Refried Black Beans

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Today I want to show you something else to do with leftover cooked beans, which I originally wrote about when I posted on black beans. Like I’ve mentioned before, I love beans, and although canned are useful, it’s so easy and so much less expensive to cook your own from dried. So if you are scared to cook dried beans from scratch, check out that link.

Since I made that pot of beans, I’ve posted on a couple of different ways to use the cooked beans, and today is the final post. I’m making refried beans, although there’s no frying involved. By simply using the food processor, you can process cooked beans into the same texture as refried beans. Only a little liquid or broth is required.

So once again, no recipe is required, I’ll just show you what I do to make the refried beans, and turn them into black bean burritos.

1. Place the cooked beans in the jar of a food processor.
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2. Process, using a little leftover bean broth if you have some, or water, just enough to mush up the beans.
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3. For burritos using this refried bean mixture, simply place the amount you want on a tortilla. I’m using whole-wheat tortillas.
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4. Continue doing this with the remaining tortillas and refried beans, placing them in a greased baking pan.
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5. Pour on your home-made ancho chile sauce or even salsa if you have that on hand. Just make sure the salsa isn’t watery. Then sprinkle with cheese. I used a white cheddar, but goat cheese, or Mexican cotija cheese are wonderful as well.

6. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese has browned slightly.

And that’s it! You can also fill these burritos with grilled veggies, steak, or chicken, but I typically leave these as is for our one vegetarian household member.
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Besides, they’re really good and meaty on their own.


If you want to season the beans, I would add cumin, dried oregano, and coriander.
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Black Beans

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Everyone knows I’m enamored with beans. But there is just something about black beans that I really love. Perhaps the striking color?

Before my children were on their own, I made sure they knew how to cook beans from scratch. For one thing, beans are healthy. But they’re also extremely inexpensive, especially given the number of meals 1 pound of dried beans can provide when cooked.

Today I’m cooking beans to show how easy it is. You can eat them as is, as a side dish. But you can also turn the beans into a bean salad, a bean soup, or even refried beans – all of which will be in future posts. Plus, you can also add your cooked beans to any stew, soup, or pasta. So versatile!!!

Black beans are common in Latin American cuisines, and you’ll find them also in West African cuisines. So they’re not just for Southwestern and Mexican purposes.

All dried beans must be hydrated with water before cooking. That’s the only “rule.” In the old days, you also had to inspect the beans for stones and grit, but I haven’t had to inspect beans for years, fortunately.

Beans can be soaked in cold water overnight. But if you are in a hurry, add hot water, and the beans will be ready for cooking in two hours.


When you’re ready to start cooking, pour the soaked beans in a colander and rinse them well.

So following is my recipe for a pot of beans. Many other ingredients and also seasonings could be added, but I’m keeping the beans plain, because I am going to use them in different dishes.
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Black Beans

1 pound dried black beans, soaked, drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
Broth, your choice of chicken, beef, or vegetable
Bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste

Have your beans set aside in a colander.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.

Add the onions and sauté them for about 5 minutes, without much browning. Add the garlic and stir it in for about 30 seconds, then pour in the beans.


Add broth just to cover the beans. Add the bay leaf.
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Bring the beans to a boil, then cover the pot, lower the heat, and simmer the beans for about 45 minutes. I typically remove the pot from the heat, but leave the lid on to allow the beans to absorb any more liquid they need to absorb. Black beans stay whole; you won’t discover a pot of bean mash after an hour.
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If you don’t want much liquid with your beans, remove the lid and allow some of the broth to evaporate. Keep in mind, however, that you can use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked beans from the pot, avoiding the liquid. That way, you can utilize the bean broth for other purposes, like baking bean soup, for example.

Taste the beans for salt and pepper. And that’s it!

Now you can eat them as is, as a side dish. I served mine alongside a spicy pork chop, and topped the beans with some peppers and chives. Simple.

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As you can tell, the beans are fully cooked, but keep their shape.
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They have such a wonderful, meaty flavor. I really love them simply flavored. But of course, you can season beans however you wish. (see note below)

note: If you just want to make your pot of black beans more involved and flavorful, here is a list of other ingredients you can use in the above recipe:
Celery
Bell peppers, red or green
Fresh chile peppers
Adobo paste
Chipotle peppers
Canned tomatoes
Parsley
Cilantro
Seasonings like chili powder, curry powder, or a combination of Mexican seasonings such as cumin, coriander, and oregano.