Beans / Frijoles

Beans are a constant in Mexican home kitchens. In Texas, we didn’t have them every day, but they were served often, sometimes as a simple supper with cornbread and a salad. Pinto beans and black beans are usual types. This basic recipe will give you tasty results every time. You’ll save cooking time and power and have tastier beans with better-texture if you soak beans at least 8 hours before cooking. The recipe is for 1 cup of dried beans.


  • PREPARE clean thoroughly and soak overnight
  • COOK 2 hours, approximate
  • EQUIPMENT 2 quart cooking pot
  • MAKES about 3 cups


  • 1 c dried beans
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • water for soaking
  • water for cooking


  1. Clean 1 c dried beans and wash thoroughly. Add enough water to cover by about 1 inch, and soak for at least 8 hours.
  2. Discard the water and rinse the beans again.
  3. Add 1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced, 1/2 small onion, and enough cold water to cover by about 3 inches.
  4. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower heat and simmer until soft, about 2 hours for most varieties.
  5. When beans are soft, add 1/2 t (or to taste) salt, and 1/4 t (or to taste) black pepper (optional).
  6. Simmer 30 minutes longer, turn off heat, and cover until ready to serve.


They are delicious fresh-cooked, known as frijoles de olla (beans in the pot), or they can be mashed, seasoned, fried, and served as frijoles refritos, refried beans. Beans are often served de olla the first day, then leftover beans are refried.

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