Lola’s Classic Refried Beans
I cook beans on a regular basis, and oftentimes assume incorrectly that everybody knows how to make a good pot of frijoles. When I shared this Instagram post a few weeks ago, I was surprised by how many people were excited about my slow cooker version of Frijoles de la Olla. For everyone who actually made them, here’s a follow-up recipe to use up any leftovers.
Two cups of dry beans actually yields quite a bit of cooked beans. Sometimes I’ll freeze and save half of the batch for later use, but more often than not, I transform them into classic refried beans. Here are a few of my favorite ways to use them:
- Served alongside a fried egg and corn tortilla
- Layered onto sopes, tortas, breakfast tostadas, turkey picadillo tostadas, molletes, and hibiscus tostadas
- Added to breakfast burritos
- Enjoyed solo with homemade chips
3 tablespoons cooking oil (canola, coconut, or lard work well)
4 cups Frijoles de la Olla, drained, reserve broth
1-2 cups bean broth + cooked onion and garlic from Frijoles de la Olla recipe
Salt, to taste
½ cup crumbled queso cotija, optional
USEFUL TOOLS & EQUIPMENT
Large cast-iron skillet
Machacadora (bean masher), potato masher also works
Prepare cast-iron skillet with oil or lard over medium-high heat. Once pan is very hot, add beans, bean broth, cooked onion, and garlic. Mash until smooth. Cook until beans reach desired consistency – not too runny, not too dry. Test, by running a flat wooden spatula down the middle of the beans. They should stay slightly separated and not run together. Serve hot with topped with crumbled Cotija cheese.
JUST A TIP
Refried beans tend to dry as they cool. This is particularly true when using pinto beans. I always reserve additional broth just in case they get too dry. Canned beans can also be used in this recipe if you’re in a pinch. For an additional layer of flavor, I add half of a chopped onion to my skillet and sauté until translucent, for approximately three minutes, before adding the canned beans.
Photography + Styling: Cacey McReavy