Charting life's circuitous path

Recipe: Vegetarian Refried Beans

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I absolutely love tex-mex food.  (I debated calling it Mexican, but considering how what I eat doesn’t go beyond what you can find at your local Mexican restaurant, I opted for tex-mex.)  Give me a taco, burrito, enchilada or a bowl of chili any day and I’m a happy woman.

Some might say it’s the cheese that does it.  Or that little special “kick” from the spices.  Or it might be the solid, earthy goodness of a flour tortilla, peppers, onions and beans all wrapped up together.

Personally, I think it’s all of the above.  It’s also the lovely jazzed up rice and the salsa with chips.   I’m a step away from food bliss just by writing about it, and I don’t even plan to eat a mexican meal tonight!

I’ve become rather picky about my refried beans as of late.  I went through all of the store bought brands to no avail.  They either were too chunky, too oily, too plain or too salty.  I just couldn’t find a refried bean that satisfied my picky tastebuds.

So, I made my own.

I went searching for a refried bean recipe and came across this one from Vegetarian Refried Beans

It had 4 1/2 stars, simple ingredients and rave reviews:

Great stuff! So flavourful.

Absolutely *loved* this recipe!

and the clincher:

I never made refried beans before,wow did this come out great. The taste compared with my favorite beans at the local Mexican Resturant.

I printed it out, bought my beans and set about making my first batch of homemade refried beans.  This recipe was incredibly simple and it required no special tools, techniques or ingredients.

As I was cooking the beans, I did make some changes to the original recipe.  In fact, I changed up the spices to such an extent that I’m going to say that the original inspired this version, which I’d like to think is more flavorful and slightly healthier.


Vegetarian Refried Beans

Note: The recipe calls for tomato and while it might sound odd, definitely add it.  You can’t hardly even tell it’s in there once it’s cooked down and I think it gives it a bit of depth in flavor.


  • 1 pound dry pinto beans (washed, soaked overnight)
  • 2 tbsp crushed garlic, divided
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (you can up it to 1 tsp if you want more kick)
  • 1 tsp onion salt
  • 1 tbsp oil


  1. Place soaked beans in a large pan and cover with 2 inches of water.  Bring to a boil.
  2. Stir in 1 tbsp garlic, tomato, cumin and peppers.  Bring back to boil, then reduce to low to simmer.
  3. Cook for about 3 hours, adding more water as needed.
  4. Once soft, mash with potato masher and add the remaining tbsp galric, oil and onion salt.  Add more water if too thick.
  5. Reheat and serve.

Servings: I was able to get about four 1 cup containers full with this recipe.  It freezes really well and I only reheat it in the microwave with a bit a water when I want some.

Author: iscribbler

A girl scribbling her way through health, love, food and life.

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