Home Canning Refried Beans

by GettingFreedom on July 6, 2011

Homemade refried beans are on our menu atleast once a week.  If we’re not having them in our quesadillas, we’re having them alongside our tacos, enchiladas or in a taco salad.  They’re frugal and packed with flavor, two musts in our kitchen!

I was delighted when I found out that dried beans could easily be canned at home.  {I  might have even done a happy dance. :)}  After doing the cost comparison and doing a taste test–home canned refried beans will be a regular around here.  They are incredibly delicious and effortless to make.  Home canned refried beans {using my calculations} cost under 50¢ a quart!  That price is hard to beat in the store–and we’ve not even begun to talk about the flavor!

Home Canned Refried Beans

Soak Your Beans

I just soaked mine in hot water for about 3 hours before I began. I knew I was wanting to do 7 quarts, so I measured out about 11 cups of beans. Your beans process in the pressure canner long enough that you won’t have to worry about them not getting soft–the soaking here is mostly to remove the gas and any debris.

Gather Your Supplies

Get out all  your jars, rings/lids, and spices that you will need.

To make 7 quarts of refried beans I used::

14 cups water
2 1/3 cup chopped onion; 1/3 cup per quart
7 cloves of garlic, minced; 1 clove per quart
1 ½ Tbsp Chilli Powder
4 tsp salt
6-8 Chipotle Cubes {or, 2-2½ Tbsp chipotle pepper powder}
2 Tbsp Paprika

In a large pot, bring water and spices to a boil. Do not add the garlic or chopped onions to this mixture. 

I followed the basic steps to canning dried beans mentioned in this post, and basically added in my spices.  But to keep things all in one place, I’ll outline the basic steps here also.

In order to can your beans at home, you have to have a pressure canner. Beans can not safely be canned in a water bath canner because a water bath canner cannot reach the temperature needed to kill any bacteria that could be lurking in your beans. This isn’t something to take lightly, so please, do not even attempt it!


Sterilize your lids and jars. You can see a step by step tutorial in this post. While I’ve never done it this way, you can also run your jars through your dishwasher, without soap, on the sterilize setting.

Fill Your Jars

Add your beans to your empty jars; 3/4 cup beans for pints, and 1½ cups for quarts. Once you’ve added in your beans, add in 1/3 cup chopped onion, 1 garlic clove and 2 cups of your seasoned water to each jar.   You will also need to add straight water to your jars, filling to 1 inch headspace. *TIP* This is basically to the bottom of the rings on your canning jar. Wipe off the rim of your jars, and add on the lid and ring.


While you are filling your jars, prepare your pressure canner. Once your jars are ready, carefully add them into the pressure canner. Process pints for 75 minutes, quarts for 90 minutes–both at 10 pounds pressure.

Once your time is up, remove from heat and let your canner cool on it’s own.  After the pressure has returned to zero and the vent lock has went back down, it is now safe to remove the weight.  Let the steam escape, remove the lid {Be very careful, the canner still contains steam.} and then remove your jars using a jar lifter or silicone mittPlace your hot jars on a towel to cool down.  Check your seals after 24 hours.

*New to pressure canning?  This post will walk you through the steps, even though it’s for green beans. :) 

*Note::  To my next batch, I plan to add more beans to the jar.  After I processed them, the beans settled and soaked up a lot of the water–leaving me with more headspace than what I would like {as you can see by the picture}.  While I haven’t tried it yet, my guess is that 1 2/3 cup of beans per quart would be adequate.

*While refried beans may not be the most accurate name for this recipe, I’ve went ahead and named them that because the flavor is that of traditional refried beans.  The beans are still whole when they are finished processing, but are easily smashed to resemble traditional refried beans, or could be “refried” before serving.

What is your favorite way to enjoy refried beans?

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

SillySimple July 6, 2011 at 2:57 pm

I am finding that the biggest cost of home canning is the lids, do you have a source for inexpensive replacement lids?


Bekki July 6, 2011 at 5:49 pm

There is a company that makes reusable lids. While they are pricey to begin with I am sure the savings is worh it in the end. While they are plastic they are BPA free and the food doesn’t really touch the lids for long.



angi July 6, 2011 at 7:50 pm

@SillySimple, There are some reusable lids called Tattler


GettingFreedom July 7, 2011 at 7:26 am

@SillySimple, I’ve heard of the Tattler lids, and I’ve wondered if those would be a good switch–even though they are plastic. I do *really* like that they are BPA free, which cannot be guaranteed by Jarden Brands {maker of the “traditional” lids}.

All of that to say, living in the small town that I do, our rinky-dink Walmart often marks down their canning supplies at the end of the season. Not only that, but Amazon sometimes offers lower prices on their canning lids than what I can find in stores.{For instance these canning lids are $19.99 for 8 dozen}.

Truly, though, even with the yearly expense of canning lids–it’s still cheaper than buying all the food I put up at the grocery store.


Miriam July 6, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Hmm, now you have me thinking that you could easily do the same thing for “baked beans”. And how I could so easily implement more beans into our menus as an inexpensive “filler” item. And making me want a pressure canner! And a place to buy bulk beans!

And do I see a NUTRIMILL ON YOUR COUNTER!?!?! Oh, I can’t wait to get one! I asked Daniel if I can use the money from this last wedding cake I’m doing to get a Nutrimill (of course I’ll use all the Swagbucks I can!), Steam Canner, and maybe I’ll add a pressure canner to that list, too (though my MIL has one I can borrow). If cakes weren’t so stressful, or if we didn’t have kids, I’d go back to making cakes just to use the extra $ to get all the “extras” that I want/could really use that are hard to squeeze out of the regular budget.


GettingFreedom July 7, 2011 at 7:33 am

@Miriam, Isn’t it exciting?! :) I’ve got a very good place for you to buy dried beans–you just need to pay me a visit, and I could hook you up..Or I guess we could head your way. ;)

Indeed, that is my beloved NutriMill!! We debated on it’s purchase for quite some time. I’ve had a post brewing in my head about all my kitchen gadgets. Even though they {obviously} cost me money up front–they’ve definitely saved us money in the long run. Maybe I should get on that….


Bekki July 6, 2011 at 5:50 pm

I am going to have to make some now. It would sure save space in my freezer!


GettingFreedom July 7, 2011 at 7:34 am

@Bekki, One of the very same reasons I can my beans now! And why I’m wanting to experiment and research exactly what else I can can.


Nickeletta July 6, 2011 at 6:46 pm

I think I’d like to learn to can… it it expensive to start up? Okay, I’ll got follow your links before I start asking many questions.


GettingFreedom July 7, 2011 at 7:53 am

@Nickeletta, Canning is SO much fun, and very rewarding. As far as how much it costs to start up–you can buy pressure canners for around $75 new {And actually, here’s one from Amazon for $72, with free shipping}. Other than that cost, you have the cost of your jars, which usually run about $8-$10/case {they come with lids/rings}. Then if you wanted to go ahead and purchase a jar lifter and funnel, canning kits usually run right around $10–but come with basically every utensil you would need. So, for under $150 you could have your pressure canner, all your utensils, and 6 cases {72 jars}–which should be more than enough for your first year.

Here are some links to get you started:: This one tells the difference between pressure canning and water bath canning, and this link tells you the different supplies that you might need. If you have any other questions on how to get started–I would love to help!


angi July 6, 2011 at 7:47 pm

A friend and I were just talking about this. I usually make about 4 pounds of beans at a time and freeze them. But it would definately be easier to find the beans in my pantry rather than my freezer!


LInda Parke January 28, 2013 at 8:39 pm

What type of beans do you use?


GettingFreedom January 29, 2013 at 8:12 am

For Refried Beans I typically just use regular ol’ Pinto Beans, but you could use Black Beans as well.


Doylenn January 10, 2014 at 1:06 pm

I have these in the pressure canner right now! Can’t wait to see how they turn out. I had to use slightly different spices because I didn’t have any chipotle pepper powder.


Tracy January 18, 2014 at 1:59 pm

about a year behind your last comment, but the tattler lids do have a “sampler” order…2 of each size for $2.50 with free shipping and a coupon code for $2.50 off your next order (i plan to switch)…second note: could you incorporate black beans with this ? and then smash and fry???? anyone try it recently?


Colleen April 17, 2014 at 1:22 pm

I am new to canning. Every recipe I have seen on canning beans has been from raw beans. I usually make a large pot of beans in my crock pot and they are delicious, but I want to can the left overs. Can I do that? If so, how long. If they are already cooked, I shouldn’t have to pressure can, right? How long should they boil in the canner so it will kill all bacteria and seal properly? I would be so grateful for a reply so I can do this at home. Store bought canned beans just don’t taste as good as homemade. Thank you.


GettingFreedom April 17, 2014 at 2:09 pm

Colleen — I’ve canned from raw beans, and I’ve canned them after soaking for just a few hours. From what I understand, it isn’t safe to can already cooked beans. At that point the mixture is to thick already, which makes it too difficult to know whether or not the heat reached the center in order to kill off bacteria, not to mention that your beans would really be mush after canning them from a cooked state.


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