I love food (if that isn’t obvious already), and all kinds of it – comfort food, Italian, Asian, Mexican, all of it. Speaking of Mexican food, this refried bean burrito recipe is a family favorite. We can make it for dinner and use any leftovers to make burritos to freeze for later. My youngest son Blake, is so in love with this refried bean burrito recipe, he asks us to make them and keep the freezer stocked regularly. I can already see me making them to send away for college eats when he gets older.
You could make this recipe vegetarian style by cutting out the pork lard or bacon grease, but I’ll be honest, it definitely changes the flavor. We have plenty of amazing Mexican influences in our lives, and they’ll tell you the same – bacon grease is the only way to go for refried beans. We never argued; just agreed, went forth, and cooked.
Refried Bean Burrito Recipe Notes
There are a few things that I follow with this recipe to make it perfect for cooking for dinner and for freezing for later.
- I grate my cheese early and leave it at room temperature, that way it melts pretty easily when placed on the beans, but you could always mix the cheese into the beans so it gets really incorporated into the beans… it’s just hard to stir up, but very doable.
- I like a bite from my onions, meaning I like them to be a bit crunchy in my burritos. So I usually cook my garlic first until the aroma hits my nose, add the onions afterwards and cook for maybe 3 minutes before pouring in the beans.
- I’m sure there are plenty of ways to heat tortillas to make them easier to deal with, but we usually just microwave 3 at a time and make our burritos. However, if I’m making them to freeze, wrapping a stack of them in foil and heating in the oven makes the job a bit easier.
- When you’re making a big batch of them, I usually heat all the tortillas, spread them out across my counter, place the beans down, cheese, and roll them all at the same time.
- Also, when making a big batch, doubling this recipe is key. For my family of 4 – which includes 2 teens – I have enough leftover after doubling this recipe to have dinner and to make about 10 burritos to freeze.
To pay respects to the right people, this recipe is a hodge-podge of our favorite refried bean recipe by Simply Recipes and pressure cooker beans by Noble Pig. Little White Bread prefers his beans plain, so if Dad cooks these burritos, he sticks to the Simply Recipes bean recipe, but if Mom cooks them, I combine the recipes like in the recipe below.
Refried Bean Burrito Recipe
- 2 1/2 cups Dried Pinto Beans
- 2 tbls Chili Powder
- 1 tbls Onion Powder
- 1 tbls Cumin
- 1 tbls Garlic Powder
- 4 tbls Beef Bouillon If you estimate about 12 cups of water is being added to make the broth, 4 tablespoons of the gooey beef bouillon works great. You can always just use 12 cups of beef broth too.
- 1 Onion Diced
- 3 cloves Garlic Diced
- 3 tbls Bacon Grease
- 1 cup Bean Juice
- 8 large Tortillas
- 2 lbs Cheddar Cheese Grated
- Rinse the dried pinto beans under running water, and remove any stones or bad beans you see.
- Put the beans in a pressure cooker. Sprinkle on the seasonings - chili powder, onion powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Add in your beef bouillon too. Start filling the pressure cooker pot with water, while stirring to combine the seasonings and bouillon. Fill to the max capacity line.
- Put the lid on the pressure cooker and lock it down. Make sure the pressure valve is turned to sealed. Cook the beans in the pressure cooker for 85 minutes. I've seen recipes where there's less cooking time, but the 85 minute mark seems to work best for this recipe.
- When done, relieve the pressure, and once it's done spewing, open up the pressure cooker and drain the beans in a colander, reserving at least a cup of the bean juice.
- Now to make them refried. Place the pork lard or bacon grease into a large cast iron pan (any pan that is fine with a masher being brought to it is fine - so no teflon). Let it melt down, and then add the diced onions and garlic. At this point, it's up to your taste as to how long to cook the onions down. I like a bit of a bite, so I really only cook them for a few minutes, but if you want them more incorporated into the beans, cook them down until translucent.
- If you have an immersion blender, skip to the next step. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the beans to the pan. At this point, you're going to be cooking the beans, smashing them with a potato smasher, and adding the bean juice as necessary. As you smash the beans down, stir a bit as well, while also adding bean juice so that it's not a thick mess, but you also aren't worried about bean juice splashing everywhere. With all of this bean juice adding and bean smashing, you're looking for a nice refried bean consistency.
- If you hand mashed in the previous step, skip this step. For those with immersion blenders, take that bad boy, throw in the bean juice, and start working your magic. The immersion blender should break up the beans and blend the bean juice for you... just like magic. Pat yourself on the back, because you just saved yourself a lot of bean pressing time.
- Now that your beans are nice and mashed, it's time to start taste testing and adding more salt and pepper if needed.
- To make the burritos, heat the tortillas so they're more manageable - you can heat 3 of them at a time in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Spread about a cup or 2 of beans on the tortilla, a handful of cheese, and wrap up. We like ours big and fat, so we usually go with closer to 2 cups of beans... like White Bread says, one burrito can fill you up!
- If you're eating this for dinner and freezing some for later, serve what you're eating now and wrap the rest individually in plastic wrap and place in a large Ziploc bag. When reheating, remove plastic wrap and microwave for 1-2 minutes to warm throughout.