Pinto Bean Home Fries, and refried too

For some reason, my kids aren’t usually huge fans of pinto beans.  Add leafy greens, and they like them less….unless, homefried potatoes are thrown into the mix, then suddenly they exclaim yum!  Or, mash them up with some seasonings and, again, yum!  Good for me, because I have a 25-pound bag of them in my basement. 

As I’ve said before, and I’m sure I’ll say again, if you are going to cook beans, you might as well go big.  I like to cook my pinto beans with a dried chipotle chile (1 per 3 cups of beans); it adds a hint of a smoky flavor and just a bit of heat.  I really mean just a bit too, because we are a heat-sensitive family.  If you like them spicy, experiment with adding 2-3 chilis.  Once they are cooked, I’ll use some for the recipes below, and maybe some bean burgers too, then freeze them for another week. 

Oh, and by the way, I cook the potatoes first.  Cooked, diced potatoes are one of my fridge staples.  I’m offering approximate measurements, but you don’t need to worry about measuring, just make it how you like it.  This a quick meal for us, so I tend to keep it simple.  You could add ground cumin, fresh cilantro, chopped green chilis, etc, etc.  If you have leftovers, use them for a burrito filling, serve on a tortilla with eggs and all the fixins for huevos rancheros, make a quesadilla, or just eat them as is!       

Pinto Bean Home Fries

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced shallot, onion, or scallion
  • 1 cup cooked diced potatoes
  • a couple handfuls of chopped leafy greens
  • 2 cups cooked pinto beans
  • a handful of chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • optional: cumin, cilantro instead of parsley, fresh tomatoes, salsa, sour cream and/or guacamole for serving, baked tortilla wedges for scooping, or maybe some hot sauce…

Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add oil, then onions and cook until lightly browned.  Stir in potatoes, then turn heat up just a bit and cook, undisturbed, until browned on one side.  Flip over and brown on the second side.  Once the potatoes are cooked to your liking, move them to the edges of the pan and pour a little more oil into the empty part of the pan.  Add the chopped greens, season with salt, cover, and continue to cook until greens are tender.  Add pintos, season again, and cook until heated through.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley, garnish/embellish as you please, and serve.   These are great for a hearty meal any time of the day.   

Refried Beans

For some reason, certain members of my family think that refried beans only come out of a can.  Seeing as I’m not a big fan of canned food, I had to prove otherwise and these certain members were pleasantly surprised.  I often send these for lunches, served as a dip with veggies and tortillas, but they are also a great filling for enchiladas or as a quick meal with a rice, guacamole, salsa, and a chopped green salad.   I confess that, while for most dishes I use fresh onions and garlic, I like to use onion and garlic powder for refried beans.  It avoids the whole, crunchy onion issue and, since I hated cruncy onions as a child, I have to respect that preference.  I got over it and they probably will too, though I’m not sure about my husband… 

  • 2 cups pinto beans
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste or salsa
  • optional – chopped bell peppers, chilis, cilantro, parsley, tomatoes

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mash until they are the consistency you like.  Or, if you like them smooth, use a food processor.  It’s that easy!  Heat or serve cold.  They also freeze well.


  1. […] 1 recipe refried beans […]

  2. […] 1 recipe refried beans […]

  3. Molly said

    I love this blog! You are amazing- Tiph just told me about it and now I am constantly coming back to it for new ideas.
    Love it!

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