Frijoles de Olla


This is a basic frijole (bean) recipe.  Have it one night, then refry them for later in the week.  They are a staple in our house, as well as in the Cruz household. They come with every entree served at Abuelita’s, and with a lot of the food at Baptista’s Cantina and Grill, as well. 



4 cups dry pinto beans

3 quarts water

1 head garlic, washed and peeled

1 onion, peeled and halved

1 1/2 tsp salt, to taste




Rinse dry beans carefully. Remove any debris. Put all ingredients into a large pot (or slow cooker or Instant Pot!). Cook on medium heat for 4-5 hours or until beans are tender. Add more water, if necessary.


To make a quick version of refried beans, remove most of the water and puree beans, garlic, and onion with an immersion blender.

For traditional refried beans, heat oil or lard in a large frying pan. Strain beans and add to hot oil. Allow to simmer, then mash with a handheld potato masher or similar tool.

Variations: Add hamhocks or bacon. If you are in a hurry, use garlic and onion powder!