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28 June 2019

With this homemade refried beans recipe, you’ll have zesty, creamy refried beans in no time, perfect for a side dish, tacos, huevos rancheros and more.

If you’ve ever purchased a can of refried beans from the store, you may have found yourself underwhelmed with the flavor. Some brands are okay, but most lack flavor and seasoning and can fall a bit on the side of bland. Classic Mexican food shouldn’t be boring.

Now you can make them at home both quickly and easily, and you’ll definitely notice the flavor difference. You’ll want to make them at home from now on once you give them a try.

Easy Homemade Refried Beans in a bowl, ready to serve

 

Refried Beans (Frijoles Refritos) at Home – So Easy to Make

I’ve come across a number of refried beans recipes that call for lard, but this recipe calls for simpler ingredients that won’t load you down. We’re building flavor instead with onion, peppers and garlic, along with some favorite seasonings, a bit of lime juice, and one of the best things on the planet – hot sauce.

The result is a creamy side dish or meal addition that explodes with taste and satisfies in just the right way. I enjoy serving them alongside a variety of dishes, from spiced grilled meats to sandwiches, but also worked into vegetarian burritos, breakfast tacos and even classic bean dips.

Let’s talk about how we make these refried beans, shall we?

Easy Homemade Refried Beans in a bowl

Ingredients Needed to Make Refried Beans

To make refried beans, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ small onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt taste (I use about ¼ teaspoon)
  • 1.5 cups cooked pinto beans (drained, if using canned)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (if desired – chipotle in adobo is a great option as well, or use homemade ranchero sauce)

The Easy Homemade Refried Beans Recipe

First, heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the onion and jalapeno peppers. Cook them down for 5 minutes to soften.

Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin and salt. Cook for another minute, stirring.

Next, add the beans and water. Give the whole mix a stir and cover. Cook for 5 minutes to heat up the ingredients and to let the flavors mingle and develop a bit.

Next, mash the beans with a fork or a potato masher to your desired consistency. I like mine slightly chunky, so I will mash one half of the dish more finely, then will mix the two sides together.

Remove from heat.

Stir in the lime juice and hot sauce, if desired.

Makes about 2.5 cups

BOOM! DONE! Simple, right? Check out these beans. So tasty! And quite quick to the table. To me, this is the best way to make refried beans. And the easiest!

Easy Homemade Refried Beans in a bowl, with a serving spoon

About the Beans

Pinto beans are traditionally used to make refried beans, but you can make them with other beans. Try it with black beans, kidney beans, Peruano beans, and other beans as well. Or, try a mix of beans for something new.

Also, canned beans are perfectly acceptable for making homemade refried beans. They’re already softened up and only need heating, so they’ll go a long way toward making this recipe speedy and convenient.

However, if you prefer to start from dried beans, feel free. Absolutely. Just be sure to soak and soften the beans properly before working with them. The results will be delicious either way.

Spicing Up Your Refried Beans

Refried beans can be quite bland, but adding in jalapeno pepper along with a few dashes of hot sauce will go a long way toward spicing them up for spicy food lovers. Feel free to add in more jalapeno peppers if you’d like an even spicier version, or use a serrano pepper or habanero pepper instead.

Also, your choice of hot sauce can really make a difference in the overall heat level, so choose accordingly.

Your choice of seasonings is key as well. I’ve included a bit of chili powder, cumin and salt for this recipe. Feel free to incorporate others, such as spicy cayenne, paprika, smoked paprika or more. Ghost pepper powder, anyone? That will make you some seriously spicy beans!

What Other Ingredients Can I Add to Refried Beans?

You can add a lot of zest and pizzazz to your refried beans by adding other flavor boosting ingredients. Try some of these to further enhance the taste:

  • Chopped bacon
  • Bacon grease
  • Cooked chorizo
  • Spicy chili peppers
  • Crema or sour cream
  • Cheese
  • Seasonings and spices
  • Fresh cilantro

Got any favorites? Please let me know.

What’s a Way to Thicken up Refried Beans?

If your refried beans are a bit too runny or thin for your tastes, heat them in a pot over low heat, stirring occasionally, until they thicken up. Heating them will cook off some of the moisture to help them thicken.

Easy Homemade Refried Beans in a bowl, ready for serving

Why Are They Called Refried Beans Instead of Fried Beans?

Despite the name, refried beans are not “re-fried”. The name is derived from the Spanish name of “frijoles refritos”, which translates to “well fried beans”, not “refried beans”. The name is an unfortunate case of mistranslation from Spanish to English. The “re” in “refrito” does not mean the same thing in English.

Regardless of the name, they are a delicious dish from Mexico welcomed on tables all across the U.S.

How to Make Bean Dip with Refried Beans

Refried beans make a wonderful base for bean dips. Try swirling in seasonings, sauces and cheeses, then bake them and serve them with tortilla chips for a classic bean dip. Here are a few bean dip recipes to help get you started:

That’s it, my friends. Let me know how your refried beans turn out of you. I hope you enjoy them! Send pics of them! They’re a perfect addition to many a Mexican meal.

Try Serving Your Refried Beans Along with Some of These Recipes

Refried beans are a delicious Mexican side dish, but they can also be served as part of the final dish, such as spooned over tortillas for tacos, tortas or burritos. Here are a few recipes to get you started.

Easy Homemade Refried Beans in a bowl, ready to eat

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Easy Homemade Refried Beans Recipe
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
 
With this homemade refried beans recipe, you'll have zesty, creamy refried beans in no time, perfect for a side dish, tacos, huevos rancheros and more.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: beans, recipe
Servings: 5 1/2 cup portions
Calories: 106 kcal
Author: Mike Hultquist
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ small onion chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper chopped
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt to taste I use about ¼ teaspoon
  • 1.5 cups cooked pinto beans drained, if using canned
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce or more, if desired – chipotle in adobo is a great option as well, or use homemade ranchero sauce
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion and jalapeno peppers. Cook them down for 5 minutes to soften.
  2. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin and salt. Cook another minute.
  3. Add the beans and water. Give it a stir and cover. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Mash the beans with a fork or a potato masher to your desired consistency. Remove from heat.
  5. Stir in the lime juice and hot sauce, if desired.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Makes about 2.5 cups

Nutrition Facts
Easy Homemade Refried Beans Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 106 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 5%
Sodium 74mg 3%
Potassium 248mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 1.7%
Vitamin C 9.3%
Calcium 2.6%
Iron 6.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Easy Homemade Refried Beans - With this homemade refried beans recipe, you'll have zesty, creamy refried beans in no time, perfect for a side dish, tacos, huevos rancheros and more. #MexicanFood #SideDish

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