Restaurant Style Refried Beans

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Restaurant Style Refried Beans are not only simple to make, they are SO much better than the canned version. Use a food processor to combine a nice veggie sauté with pinto beans, a touch of hot sauce, and some butter. A great addition to all of your Tex-Mex recipes!

Try our Cowboy Baked Beans next!

A spoonful of refried beans in a bowl of beans.

Homemade Refried Beans

Beans are eaten on the regular around here. We eat them in so many different recipes, including Grilled Chicken Burrito Bowls, Sweet Potato Enchilada Casserole, Healthy Taco Salad Recipe, and of course, all of my hummus recipes among others. Not only are they high in fiber and protein, but they are also delicious and filling too.

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This recipe is definitely more “semi-homemade” than “from scratch”. BUT you could easily take it to the next level by cooking your own dried beans. These use canned pinto beans, which I keep stocked at ALL times. I also occasionally use canned refried beans, but y’all. This version is way better and you know exactly what’s in them.

The typical refried beans contain lard, but who cooks with that anymore? I used a little bit of olive oil plus a couple of tablespoons of unsalted butter to get that creamy texture. So tasty!

Side view of the restaurant style refried beans.

Ingredients needed for The Easiest Refried Beans:

  • Pinto Beans – Use about 30 oz. of canned pinto beans. Or if you are feeling ambitious, use the dried version (which will require soaking, etc.).
  • Olive Oil – You’ll need to use a bit of olive oil to sauté the veggies.
  • Veggies – Onion, jalapeño pepper, and some garlic.
  • Seasonings – Ground cumin, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Butter – A couple of tablespoons of butter to get the beans creamy.
  • Hot Sauce (optional) – For extra spice, add a splash of hot sauce. I used Frank’s hot sauce.
  • Lime – A big squeeze of lime adds a bit of acidity plus helps add moisture to the beans.
  • To serve – Top the beans with some chopped cilantro and a few sliced cherry tomatoes. You could also add cotija cheese or any Mexican cheese.
Labeled ingredients needed for the refried beans.

How to make Refried Beans:

Step 1
Sauté the veggies. Heat a cast iron skillet to medium-high heat. Add some olive oil, and then the diced onions and peppers. Sauté for a few minutes, or until veggies are soft. Then add the garlic, ground cumin, salt, and pepper – and stir for another 30 seconds.

Step 2
Add beans. Add the pinto beans and hot sauce and continue cooking for several minutes until beans are heated.

Step 3
Process. Spoon the veggie mixture into a food processor, and pulse until it’s completely pureed. Add butter, fresh lime juice, and pulse again until the beans are nice and creamy.

Step 4
Serve. Serve refried beans with some chopped cilantro.

A bowl of the creamy refried beans topped with cilantro.

Ways to serve these easy refried beans:

Two tortillas with refried beans on top.

Kitchen Tools used for this recipe: (Affiliate Links)

Make this bean recipe next: Spanish Rice and Beans

xoxo ~Sue

Closeup on a bowl of restaurant style refried beans.

Restaurant Style Refried Beans

Restaurant Style Refried Beans are not only simple to make, they are SO much better than the canned version. Use a food processor to combine a nice veggie sauté with pinto beans, a touch of hot sauce, and some butter. A great addition to all of your Tex-Mex recipes! 
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 1/3 cup servings
Calories: 268kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf


  • 30 oz. pinto beans – rinsed and strained
  • 1-2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion – diced
  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper – diced
  • 2 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper – to taste
  • a splash of hot sauce – optional
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 medium lime – freshly juiced
  • chopped cilantro and tomatoes – to serve


  • Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high heat. Add olive oil, diced onions and peppers, and saute until soft. Add the garlic, ground cumin, salt, and pepper, and stir for about 30 seconds.
  • Add pinto beans and hot sauce, and cook for about 4-5 minutes, or until beans are heated through.
  • Pour the contents of skillet into a food processor. Pulse until well pureed. Then add butter and fresh lime juice, and pulse again.
  • Thin beans with water, as needed. I normally add at least 1/4 cup.
  • Serve refried beans with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro.



Pro-Tip: If the refried beans are not smooth and creamy, add more fresh lime juice or some water to thin. Add just a little bit at a time.


Calories: 268kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 61mg | Potassium: 658mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 153IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!


  1. Restaurant style indeed!! This was such an easy recipe to make! I used some of the leftovers as a dip to have with some pretzel crisps!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Great idea!

  2. I LOVE refried beans and these are so much better than the ones in the can. It can be used in so many ways or just with chips.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      We love these as a chip dip too!

  3. I never thought I would give refried beans ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️, but this is well done and legit!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      They are so much better than store-bought!

    2. Easy & Excellent!
      Nice thing is you can add as much as ypu desire for balancing it out.
      Thank you

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