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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