Ba Da Boom, Ba Da Bean.

Aside from saving you money, dried beans can actually be tasty. Nothing beats home-cooked refried beans on a warm tortilla. Yum! Here are some of my favorite bean recipes. Please feel free to share any good bean recipes you have! And just for good measure, I included a picture of lentils for those who’ve never cooked with them before.

Lentil Chili
1 1/2 cups lentils, sorted and rinsed
water to cover
1/2 lb. hamburger or turkey burger
1 chopped onion
1 quart tomatoes
1 bay leaf
2-3 tsp. granulated beef bouillon
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. chili powder
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. basil

Cook lentils in water 45 minutes or until tender. Brown meat with onion. Drain. Add to lentils along with remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer about 15 minutes. Add a little water if chili is too thick.

Savory Black Beans and Rice
2 cups dry black beans
6 cups water
1/4 lb. bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 1/2 cups water
3/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 can (28 oz.) tomatoes
3 cups hot cooked rice
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Place beans in large saucepan with 6 cups water; bring to a boil; boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat; allow to stand covered for 1 hour. Drain; set aside.

In large pot, cook bacon until golden brown. Remove bacon and all but 2 TBSP drippings. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is tender. Add 2 cups water, oregano, rosemary, thyme and pepper. Add drained beans and bacon.

Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours. When beans are tender, add salt and tomatoes with juice. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Serve over rice and sprinkle with grated cheese.

A few notes about cooking dry beans:
Dried beans cook faster if they are soaked. Cover beans with 2 inches of water, soak them overnight, drain, and then cook according to your recipe. Or try the quick soak method: Cover beans with plenty of water, bring to a boil and boil 2 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover tightly and let them sit for 1 hour. Then drain and cook as usual. If you have hard water, try adding 1/4 tsp. baking soda to the cooking water to help beans soften. Also, do not add salt or acidic food, like tomatoes, before the beans are cooked—it interferes with the softening process.


  1. I was going to ask that exact question. I have tried and tried to make homemade refried beans and they just don’t taste as good as the canned to me. I think its the texture or something…

  2. I didn’t post the recipe, because I don’t really have an exact recipe. I add about 3 cups of beans, 1 chopped onion, 2 or 3 cloves garlic, and maybe a 1/4 cup or so of soy sauce with enough water to cover the beans. I cook them in the crock pot until they are tender, which takes all day. Then I blend them in the blender until they are mashy, but I like some chunks. I also add some oil to make them stick together better. Sorry I can’t be more exact! Next time I make them, I’ll pay closer attention to what I’m doing!

  3. Thanks Jennifer! The refried beans turned out really good. I think its the blender and the soy sauce that made the difference for me. I have been trying the quick-soak method because I read that it has been proven to reduce gas symptoms. You get rid of all the yucky stuff when you drain them after the quick-soak.


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