10 min. 8 hours min.
A couple years ago, I came across a recipe for re-fried beans that changed my life! It is Chef Claude’s Refried Beans without the Refry on allrecipes.com. I never liked re-fried beans before I found this recipe, but folks, these are amazing! I have since altered the recipe to adjust the seasonings to my preference, and so I can make it with ingredients I always have on hand. I have also decreased the amount of preparation time slightly, because honestly, anything that I have to think about 8 hours before eating had better be pretty simple to throw together! (For this recipe I have also provided the stove-top method, which only takes two hours, since I don’t always plan well enough to start making dinner at 9 am.)
But after two years of making this recipe, I can tell you that planning ahead–two hours or eight hours–is well worth the wait! With less than 10 minutes of preparation time, you will have a super-flavorful, filling meal base that can make any number of dinners almost instantaneous! I usually double this recipe because we enjoy them so much. For a week after I make a batch, we use them constantly for lunches, dinners, and snacks. I have also frozen portions, and they reheat so well that no one can tell the difference.
I also love these re-fried beans because they are so healthy! They are the classic example of replacing “fat flavoring” with effective seasoning. Instead of the traditional fry-in-oil treatment, these beans are simply seasoned so well that taste amazing on their own! So, “re-fried” is actually a bit of a misnomer… but after tasting them, no one will ever be able to tell!
No-Fry “Re-fried” Beans
Adapted from ChefClaude’s Refried Beans without the Refry
2 cloves garlic
1-1/2 cups dry pinto beans
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1-1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
5 cups water
Coarsely chop the onion. Smash, peel and chop the garlic.
To cook on the stove, place the onion, garlic, and beans in a large saucepan. Season with red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and cumin. Stir and add water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for 2-1/2 hours.
If you want to make it in a slow cooker, throw everything in (double the recipe if your slow cooker is large), and cook on high for 8 hours.
When beans are soft, reserve one cup of cooking liquid. Drain the beans, then mash with a potato masher. Add liquid back in as needed. Serve with chips, on burritos, in seven-layer dip, over rice, as a side dish, in quesadillas, or any other way that makes you happy!