Refried Beans – The Main Costa Rican Ingredient

I’m not one to toot my own horn, but I have to say, I make a mean batch of (refried) beans!

They are extremely tasty and the best part is that they are so healthy, inexpensive and flavorful. Kids and adults alike will love them!!!

Personally, I like to have some in my fridge at all time. And pretty much every Tico seems to think the same. This is a must-have traditional dish of Costa Rica.

Refried Beans - The Main Costa Rican Ingredient


1 pound of black beans
2 onions
4 garlic cloves
1 tomato
canola oil
salt to taste


Pressure cooker
Frying pan
Blender (optional)

Cook It Up!

Place the beans in the pressure cooker with one liter of water covering them completely. (Inside fact: the more water you have the better)

Put an onion head, 2 garlic cloves, and a tomato with salt in with the beans. Cover and cook for one and a half hours. (Insider Fact: Salt will prevent the beans from spoiling fast and the longer you cook the softer they will get and the less gas you’ll have)

Once it’s done, let cool.

Chop up the other onion very fine, and the other 2 garlic cloves. Heat up the frying pan with the oil and then add the onion and garlic to it.

Uncover the beans and smash up the cook onion, garlic and tomato along with the beans so to blend it all together. Then ladle the cooked beans with the water into the frying pan.

Mix it up with the frying onion and garlic for 15 minutes on low heat.

Now Serve It Up!

They are fantastic with rice, tortillas, eggs, nachos and whatever else you can think of.

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Last Updated on September 21, 2023

2 thoughts on “Refried Beans – The Main Costa Rican Ingredient

  1. Hi Marina,
    I am new to traveling with my family. Any advice for a mom of six boys on what to do in Costa Rica? We are finding it more expensive than we anticipated! We plan on being here for 2-3 months. We are in Jaco right now and are interested in learning the local language:)

    1. Hey Michelle,

      So great to hear you are traveling with your boys. That in itself is a huge feat LOL

      Costa Rica is a lot more expensive than people think.

      I would recommend NOT being in Jaco for long, it’s not one of the best locations in the country and has a very shady, seedy side to it.

      The Caribbean coast is a great place and still a lot more affordable and local feel than the Pacific side. You can easily live there for a lot less and have a lot of fun.

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