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The Best Refried Beans Recipe From Canned Beans

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We’re huge fans of refried beans in our house but did you know that you can actually make your own refried beans from scratch.

refried beans in a bowl with tortillas by it

Refried Beans

Refried beans are one of those foods that I love to love. But growing up, we used to buy them from the store in the can and I never really “took” to the taste and flavor.

Not only that but as I’ve grown up and started cooking now for my own family, I really don’t like not knowing what is in certain canned foods from the store.

Call me picky…but if I can make something at home instead of buying it, I’m 100% down to make that happen. 

ingredients for refried beans

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Vegetarian Refried Beans

What I love most about this recipe for DIY refried beans at home is that it’s crazy simple and has an awesome taste. Our son even asks for these beans as well and when a kid is asking for them, you know that they’ve got to be good!

This is a vegetarian refried beans recipe, that is loaded with flavor and creamy and savory. Grab your masher and create the perfect consistency for your beans.

easy refried beans

Why are refried beans called refried beans?

The name can be a little bit misleading…The term “refried” often makes people think that they’ve been cooked twice, but it’s actually not the case. They are cooked up once on the stove but for this recipe, that’s it.

The term refried comes from the Spanish language and means “well-fried”. 

What can I use refried beans for?

So many things! This is why this is one of my favorite side dish recipes to make! Refried beans are awesome for Taco Tuesday! Or burrito nights at home but they’re also really great on their own, too.

Recipes To Pair With These Beans

Ways To Dress Up These Beans

One of my favorite ways to eat them is to cook them up, add on some shredded cheese, sour cream, chives, cilantro, and a little bit of spicy seasoning or salsa and enjoy. It tastes so good. And it’s basically the equivalent of eating up a meatless Mexican dish or having a meal that’s loaded with protein. 

best refried beans recipe

Can I use Dried Pinto Beans in this recipe?

You sure can! But you’re going to have to follow the process for soaking them and getting them ready to cook.

This is just one of the reasons that I buy the canned Pinto beans. It cuts down on the time! Plus no added ingredients you don’t need to worry about.

Just keep in mind that if you do use dried pinto beans for this recipe, adjust your cooking time accordingly. The recipe will still have a great taste but it will be a longer process due to that. 

how to make refried black beans

How long do refried beans last in the fridge?

When you’re making these refried beans from scratch. The longest that you’re going to want to keep them in the fridge is 3 days.

After that, they’ll start to lose flavor and the texture will be different, too.

These beans can be frozen if you want to meal prep for later on. They will freeze for up to 2 months. Just thaw in the fridge overnight.

This can extend the life of these beans so that you can thaw them out later to enjoy. 

Variations to Recipe

Even though this recipe is pretty straight forward. There are a few things that you can do to change it up a bit.

One of the biggest things is that you can add even more chili pepper to really bring out the heat. 

Another great variation option for this recipe is to cook up the beans using coconut oil instead of olive oil.

It’s a small and subtle change that will have such a fun taste difference on the end product!

how to cook refried beans

How to Make Refried Beans

Now that you can tell it’s quite the simple process, it’s time to make it happen! Gather up the list of simple ingredients and get cooking.

refried beans in a bowl with tortillas by it

Refried Beans

Yield: serves 5
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Refried beans are easy to make yourself. Try my canned beans refried beans recipe, to pair with all your favorite main dishes.


  • 2 cans (15 oz each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained  
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons oil (canola, olive oil)
  • 1 tablesoon garlic, minced 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • ½ cup vegetable stock or broth


  1. In a medium saucepan you will want to turn on medium heat. Then add your oil and let it get warm. Toss in your onions and salt.
  2. Cook your onions until they are softened and become translucent, this takes around 5 minutes.
  3. Add in your garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Stir constantly for about 30 seconds, you want it to begin to smell fragrant.
  4. Now pour your drained beans in along with vegetable stock. Stir and cook covered for 5 minutes on medium-low heat.
  5. Reduce your heat to low and remove your lid. Grab a potato masher or blender and mix up the beans. I generally mix only half the bans up as I like a thicker texture. But mix to your desired texture.
  6. You will want to cook the beans for 2-3 more minutes stirring often.
  7. Once done remove beans from the heat, and stir in the lime juice. Add salt to taste if ou would prefer.
  8. If your refried beans seem dry you can add a splash of broth or even water. Cover and stir occassionally until you are ready to serve.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 178Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 501mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 5gSugar: 10gProtein: 7g

This information is automatically calculated by third-party software, including but not limited to the Create or Bake Me Some Sugar. For accurate nutrition, I suggest running the ingredients in your own system to get a more accurate reading.

This is one bean recipe that everyone in the family is going to love. Eat it as is or toss it on a burrito or taco to add in some delicious flavor and protein! This recipe gives you that wiggle room to choose what you prefer!

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