Easy Summer Meals: Burritos w/Homemade Refried Beans

I love easy simple meals that are full of healthy ingredients but don’t require a lot of time or energy to prepare! Burritos is one of those that provides a well balanced meal with lots of flavor and as much variety as you desire. You can add meat of any kind and spice it up with a little taco seasoning mix, or keep to a basic flavorful refried bean for the frugal minded. There are numerous recipes out there for refried beans, but here is our concoction to get you inspired! We make a large batch of refried beans at one time and I freeze them in smaller batches for future easy meals (lunches or dinners). I will put quart size mason jars of refrieds in the freezer for easy access. This cuts down on your work and makes it more simple.

Refried Beans

8 cups dry pinto beans
1 1/2 Tablespoons sea salt
2 teaspoons cumin
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped
dash of hot sauce or 1-2 jalapeno, seeded
pepper, season to taste

1. Soak your beans overnight in a crockpot with fresh filtered water and 1-2 Tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, or lemon juice. This helps to de-gas the beans and break down the phytates that inhibit proper digestion.
2. Rinse the beans and fill your crockpot again with fresh filtered water to cover the beans by about 2 inches. Turn on low for 5-6 hours. Keep an eye on them and add more water if needed.
3. After the beans are soft, drain and reserve about 1 cup of the liquids.
4. In a large stock pot, saute your onions and garlic. Add the cooked beans and just enough liquids to make a smooth paste. With a hand mixer, blend up the beans till it reaches your desired consistency. Add more liquids as necessary. Add your salt, cumin, hot sauce, and season with pepper to taste.

Our favorite toppings include: salsa (our fermented salsa is a huge hit!), sour cream, raw cheddar cheese, tomatoes, limes, lettuce, and guacamole! For a gluten free variety, we serve on brown rice or corn tortillas! Simply heat them up on both sides in a pan with a bit of butter or olive oil and you have a wonderful pliable tortilla to fill with goodness.


About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

28 Responses to Easy Summer Meals: Burritos w/Homemade Refried Beans

  1. Marie September 22, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Do you ever use kefir when soaking beans? I am so excited to find your blog.

    • Lindsay September 25, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

      I have used the liquid whey portion of kefir for soaking, but normally it’s just easier to use lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.

  2. Carissa July 26, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    This is the 2nd time I’ve attempted making this & each time the beans could cook forever & not get soft. Is it the beans i’m using? I cant find any answers elsewhere. It’s been frustrating me because I love refried beans but haven’t been able to make them both time because they didn’t turn out.

    • Lindsay July 27, 2012 at 6:37 am #

      Are you adding plenty of water? It should be roughly 1/4 beans to 3/4 water. They soak up so much of it through the cooking process.

    • lisa January 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

      are you using sea salt? I’ve had problems in the past when I use sea salt cooking beans- apparently the minerals in the salt can block the beans ability to absorb water. There is an explanation here why you should not use any salt: http://www.chezbettay.com/pages/basics1/basics_beans1.html

  3. Kalli May 4, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    How big is your crockpot? Silly question, but mine won’t fit 8 cups of soaked beans so I’m doing it in two batches.

    • Lindsay May 5, 2012 at 6:10 am #

      I have a 7 quart crockpot.

      • Terry May 20, 2012 at 7:43 am #

        Just curious, what is a good brand of crock pot to use? It seems like most of them have an aluminum bottom to them

  4. Carly March 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    So, I made these tonight, followed the directions & its been 7 hrs & the beans are still not soft. What did I do wrong?

    • lisa January 6, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

      see my comment above- could be the salt.

  5. Kathleen B July 1, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    I just made these today and they are so good! Have you tried canning them for storage? I wonder if that would work…I suppose it would?

    • Lindsay July 2, 2011 at 6:51 am #

      I try to avoid canning and use the freezer as it preserves the nutrients more efficiently, so no, I have not tried canning it.

  6. Lindsey June 29, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    Yum! This looks so simple and totally delicious! I just got a lot of pinto beans on sale, and now I know what I’m doing with them! We love refried beans.

  7. Rachel June 16, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

    My friend, whose parents are from Mexico (and who owned a Mexican restaurant for years) add loads of butter and shredded cheese to their refried beans. Tastes so amazing and makes them much smoother/creamier. I always wondered what she put in to make them so much better than mine. Added calories, but good ones!

  8. rebecca June 14, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    Thank you, Lindsey, for a great idea. I always make bean burritos sometimes with mashed beans and sometimes with whole beans. I never thought to make it ahead and freeze it! I’m so excited to try it and the timing works out perfectly as I was just sitting down to plan out my monthly freezer cooking day.

    Also…we love cooked sweet potato in our burritos! It’s a great extra boost of vitamins and tastes great with the spiciness of the other fillings.

  9. Danielle A June 14, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    Oh this is fabulous! I was just thinking the last time I used a can of re-fried beans, that I should learn how to make my own…now I know. :D

  10. Jeaniene June 14, 2011 at 2:56 am #

    Funny, I JUST made refried beans a couple nights ago and then saw this new post! We have a good friend from Mexico and, after the fact, as I was asking him about them he said his siblings like to add milk to them when they make them – I’m curious to try it – I suppose it just makes them more creamy… I used black beans when I made mine as it was all I had on hand – they were still really good (although the color made them look “interesting”). :-)

    • Katie June 14, 2011 at 6:26 pm #

      My friends add milk too, normally when they are reheating leftover refried beans not the first time around. It does make them creamier and gives good flavor especially when you don’t use lard. :) I like to use black beans as well ever since I was in Guatemala I prefer them to pinto.

  11. Jenny June 13, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    Can you use canned pinto beans as well?

    • Lindsay June 13, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

      Yes, certainly. It would translate into about 4 cans.

      • Joy June 14, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

        Thanks! I have canned on hand and this sounds like a great recipe!
        Would it help to still soak them in the apple cider vinegar or are the canned ones good to go as is?

  12. Lisa June 13, 2011 at 6:32 pm #

    Can’t wait to try!

  13. Soccy June 13, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    Great recipe. We do something similar. No chiles but we add homemade taco seasoning, seasoned ground beef or chicken and use homemade chicken broth as the liquid Instead of the bean water, to give the flavor a boost. To stretch out the beans, I add chicken stock to make into a thick soup at the end of the week. Add in salsa and sour cream and it’s delicious with rolled up tortillas instead of bread.

  14. charity crawford June 13, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

    YUM! Great recipe same one I use….SO much better than store bought.

  15. Katie June 13, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    I make my beans almost the same, minus the cumin. :)

  16. Stephanie June 13, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    Yum! How do you get your raw cheddar?

    • Lindsay June 13, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

      I buy raw cheddar from Azurestandard.com…a whole food coop.

  17. Julie June 13, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    Sounds fantastic and SO easy.
    We go through canned re fried beans at a rapid pace.