Refried Beans

Easy and creamy homemade refried beans that are flavorful and perfect as a side or in some of your favorite recipes like tostadas and burritos!

Whether it’s for 7 Layer Bean Dip or Mexican Pizza, or just as a side dish for any Mexican meal, these refried beans are so creamy and delicious, you’ll become a firm believer that they’re better than store bought!

Refried beans in bowl

Homemade is Better

We’ve always loved beans, which is why we have several here on the site including our no soak Pinto Beans and Black Beans. We wanted to try making some refried beans, and they turned out amazing!

Not only are these beans simple, but they taste so much better than the canned version. With butter, onion, salt, garlic, chili powder, cumin and garlic powder, they were so tasty and would be great as a side or in some of our favorite dishes like burritos and tostadas.

If you want a cheesy version, you can also add ½ cup to 1 cup of Mexican cheese. We like to garnish it with cotija cheese, but shredded cheese takes these already-delicious beans to a whole new level.

Pinto beans in pot cooking

How to Make Refried Beans

Our favorite way to make these beans, is to do it on the stove top. They can be made other ways, but for the creamy consistency, we definitely still recommend using an immersion blender for at least half the beans. Here is how we make them:

Add butter to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and salt making sure to saute the onions until soft (about 3-4 minutes). Then, add the garlic and continue cooking for an additional minute.

From there, add chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, pinto beans, broth, and lime juice. Cook for 10 minutes.

Use a potato masher or an immersion blender to mash half of the beans (more if you prefer a creamy consistency). You may need to add a little chicken broth if the mixture becomes too thick. Continue to cook the beans for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat, garish with cilantro and cotija cheese, if desired.

If you want to try these in the SLOW COOKER, we recommend adding all the ingredients (but using onion powder instead of onions) to the crock pot and cooking on LOW for 2 hours. Then continue the recipe starting at STEP 3 and then placing them back in the slow cooker to warm up.

NOTE: We used butter in this recipe, but lard or oil work as well. Just sub the butter for the same amount of the other fat.

Creamy refried pinto beans on wooden spoon in pot

Uses + Tips

We love these homemade refried beans to use in other recipes, but I promise they’re great served as a side, for dipping warm flour tortillas in or even for tortilla chips.

Some recipes these beans would be great in, include:

They also make great additions to Mexican casseroles or with some of your favorite breakfast foods like eggs and breakfast tacos and burros.

To STORE, refrigerate in an air-tight container or bag for 3-4 days. If FREEZING, place in a freezer-safe bag once cooled for up to 2 months. To REHEAT, place in fridge overnight and reheat on the stove top. If beans are too dry, you can add a little milk, water, butter or olive oil to get them creamy again. 

   Homemade refried beans in bowl with spices and ingredients

For more bean recipes, check out:

Refried Beans Recipe

Easy and creamy homemade refried beans that are flavorful and perfect as a side or in some of your favorite recipes like tostadas and burritos!
4.78 from 22 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 155kcal
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion - finely diced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 cups pinto beans - cooked, fresh is best, but canned works too
  • 1/4-1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp lime juice - fresh
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro - chopped
  • cotija cheese - for garnish, optional

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, add the butter. Once hot, add the onions and salt. Saute onions until soft, about 3-4 minutes, then add the garlic and continue cooking for an additional minute.
  • Add chili powder, ground cumin, garlic powder, beans, broth, and lime juice. Cook for 10 minutes.
  • Use a potato masher or an immersion blender to mash half of the beans (more if you prefer a creamy consistency). You may need to add a splash of chicken broth if the mixture becomes too thick. Continue to cook the beans for 5 more minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Remove from heat, garish with cilantro and cotija cheese, if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 8g | Calories: 155kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 154mg | Potassium: 394mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 164IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 2mg

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About the Author

Natalie

Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    Next time I do a Mexi-themed dinner for folks, gonna try your refried bean recipe vs. buying canned.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe and I will let you know how it comes out when I finally get to making this.

    Thanks!

    Mo

  2. Would I use all the seasoning for the refried beans if I used your recipe for no soak pinto beans?There are a lot of the same seasoning in each recipe. 

  3. 5 stars
    I made a huge pot of red beans (just for me) and was looking for various ways to use them. Your recipe is exceptional. Made my beans my way 1st, soaking them and cooking them. Then started craving bean dip. So happy to have this for now and the future.  Thanks so much. 

  4. Absolutely the best beans ever! Family had me make them twice in a week. Large batch today so that some can go in the freezer.

  5. 5 stars
    This is a great recipe! I agree with another comment, I will not buy another can of refried beans again. I will make a big batch of this and yes, freeze some. I only made enough for myself, using one can and reduced the other ingredients. I did add Cayenne Pepper and this made great into wonderful. I couldn’t stop taste testing. Thanks for the recipe and comments.

    1. That makes me so happy to hear! I will have to try adding cayenne pepper. Thank you for letting me know!

  6. 5 stars
    This is so easy and way better tasting than the cans I’ve been buying for years. I will definitely start making my own beans. Tip: cook the beans in the InstantPot, and use an immersion blender. 

  7. If you really want to amp up your retried beans use bacon grease. When it just hot enough put your pintos in and let them cook a bit in the grease. Then mash and a lot of cheese. Yummy we sometimes use Monterey Jack cheese.