Sauces And dips · Sides

Frijoles De Olla (Beans In A Pot) Recipe For Refried Beans

This is my take on refried beans. They are not hard to make but a bit time-consuming. I find it well worth the wait for good refried beans. This is a far cry from the canned stuff; it tastes 1000 times better. Although time-consuming it is effortless to make. Not many ingredients and if you love Mexican food as we do, you will have these ingredients on hand if not already. So, let’s get to it.


1 1/4 cups dried pinto beans – sorted- rinsed and drained
9 cups water
1 onion – halved
10 cloves garlic – minced or smashed and left whole
1 tsp ground coriander


  1. *Sort the beans and discard any discolored or broken beans. Place in a bowl and let soak overnight.* Before using, drain the beans from the water and rinse them well. Drain the beans again.
  2. Add the beans, water, onion, garlic, and coriander to a large pot. Stir and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer. Let cook for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the beans are tender. Do not drain the beans. There should be a little water left in the pot at this point. This is what you want. Do not scorch the bottom of the beans so stir occasionally to prevent burning. You do not want a lot of water left in the pot. You want it to cook out. If the beans are still not tender you can add 1 cup of water (if the liquid is too low) at a time until the beans are tender. Do not add a bunch more water. You want as little water as possible. Maybe 1 cup or so left in the pot.
  3. Once the beans are tender you can season them with salt to taste. Again DO NOT DRAIN THE BEANS.


2 tbsp lard ( you can use any unflavored oil)
1 onion – chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
4 cloves garlic – crushed or minced
salt and pepper


  1. To a large pan add the oil and turn the heat to low. Add the onion, cumin, and coriander. Cook on low for about 20 to 30 minutes or until the onions are soft and caramelized.
  2. Add a ladle full of the beans with the liquid to the onions. Let them heat through for about a minute or two. Using a fork or potato smasher, smash the beans. Do this until all of the beans with liquid have been added.
  3. Add in the garlic and stir.
  4. Keeping the heat on low, cook the beans until your desired thickness. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture onto a serving platter.
  5. Top with fresh cilantro and crumbled queso fresco.

  • I often use avocado oil, coconut oil, or Crisco (lard) to cook the refried beans. You can use any flavorless oil you like.
  • If the refried beans get a bit too thick you can thin them out with a bit of water or chicken broth.
  • I oftentimes do not have fresh cilantro on hand so you can use the refrigerated bottle of cilantro or the fresh one that comes in the produce section of your local grocery store. It will work just fine.
  • If you can not find queso fresco to top the refried beans with you can leave it off or feta will work.
  • If you want more of a kick to your refried beans, add 1 seeded and chopped jalapeno to the onions and cook them down as well.
  • You can make this as creamy or chunky as you like. I like mine creamy so I smash the mess out of it. lol. You do you and make it your own.
  • *no picture shown*

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