Chef John's Refried Beans

Chef John's Refried Beans

Side Dish

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.

Servings per recipe: 8
Calories per serving: 317
Preparation time: 10m
Total cooking time: 12h 10m


  • Beans:
  • 1 pound dry pinto beans, soaked overnight
  • 4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried epazote
  • 9 cups cold water
  • Refried Beans:
  • 1/2 cup lard
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onions
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons minced serrano chili pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground dried chipotle pepper


  • 1   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.
  • 2   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.

Nutrion facts:

Total Fat 13.7g 21%
    Saturated Fat 5.0g  
Cholesterol 12mg 4%
Sodium 491mg 20%
Potassium 628mg 18%
Total Carbohydrates 37.7g 12%
Dietary Fiber 12.4g 50%
Protein 12.2g 24%
Sugars 2g  
Vitamin A 23IU  
Vitamin C 5mg  
Calcium 79mg  
Iron 3mg  
Thiamin 0mg  
Niacin 3mg  
Vitamin B6 0mg  
Magnesium 72mg  
Folate 231mcg