Re-fried Beans

[vegan] hearty and simple side dish.

Serves 4-6 as a side.


  • 0.8 oz dry pinto beans
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1/2 bulb of garlic, diced or smashed
  • ~4 cups vegetable broth
  • Drizzle of cooking oil
  • 1 tbs solidified fat, e.g., margarine, butter, ghee, lard; or more cooking oil
  • Seasonings
    • 1/2 tsp cumin
    • 1/8 tsp chili powder or cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
    • Optional: 1/4 tsp garlic powder
    • Optional: 1/4 tsp onion powder
    • 1/8 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
    • salt to taste
  • Optional: Garnish
    • Chopped cilantro
    • Chopped green onion


  • Medium (~3 qt) pot with lid
  • Potato masher
  • Large (+11 in) skillet, preferably cast iron (for non-scratch)
  • Skimmer
  • Strainer


  1. If necessary, sort through pinto beans to ensure no rocks are mixed in, and rinse.
  2. Soak pinto beans in water overnight or for at least 8 hours. Ensure at least an inch of water clearance at the beginning; add more water if all soaked up before minimum 8 hours are up (and you’re awake).
  3. Heat pot to medium-low with drizzle of cooking oil.
  4. Add seasonings to pot and fry for 30-60 seconds until fragrant, stirring often to prevent burning.
  5. Add garlic. Fry for 1-2 minutes until fragrant, stirring often to prevent burning.
  6. Add onion. Fry for 3-4 minutes until translucent. Fry a little longer until caramelized if you’d like a sweeter taste.
  7. Add beans. Fry for 1-2 minutes.
  8. Add vegetable broth until beans are immersed with about an inch of clearance from the broth surface.
  9. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes with lid on.
  10. Uncover lid and taste. Add more salt if needed. Continue to cook, uncovered, for 30-60 minutes until beans are soft and mashable.
  11. Heat fat or cooking oil in skillet over medium heat. Using skimmer, transfer bean-garlic-onion mix to skillet. Leave bean broth in pot.
  12. Mash the mix to your desired consistency with potato masher. Add bean broth and keep mashing if you’d like a smoother consistency.
  13. Serve with black beans, rice, tacos, etc. Keeps well for leftovers for the week.