Homemade Refried Beans - These delicious refried beans are made using canned pinto beans, and there's NO lard needed! They're easy to make, and they are an excellent addition to a Mexican food-themed spread.
I've grown up loving Mexican food.
Here in Arizona, there are literally Mexican food restaurants on every corner, which is completely fine by me.
As a kid, my family and I went out for the delicious cuisine just about every weekend, and I would routinely get the same meal: Beef taco, cheese enchilada, rice, and refried beans. The rice and beans were my favorite part!
Today's recipe is basically a 'quick and dirty' way to recreate the traditional dish.
Every restaurant has a different way of making their beans, with some being more flavorful than others and some having a more textured bite.
I personally enjoy letting the natural flavor of the pinto bean shine and having a little texture, so this recipe reflects that.
Canned pinto beans - This is the key to making this recipe, as it eliminates the soaking and cooking of dried beans.
Olive oil - Instead of lard or tallow, olive oil is employed as the fat.
Onion - Adds good flavor! Use either yellow or red onion; red onion has a bit sweeter taste.
Garlic - Again, flavor. Not too much as to overpower the pinto bean's natural taste.
Cumin, chili powder, sea salt - These spices all serve flavor. I've added minute amounts of cumin and chili powder. Remember, we're not making chili!
Steps to make healthy refried beans
Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes. Stir in the spices and heat for another couple of minutes to bring out the flavor.
Lastly, add the can of pinto beans, along with the juice, and the salt.
Once the beans have cooked for 5-10 minutes, take your spoon and begin smashing them against the side of the pot. Alternatively, you could also use a potato masher or even an immersion blender if you want them really smooth.
How to serve homemade refried beans
I love this recipe because it is so easy and can be employed in so many ways.
Some of the ways you can create a meal or filling snack include:
- Serve them with nachos,
- Puree them fully with an immersion blender and serve as a bean dip with tortilla chips,
- Create a delicious dinner of these beans, Homemade Tostadas and Tex Mex Rice,
- Add some to freshly prepared Spelt Flour Tortillas along with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese for a scrumptious homemade burrito,
- Have a taco night with Ground Beef Taco Filling, refried beans, and Instant Pot Mexican Rice.
Alternatively, you can top these with a bit of salsa, a few scallions, and some queso fresco and eat as is!
My daughters are both tortilla chip fanatics, so I'm happy to be able to serve these beans as an accompaniment to the chips to add nutrition and protein!
I prefer a chunkier texture, so I just mash the beans with my spoon until they're the consistency I like!
If you want them smooth, just let the mixture cool a bit and use an immersion blender to puree them to your liking.
If you prefer to use dried beans, try this Instant Pot Charro Pinto Beans recipe.
Homemade Refried Beans
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ cup red or yellow onion chopped fine
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- 15 ounce can pinto beans (with juice)
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Heat the oil in a medium saucepan.
- Saute the onion for about three minutes.
- Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin, and continue to cook the mix for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add in the beans along with their juices and salt.
- Cook the beans on medium low for about five minutes until softened.
- Using the back of a spoon, smash the beans against the side of the pan until your desired consistency is reached. Alternatively, you can use a potato masher or even an immersion blender for this.
- Serve as desired.
If you have a chance to try this recipe, please leave a star rating and a comment below letting me know how you liked it!
Shared with: Full Plate Thursday