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!
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.
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!
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.
How to make Refried Beans:
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.
Add beans. Add the pinto beans and hot sauce and continue cooking for several minutes until beans are heated.
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.
Serve. Serve refried beans with some chopped cilantro.
Ways to serve these easy refried beans:
- As pictured below, spread them on tortillas and eat!
- Add them to my Mexican Chicken Burritos instead of the rice and beans layer.
- Use them in my Steak Quesadilla Recipe, instead of the black bean mixture in my recipe.
- Add a layer to my Easy Taco Crunch Wraps.
- Enjoy them in some delicious Huevos Rancheros Tostadas.
- Add some cheese on top, and eat it as a dip with chips!
Make this bean recipe next: Spanish Rice and Beans
Restaurant Style Refried Beans
- 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.