Poison Beans


Poison Beans

Poison Beans

Frijoles con Veneno

Recipe Yield

8 servings

Cooking time

1 hour 30 minutes

Rate this recipe

4.75 from 4 votes


  • 1 pound dried pinto beans or three 19.75-ounce cans pinto beans
  • Half of a white onion
  • 1 tablespoon kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 14 cups of water
  • 3 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
  • Dried chile piquín or crumbled chicharrón, optional garnish
  • ½ cup sauce from Asado de Puerco
  • or Substitute for Sauce from Asado de Puerco

To Prepare

  • Rinse and drain the beans. Place in a large cooking pot and cover with 14 cups of water and add half of a white onion. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium, cover partially and cook for about an hour and a half, or until beans are completely soft and broth has become soupy. Add salt, and stir.
  • Or you may use 3 cans of pinto beans and begin from the next step.
  • Transfer the cooked beans to the jar of a blender, along with 3 cups of their cooking liquid (if you don't have enough liquid, you can add water). Puree until smooth, or until coarsely smooth if you like your refrieds with more texture. You may puree the beans in batches if necessary.
  • Set a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add lard, once it has melted, add the pureed beans. Incorporate the sauce from Asado de Puerco (or its substitute) and cook until the beans have seasoned and thickened considerably, stirring often, to a texture of potato puree, about 12 to 15 minutes. Serve with chile piquín or crumbled chicharrón, or both, to garnish.


  • Rather than incorporate the Asado de Puerco sauce, you can choose to add it to the cooked refried beans once you serve them as a topping.

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10comments inPoison Beans

  1. Allen Church

    Jul 26

    I would like to know what I can add to refried beans to give some zest or flavour.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Aug 20

      Try to add a bit of your favorite chiles Allen. Some epazote or cilantro is always a good idea 😉

  2. Norma Nava

    Jun 20

    Thanks 😊

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jul 03

      My pleasure 😉

  3. Estella Tamayo

    Jun 14

    Wuerida Pati mis respetos a usted su comida authentica de corazon que visita tantos pueblos con jente de corazon como usted.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Nov 09

      Que amable, mil gracias!

  4. Susan

    Oct 10

    It makes me cringe when you use a blender to make refried beans. I prefer to use a potato masher and leave some beans whole. My family also adds milk to the beans while they are frying. As a child, my mother would refry the beans in bacon fat, heavenly flavor. My grandmother would stick one or two whole cloves into the half an onion before adding it to the cooking water. I was supposed to help with gas.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Oct 24

      Great ideas Susan, thanks for sharing!

  5. Abirami C.

    Sep 07

    Why is it called Poison Beans?

    1. Pati Jinich

      Sep 11

      Because they are made with the sauce of a pork stew and all the fat it has rendered, haha, it is just a funny name!

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