Smashed Pinto Beans

This post is dedicated to my mom.  We went to spend some time with her back in April over the Easter Holiday.  I grew up in a tiny little town, with not many dining out options.  Today, it is still a tiny town without many dining options.  Of course there was a Mexican restaurant;  doesn’t every town have one?  And it was one of my mom’s favorite places to hit.Over a very filling lunch (think super sized) she mentioned that she still remembers the refried beans I use to make when I was a kid.  She liked the texture of them.  Funny thing is, I make them pretty often.  It is often our quick go-to-lunch at home.  I just have never shared my recipe for smashed pinto beans her.  Bad.



Lenny and I both love beans and we don’t discriminate, they are all good.  Guilty pleasure, I loved refried beans, and usually order them instead of black beans when we are going Mexican.  I love how creamy they are (thanks to lard), and I can not resist smearing them all over my tacos.  I know, maybe a little weird.  I do love them.

My smashed (aka… refried) bean recipe is simple.  Lard free.  Spicy.  Full of texture.  I like to use pinto beans that I have cooked ahead of time and stored for when a hunkering of delicious hits.  A couple times a month, I pick a bean, and cook up a big pot.  They freeze wonderfully, and can be used for recipes like this or to toss into soups and stews.  If you don’t have the time to precook a big pot o’beans, feel free to use canned.  I cook up some yellow onion, garlic (I used green this time), and serranos, until slightly soft.  Then I pour in the beans along with some of their nectar.  Cook, stir, cook and stir.  Once the mixture is slightly thick, I start smashing with a potato smasher.  I do not make the bean mixture completely smooth, I leave a lot of whole beans in there.  They are the texture.  That is really it.  Easy.





  1. wanda zuroff says:

    These are the refried beans I like, not the over smashed kind you find at most Mexican eateries. Thanks, Denise.

  2. I love the gritty texture you get in some mashed bean dishes. I have the really smooth ones we find in Mexican restaurant. Garlic and peppers definitely adds great flavor to the dish. I love how simple is your recipe.

  3. This looks like a great summer snack. I suspect they’re much better than the restaurant too!

  4. S.Lynn says:

    Lard free?!?!? Sacrilegious. Just kidding. Similar to my hubby’s recipe. It’s delish!

  5. I made a version of these today (with lard! I live in Texas & get pork fat in my monthly meat share, so I started rendering my own for tortillas). They were fantastic and really hit the spot with a cold beer–thanks for the inspiration.


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