Quick and Easy “Refried” Beans

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These Quick and Easy Refried Beans are a great side dish to any Mexican dish.  Plus they are made easy using canned pinto beans and made healthier without the refry!

Big bowl of refried beans sprinkled with cheese. A chip is dipping into the beans.

These Quick and Easy Refried Beans are so easy!!

I have been making these homemade “refried” beans for quite a while now and I’m not sure why it has taken me so long to share them with you.

They are super easy to make since we are using canned pinto beans and they are healthier because they aren’t refried.

They are perfect to serve alongside any Mexican dish and they also make a great chip dip!

Big bowl of refried beans sprinkled with cheese.

About these Quick and Easy Refried Beans:

  • Make ahead tip: these can be stored the in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
  • If you would rather use black beans they substitute well.
  • These beans are vegetarian and vegan.
  • They are also gluten free (just be sure to check your labels before purchasing to ensure they are gluten free).

Serve these Refried Beans with:

Big bowl of refried beans topped with cheese and a couple of chips dipped in.

So, how was everyone’s weekend??  It was beautiful here so we spent most of the day outside on Sunday.  Which was really nice because we haven’t been able to do a whole lot as a family lately.

My husband has been working really long hours and even Saturday so our time with him has been rather limited.

And can we talk about the weather for a minute!!!  What is going on with Mother Nature???  It was literally 70 degrees here yesterday and today it is snowing and a whopping 20 degrees outside.  WHAT IS GOING ON???

This has been the strangest winter weather ever.  Ok, got that off my chest, we can proceed now.

Overhead shot of a bowl of refried beans sprinkled with cheese.

As I was saying we spent most of Sunday outside.  We went to the farm and the kids had a hay day (pun intended 🙂 ).

I wish I would have remembered my phone so I could have videoed everything.  I need to do a better job with that!

But they climbed dirt piles, the older ones climbed the insanely tall ladders up the bins (not going to lie I was panicking a little), and they slid down the tarps on the silage piles.

Needless to say, they were all in desperate need of a bath when we got home!!

Overhead shot of a bowl of refried beans sprinkled with cheese.

Quick and Easy Refried Beans

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
These Quick and Easy Refried Beans are made easy using canned beans and made healthier without the refry.  
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 5 (1/2 cup) servings
Author: Countryside Cravings
Print Recipe Save Recipe


  • 1 (28 oz) (850 g) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) water
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste


  • In a medium saucepan combine all the ingredients.  Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.  Mash with a potato masher or the back of a spoon.  (These will not be super smooth beans)
  • Continue to cooker over low heat for 10 minutes or until they reach desired consistency.  Stir occasionally to help prevent burning.  (Beans will also thicken as they cool)


  1. Make ahead tip: Beans can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months.  
  2. If you would rather use black beans they substitute well.
  3. These beans are vegetarian and vegan.  
  4. They are also gluten free (just be sure to check your labels before purchasing to ensure they are gluten free). 

40 thoughts on “Quick and Easy “Refried” Beans”

  1. 5 stars
    I have made often. Sometimes i crisp up bacon and use that grease to saute the onion in and add thr crumbled bacon in. Delicious. Tonight i am using in vegetarian nachos. Can’t wait to eat💕

  2. So excited to make these refried beans after reading all the great comments!!
    Question; anyone have a favorite bean brand? Making this weekend!!

  3. 5 stars
    I would like to pack the ingredients, minus the beans, for the food pantry at church. Can you suggest an amount of the cayenne to make a medium hot mix?

  4. 5 stars
    Fantastic! I added a bit more water during the 10 minute process and used my immersion blender to smoothen them a bit. Great recipe! (Just wish so had some cotija cheese like you have in the photo!)

  5. I’m excited to make this! I’m feed 12-14 people, do you recommend tripling or doubling this recipe? Also if I make it the night before, what’s the best way to reheat it?

    • I am so sorry I didn’t respond to your comment sooner!! If your count is including a lot of little kids doubling would probably be ok, but if it’s bigger kids and adults I would triple the recipe to be safe. I reheat in the microwave because I am lazy, lol but I think you could reheat on the stove. However, you will probably need to stir in some extra water while reheating on the stove so it doesn’t burn.

  6. 5 stars
    I LOVE THIS EASY RECIPE!!! I have made several pots of refried beans, using various recipes (including my sister’s recipe with soaked dry beans). I have tried modifying canned refried beans, canned pinto beans, canned refried beans mixed with canned pinto beans, etc. Nothing really worked for me. I nearly gave up all hope of finding a good recipe… until I came across this one. When I tasted the end result, I may have cursed out loud. SO AMAZING!!! The only changes I made was sautéing the chopped onions with the minced garlic. Then, I added 1 cup of water, to let the onions soften more. Thank you for sharing! I am in refried bean Heaven!

  7. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I also used my immersion blender as mentioned in another comment and that gave it the perfect texture! I like a thinner consistency so I doubled the water (might even do more next time) and added a bit of chicken bullion powder. Will definitely be making these again!

    • 5 stars
      I was initially excited to read your recipe. But took so much work to get to it. A lot of scrolling through things that had nothing to do with pinto beans. In all honesty people just want to know about beans when they’re looking at a bean post on pinterest

      • I am sorry you found it hard to scroll to the recipe. There is a jump to recipe button at the top of the post and all of my posts for your convenience.

      • 5 stars
        That’s not true. I enjoy reading the stories that go along with people’s recipes. If I didn’t, I’d just click the “jump to recipe” button at the top.

  8. 5 stars
    I made these beans for my family tonight and I am smitten! I added more of each spice because we love bold flavors around here, but wow! Where have these beans been all my life????? I am never buying canned refried beans again. This recipe is amazing! Thank you!

  9. 5 stars
    These are awesome! I always go heavier on the seasoning. These are quick, easy and delicious. The only thing I did differently is that I blended with the immersion blender because hubby likes them that way the best!

  10. 5 stars
    This is an amazing, super delicious recipe! Wow! I’m never going back to canned refried beans. I plan on using this recipe in several ways. First of all, I want to keep one bowl all to myself! Thank you for sharing the best recipe I have found in years! Kudos.

  11. These look great! I’ve not cooked with pinto beans before, but was just given a bag of dried beans – any idea what weight I would use in place of that mentioned in the recipe? And would I just soak and boil them?

    • To cook dry beans you will need to rinse them then cover them with cold water and soak overnight. Drain the beans then put into a large pot. Cover with water (at least 2 inches above the beans). Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 2 hours or until beans are tender. Continue with the refried bean recipe. As for amount I am just guessing to use a little less than 1/2 of a 1 pound bag.

  12. I’m a sucker for refried beans whenever we go out for TexMex, but I’ve never made ’em on my own. It’s time to make that happen because your recipe looks stellar!

  13. 5 stars
    This is great! I know next time I can just make them on my own, then buying the can at the store!! These look SO MUCH more appetizing!!!


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