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Homemade Refried Beans

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This Homemade Refried Beans recipe has just a few simple ingredients and is ready in just 10 minutes. Using canned beans for this recipe makes it quick and easy!!

Simple refried beans, ready in just 10 minutes

This recipe for Simple Homemade Refried Beans can be used for so many meals. We like to use this as a delicious dip on its own, on top of nachos, in double decker tacos (you know soft shell on the outside with beans smeared on it, wrapped around a hard shell taco), bean and cheese burritos, enchiladas, I mean there are so many ways to enjoy these refried beans.

onions and garlic in a pan

How to Make Refried Beans

To make this refried beans recipe, you will start with one cup of diced onion and one tablespoon of minced garlic. Saute these in a skillet with olive oil, or vegetable oil, over medium high heat until they become translucent and soft. Don’t brown them, you want the onions to just be clear. This will take about 3-5 minutes, you’re that much closer to dinner!!

making refried beans with pinto beans

As I mentioned, this refried beans recipe is made with canned pinto beans. They are just as tender and flavorful as if you were to soak and boil them on your own for hours. This recipe calls for all the juices from the cans of pinto beans, this will add a lot of flavor and help thicken up the refried beans. Just pour them in and allow this to come to a soft boil.

mashing refried beans with potato masher

Once the beans have come up to a boil, season with cumin, salt and pepper. Stir to combine! Lastly, take a potato masher and mash, mash, mash those beans. You will notice it start to thicken as you blend in the mashed beans. Continue mashing until they have reached your preferred consistency. I like to leave a few whole beans in the mixture, but you can mash or even blend until smooth.

simple refried beans topped with cilantro and queso cotijo

Add some final touches to your Homemade Refried Beans! Go with some cilantro, Queso Fresco, Queso Cotijo (this is what I used), cheddar cheese, sour cream, avacados…Make them your own!! These are perfect as a dip on their own, or whip some up for quesadillas or a side dish to your enchiladas or tacos. Anyway you serve them, you are going to enjoy them!!

Homemade Refried Beans Recipe

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4 from 1 vote

Homemade Refried Beans

Homemade refried beans can be ready in under 10 minutes when made with canned pinto beans and simple spices. 
Prep Time3 minutes
Cook Time7 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 23kcal


  • 2 15 oz cans pinto beans
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp Queso Cotijo
  • cilantro


  • In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Saute the onion and garlic in the hot oil until fragrant and translucent about 3-5 minutes. 
  • Pour in the cans of pinto beans with all the liquids from the cans. Bring to a simmer and add the cumin, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • With a potato masher, mash the beans until thick. Some beans can be left whole if desired. If you want creamy refried beans, these can be blended with a hand blender or standing blender. 
  • Serve with Queso Cotijo and cilantro. 



Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 23kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.8g | Fat: 1.8g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Sodium: 352mg | Potassium: 30mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 0.6g | Calcium: 80mg
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: Homemade Refried Beans
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