Homemade Refried Beans are Easy and Versatile UncategorizedBean Bulletin, Cooking Just because pinto beans are traditional, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy refried beans made with cranberry, pink, black, or even navy beans. When you make your own refried beans from scratch, you get to mix things up a little. Start with flavor-infused beans by adding a whole onion, cut in half, to the cooking water. When the beans are cooked, remove the onion and reserve a cup of the cooking liquid. For each three cups of cooked beans you’re using, sauté ½ cup of minced onion and 2 medium garlic cloves in 6 tablespoons of butter, vegetable oil or bacon drippings. Stir in the cooked beans and add salt to taste. Mash the beans with a potato masher until they are chunky, adding the reserved cooking liquid, a tablespoon at a time to get the consistency you prefer. If you like, give the beans a little extra zing by stirring in canned chopped jalapeno peppers or chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.