Easy Homemade Bacon Refried Beans are the perfect side dish recipe for your Mexican meals!
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I have always used canned refried beans because they are so easy and come in several flavors.
I finally made the decision to make my own refried beans and OMG they are so good!
I first made Hatch Green Chile Refried Beans and knew instantly that I wanted to experiment with more fun flavors.
And with them taking less than 30 minutes, I will definitely be making them from scratch more often.
Adjusting Bean Consistency
Another great thing about making your own Homemade Bacon Refried Beans is controlling the consistency.
I personally like my refried beans with a little texture, so I leave a few chunks in there when mashing the pinto beans.
If you want smooth beans, you can puree everything in a food processor or blender.
Add the bacon after blending if you still want the chopped bacon chunks to be noticeable.
Thin out the homemade refried beans if desired with a little more stock or water once you have mashed as much as you want.
Canned versus Dried Beans
I chose to use canned pinto beans for this bacon beans recipe.
The traditional way of making homemade refried beans is to use dried pinto beans and cook them first.
While this method is delicious, it also requires more time.
You can easily substitute cooked dried beans in place of the canned beans if desired. Just cook according to package directions before proceeding with this recipe.
Bacon and Bacon Fat
The secret to making these Homemade Bacon Refried Beans extra bacon-y is using bacon fat!
Simply save bacon fat from cooking the bacon and use it in place of oil to make the homemade refried beans.
If you have pre-cooked bacon, not enough bacon fat, or simply do not want to use it, vegetable oil will work just fine. There will just be a slightly less amount of bacon flavor in the beans.
Personally, I try to always have some bacon fat on hand. I just keep some in a small jar or container in the refrigerator. It comes in handy for adding a little extra flavor to things like eggs, soups, or vegetable side dishes.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the bacon and set aside.
- Reserve 2 Tablespoons of the bacon fat and add to a medium pot. (Alternatively, or if you do not have enough fat, use oil instead).
- Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat.
- When hot, add the onion and garlic, and cook until the onion is translucent, approximately 5 minutes.
- Add the cumin and salt. Stir to combine and cook until fragrant, approximately 1 minute.
- Drain and rinse the pinto beans.
- Add the beans and stock to the pot. Simmer over medium heat 15 minutes for the beans to soften and begin breaking down.
- Mash the beans with a potato masher to your desired consistency. Add more stock or water to make it thinner and smoother.
- Chop the bacon and add to the beans. Stir to combine. Season to taste and serve warm.