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Traditional Frijoles

This tasty, inexpensive Mexican bean recipe goes together in a flash but requires long, slow cooking.  The savory flavor comes from salt pork, tomatoes, cilantro, onion and garlic that are simmered together for about 3 hours.


This recipe goes with Refritos

Southern Living OCTOBER 2006

  • Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings (about 6 cups)
  • Cook time:3 Hours
  • Prep time:15 Minutes


  • 8 cups water
  • 1 pound dried pinto beans, rinsed, drained, and sorted
  • 4 ounces salt pork
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 serrano chile (optional)


1. Bring first 8 ingredients, 1/4 tsp. salt, and, if desired, serrano chile to a boil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat 3 hours or until beans are tender. Stir in remaining 1 tsp. salt. Remove and discard salt pork and chile before serving.

Refritos: Cook 4 cups Traditional Frijoles in 1 Tbsp. hot vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Reduce heat, and mash beans with a potato masher as they cook, adding water if necessary to keep moist. Simmer, stirring often, 10 minutes. Prep: 5 min., Cook: 10 min. Makes 6 to 8 servings.


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Traditional Frijoles recipe