Southwestern refried bean recipe (a family favorite) by Emily Lunt

refried beans recipe quesadilla refried beans recipe refried beans recipe

Your Monday just got a whole lot better… take a look at the photos in this amazing refried beans recipe and perhaps you’ll think about this meal all weekend as I did. Emily Lunt, Arizona native, graphic designer for DART and Goodsmiths, volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters, mother of the mother of all scobies, etc. etc. shares the bean recipe that got me hooked on making my own burritos. I’ve tried to make my own burritos before but it paled in comparison to pretty much everything- especially the ones at Tacos Delta in Silver Lake that I was trying to copy (my favorites there are the fish tacos and carnitas burrito… the nachos are amazing but your stomach will not thank you.) One day, after planting a city garden with some gals in my Bible study, Emily invited us over for bean-and-cheese burritos, and I had a moment. The secret is 1) the seasoned, very soft beans and 2) baking or slow-toasting the burritos on the stovetop so that the tortilla is crispy.

You can follow Emily on her blog here. Emily is definitely a gal to know, as she is super-sweet, amazingly talented in graphic design and clothing styling, and has a heart for serving the least of the least in the city in which she lives, as well as globally.

It’s late but I’m going to slow-cook these beans tonight in my crockpot for lunch tomorrow! Onward! (recipe after photos) Update: it would’ve been nice this morning if I would’ve plugged in the right cord for the crockpot =/


Twice cooked beans you will fall in love with
Twice cooked beans you will fall in love with

Twice-cooked (Refried) Beans Recipe

As a heads up, this recipe takes at least 24 hours to complete. It is easy, but not a recipe you can whip up at 6:30 pmwhen you’re looking in the fridge and scratching your head as to what to throw together for dinner. But. But! I promise you it tastes a MILLION times better than a can of refried beans and you will never want to waste your money on that slop ever again.


2 cups beans

2 diced onions

8 cloves minced garlic


1 cup broth (chicken, beef, vegetable)


1-2 tablespoons oil

1 jalapeno

1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes

½ bundle of cilantro


Step 1: Soak your beans.

Beans have phytic acid, which makes it harder for your gut to digest the nutrients so I soak my beans first. Soaking helps break down the phytic acid, plus it makes the beans softer for cooking. This step can be skipped if you want your beans sooner.

  1. Put beans in a bowl and cover with filtered water so that there is about an inch of water above the beans.
  2. Let sit for at least 8 hours. I have let mine sit for as long as 24 hours. They will soak up most or all of the water.


Step 2: Cook your beans the first time.

  1. Once you’ve soaked your beans, rinse them in a colander.
  2. Add to a crockpot with 1 diced onion, 4 minced cloves of garlic, and 1 tablespoon of cumin. Cover the beans with liquid. I often use a combo of water and chicken stock/broth, pouring in about a cup of broth and then adding water until the beans are covered. You can use all broth or all water depending on what you have.
  3. Feel free to add in other goodies. The ingredients above are the basic ingredients to get your beans going, but you can also add 1-2 diced jalapenos, a few slices of chopped bacon, a chipotle pepper, pepper, etc.
  4. Cook on low for 9 hours.
  5. Once it is done cooking, salt to taste.


Step 3: Cook your beans the second time (aka add the flavor)

I made beans for a long time, only going to step two. I always wondered why my beans tasted kind of bland, but then beans in a restaurant where creamy and flavorful. I did some hunting online and found this recipe that changed my burritos (and my life).

  1. Heat some oil in a large skillet (I love bacon grease but any oil will work) on medium and then add 1 diced onion and 1 diced jalapeno.
  2. Once the onion becomes transparent, add 4 cloves minced garlic and cook for a minute.
  3. Add the can of tomatoes and cilantro. Cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the beans to the mixture and simmer for another 10 minutes. If it looks too dry, add in some water. It will look like slop (see photo) but it sure tastes good!
  5. Serve and enjoy! I often make burritos with cheese and beans. A classic in our house. This night I was feeling quesadillas with some shredded chicken and a dollop of sour cream.

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