Refried Beans

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Basic refried beans


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or lard for more traditional beans)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cooked beans (pinto or black beans are preferred)
  • water or bean-cooking liquid
  • salt


  1. Sauté the garlic in the oil or lard for a few seconds over medium-low heat in a large skillet.
  2. Add about 1/2 cup of the beans and mash them up. A potato masher works, but so does a big metal spoon.
  3. Add more beans, mashing after each installment.
  4. Add about ¼ cup of their cooking liquid (or water if you’re using canned beans) if they seem dry.
  5. Keep stirring and mashing, adding more liquid if necessary, until you have a skillet of fairly smooth, well-fried beans. It should be about the consistency of mashed potatoes or a little thinner.
  6. Add salt if it needs it and some oregano if you’re feeling it.

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