Experimental Friday on Saturday – Not Your Average Refried Beans

I somehow lost a day somewhere and thought today was Friday! My apologies for the mix-up. I’ve been saying – It’s Saturday, it’s Saturday! – to myself all day today. And now, onto the food…

Living in a country not my own has its definite perks but there are some drawbacks, too. One is the availability of foods that I have taken for granted. Being resourceful and making some favorites from scratch is what I consider a perk to living overseas. Nowadays, many, many foods are available but sometimes they are just out-of-stock. Burritos and Big Tacos ( a family favorite that will hold the spotlight here in the near future) have become a staple to our dinner menus. I have, for many years made my own refried beans from canned pinto beans that I was able to replenish without fail. Until recently.

You know the feeling of wanting, no needing to go out for no apparent reason other than the fact that you feel that way because your car is being serviced and you’ve become immobile for a few hours or a day? Well, that’s how we all felt when we found out that we couldn’t find pinto beans anywhere. Then it came to me. Why not make my own? I had seen dried pinto beans around and I have a crock pot…

I researched online and found a myriad of different recipes. I decided I would just take the most common ingredients and make it my own.

wpid-20140112_142007.jpg500 grams/1 lb dried pinto beans

2-3 onions, chopped

3-4 garlic, chopped

1-2 vegetable stock cubes, dissolved in 2-3 cups hot water


wpid-20140112_142038.jpgPlace all ingredients into a large crockpot, making sure the stock covers the beans by about an inch or so.  Mine has an auto option, so I used that. If you don’t, just set it on low and let it cook for 6-7 hours.

wpid-20140112_233519.jpgIf I’m home and cooking with the crockpot, I just can’t resist giving it a stir. This is a few hours in and I did add more water to cover and then I did leave it alone until later that evening.


wpid-20140113_114106.jpgI let it bubble away for about 8 hours, although it would have been fine to move them to a pan to mash and cook until dry or the consistency of refried beans. I know that beans always taste better the next day (as do a lot of home-cooked foods) I divided up the beans into 3 portions keeping one in the fridge for the next day and put the other two in the freezer.

When we’re ready for burritos, I take out one portion and use a potato masher to mash the beans. I add a bit of salt if it’s needed and cook it down until it’s to the consistency that we like. They are SO good!! And we all agreed that we can never go back to canned beans again!! But, if I can’t find the dried pinto beans which could happen…






4 thoughts on “Experimental Friday on Saturday – Not Your Average Refried Beans

  1. Nancy Barnes says:

    They turned out FANTASTIC! I may never buy canned pinto beans whole or refried again. I did tweak a little on the seasonings per what I had on hand (no veggie stock so used chicken) and cut the recipe way down because my crock pot is tiny, only holds two cups. Now I want to experiment with other dried beans. THANK YOU!

  2. Nancy Barnes says:

    Your crock pot method sounds so much easier than the traditional way of cooking dried beans. Once I try this, odds are that I will never buy canned again either as your recipe could be frozen in single serve size containers. Sounds yummy too!

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