Easy Refried Beans

12 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Refried Beans are the PERFECT side dish for any party table, made with mashed pinto beans, onions, and seasoning, ready in under 30 minutes!

We’re always ready for a party menu, and right now we’re loving this Ultimate Bean Dip, Cheesy Beef Rotel Dip, Seven Layer Bean Dip, and Black Bean Dip!


Refried Beans, or frijoles refritos, are the perfect ingredient for most party or Tex-Mex recipes, or as a side dish on taco night. They’re incredibly EASY to make, with just one pot and a prep time of less than 20 minutes. You can add more or less seasoning and make them spicy or mild depending on your preference. They’re also great to make ahead and freeze, so you’ll always have some ready for taco night!


If your beans are drying out while you cook them, you can add a few tablespoons of water or broth, stirring until combined. Be careful not to add too much, because you don’t want your refried beans to thin out. You can also add some liquid while you’re reheating the beans.


Homemade refried beans will last in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Reheat them in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring often.


Let the beans cool completely, then store them in an airtight container and freeze for several months. Defrost in the refrigerator the night before you want to serve them.

Easy Refried Beans from Scratch


Add the beans, onions, oil, and seasoning to the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 8 hours. When the time is up, mash the beans with a potato masher. Top with fresh cilantro and serve.



  • You can technically make this refried beans recipe with other beans like black beans or white beans, but I prefer the flavor of pinto beans. Pinto beans are also traditionally used for this recipe. Keep in mind that if you use black beans, it will change the flavor slightly.
  • This refried beans recipe is vegetarian, but it’s also common to make refried beans with lard instead of canola oil. I’ve also made this refried beans recipe with bacon fat, then topped with chopped crispy bacon before serving.
  • Add more flavor with freshly chopped cilantro, cayenne pepper, minced jalapeños, or lime juice.
  • If you don’t have fresh cloves of garlic, you can use ½ teaspoon garlic powder.
  • Serve refried beans on tacos, with tortilla chips, enchiladas, or on a burrito. For an easy freezer burrito, use a spoonful of refried beans with cooked seasoned ground beef wrapped in a tortilla, wrapped tightly in tinfoil and frozen.
  • You can mash the beans with a large spoon, an immersion blender, or a potato masher. You can also carefully transfer the beans to a food processor and puree until they reach the desired texture.
  • Mix these refried beans with my queso dip recipe to make a cheese bean dip for a party!
  • You can also make these homemade beans with dried pinto beans, but they have to be soaked for up to 8 hours before you can use them, so I like to use the canned beans to save time.

Refried Beans using Canned Beans

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Refried Beans

Refried Beans are the PERFECT side dish for any party table, made with mashed pinto beans, onions, and seasoning, ready in under 30 minutes!
Yield 12 servings
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • 45 ounces canned pinto beans do not drain
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • Add the canola oil to a large dutch oven on medium heat with the onions and cook for 4-5 minutes until translucent then add in the garlic and pinto beans and cook stirring frequently for another 5 minutes.
  • Lower the heat to low, add in the cumin, chili powder and salt and simmer for 10 minutes then mash the beans to your desired consistency and serve with desired toppings.


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.


Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 482mg | Potassium: 321mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 55IU | Vitamin C: 1.8mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1.9mg

Vegetarian Refried Beans

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. This is our go to (the only) recipe, the whole family LOVES the beans! Thank you so much for sharing!! Depending on my taste buds when I’m cooking, I cut seasoning in half, somedays I leave as written, lol all mood driven. Otherwise I follow it to a T(aco)

  2. mine came out super runny, more like soup. I used two cans of 29oz beans and didn’t drain but maybe I should have. I’m simmering it more right now hoping it will thicken or lose some liquid…do you think it will?

    1. Because you used more canned beans than the recipe called for, I’m thinking you should’ve drained some of the liquid (not all though). Did it thicken as you let it simmer?

  3. Finally found my go to recipe!!! Made this last night for my family and it was a grand slam! Delicious! Thank you.

  4. Thank you for this recipe. I’ve been searching for one that does not ask you to drain the beans. Why throw all that flavor away, right?

  5. What would 45 ounces of canned pinto beans equal in dry pinto beans to truly make it from scratch?

  6. I’ve never made refried beans until I came across your recipe. They are absolutely wonderful and I won’t go back to anything else!