less than mediocre. Beans make a great addition in soups, salads, and the refried beans are a must-have on any tortilla inspired meal.

Many in the Mexican culture will cook their beans in a pig lard, or oil fat. However, you learn to love the bean with only a few additions made to it when making my version of the refried bean. Cumin and garlic. These are the two main ingredients for my beans. You can avoid the lard and fat when you cook them on your own, (vs. in a can, or in a restaurant) and I’m certain you wont miss it. After the beans are cooked and soft, just run them through the mixer (vitamix) or food processor to puree. Subsequently, while doing this step, I throw in a bit of garlic, salt, and lots of cumin. Using some of the cooked water, it keeps the beans moving and the water is readily re-absorbed by the pureed beans.

Avoid the can

Canned beans? Not for me. If you haven’t noticed the trend here on this website, it’s to avoid pre-done, pre-ready anything! Making your own re-fried beans is something you must get in the habit of doing. Above all, avoid the easy and so-called simplicity of grocery store convenience, especially with beans. The result is a healthier you when you eat fresh. Beans sitting in cans for days, weeks, months for sure lose their nutritional value, and contain a laundry list of ingredients you simply don’t need in your diet. Not to mention the toxins that enter our food from cans lined with plastic. If you have extra beans after the meal, just store them in an air-tight container, and plan on making a wonderful bean soup the next day!

Refried Beans

Be sure you have yourself a good pressure cooker and some nice organic kidney beans. I blend everything up in my vitamix, but a food processor is ideal.  Once made, you can store these in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.  You’ll find you add a bit of bean to everything, when you have them on hand. 
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Vegetables
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 5 perople


  • 2 cups kidney beans dried
  • 4 tsp cumin ground
  • 2 tsp paprika ground
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper optional for spice, but mild
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 to 2 dashes salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 to 2 TBS water boiling water from beans, if needed to puree


  • Begin the night before to soak your beans.
  • The next morning, drain the water in which they were soaked, rinse and throw beans into the pressure cooker. Cover with fresh water, close and lock lid and cook under pressure for 8-10 min.
    cooked red kidney beans
  • Once cooked, take the lid off, and pour entire contents (water and all) into your food processor. Add your cumin and spices, plus garlic, salt and pepper. Be sure you have enough liquid. I’d say, 1 part liquid, 4 parts beans. Turn on and blend until it’s a puree and smooth.
    Refried or mashed kidney beans
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