Refried Beans

Making your own refried beans is easy and economical. There are many uses for refried beans: bean burritos, bean tacos, beans and cheese. They are inexpensive and very nutritious. Pinto beans are high in fiber, magnesium and potassium. When you make your own refried beans you can also control the amount of salt in the recipe, which is great for people on a low sodium diet.

Refried Beans


  • 1 bag of dried pinto beans
  • 1-2 tablespoons butter or bacon grease
  • salt to taste


  1. Soak pinto beans covered in water all day.
  2. Cook overnight on low in a slow cooker with lots of water.
  3. In the morning, drain off most of the water and put in the fridge to cool. Beans should be cold before frying.
  4. Add butter or bacon grease to a frying pan.
  5. Add cold cooked beans and as much liquid from the beans as desired. The more liquid, the soupier the beans.
  6. Cook on medium heat.
  7. While beans are cooking start to mash with a potato masher.
  8. Continue mashing until desired consistency is reached. Ensure that the beans are simmering while being mashed.
  9. Add salt to taste.
  10. If beans are too runny, then cook a little longer and the liquid will boil off.
  11. Serve.


If you like to freeze your meals, freeze your beans after they have been cooked in the slow cooker but before they have been fried. Thaw in the fridge, fry and serve.

We used these beans on open tacos.

You can find more delicious meal ideas at the The Happy Housewife Recipe Index.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.



I can’t believe it is already time for another Kitchen Tip Tuesday. My weeks are flying by. This week I have some banana tips. Bananas are cheap, healthy, and most kids like them. They are also versatile. You can eat them plain, put them on cereal, use them in desserts, smoothies, and of course, make banana bread with them.

When your bananas are getting spotted and no one wants to eat them here are some ways to use them:

3 Ways to Freeze the Bananas

Freeze them with the skin on because when the bananas thaw they are very runny and mushy, I use these in banana bread or banana muffins.  (Pssst…if you love banana muffins, then be sure to try these delicious Mocha Banana Muffins!)

Peel the bananas and freeze them in ziploc bags, I use these in smoothies. Be sure to read my Smoothie Tips!

Slice the bananas and freeze on a cookie sheet. Once they are frozen, transfer them to a ziploc bag in the freezer, my kids like these for snack. They also can be used in pancakes like this recipe for Banana Nut Pancakes or desserts that call for sliced bananas.

Our favorite smoothie recipe:

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 orange (peeled to the white part)
  • 1 apple (peeled and cored)
  • 1 pear (peeled and cored)
  • splash of milk depending on how thick you like your smoothie

Blend all ingredients together and serve.

My Tip: Bananas are great in smoothies because they mask the flavor of other foods that you might not think of putting in a smoothie. I can add spinach or carrots to a fruit smoothie and no one notices if I also add bananas. Using frozen bananas also give smoothies a creamier texture.

Bake the Bananas

Banana muffins are a staple around our house, I make them at least once a week for lunch and try to freeze the extras for snacks.

Here is the recipe I use for banana muffins, however I usually triple it as I have seven kids….

  • 1 1/2 cups flour (I use fresh ground wheat)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 shake of cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup applesauce

Mix together and bake @ 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Cook longer for bread, shorter for mini muffins.


Next time you are at the store and over ripe bananas are on sale, stock up and freeze them for later.

A few more of my favorite Banana Recipes:

What’s your favorite banana recipe?

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.