Super Easy Refried Beans


I’ve spoken a lot about how much we love beans as a super frugal staple in our meal plan, but for some reason, I’ve never bothered to record one of our favorite bean recipes. How thoughtless of me!

Image shows a bowl of refried beans with scallions on top, and text that reads "Super Easy Refried Beans"

So, here’s the thing, I love refried beans, but I don’t love the whole “refried” part. I mean, it takes more time and dirties up more dishes, to say nothing of the fact that when I make refried beans, I’m usually too rushed to dice and sauté onions and garlic.

So, we’ve adapted the traditional method to suit us, using dried spices to suit our lifestyle (which is to say, my lack of forethought :P), and making them super easy, and super tasty!

Photo shows a bowl of black beans covered in spices

This is the bean recipe we use on my kids beloved bean and cheese quesadillas, as well as our Mexican pizza, and well, every other Mexican recipe. Sometimes, I even add a spoonful to our chill to thicken it up (my husband doesn’t like too much tomato sauce). It’s so good!

Now I have to tell you that I don’t use lard in my refried beans. Since we’re not sautéing our onions, there really isn’t any reason to add it, so I’d just as soon save a few hundred calories if I can, ya know?

Super Easy Refried Beans

Photo shows a bowl of refried beans with a spoon


Super Easy Refried Beans

This delicious refried bean recipe is great to pair with your next Mexican themed dinner

  • Author: Elise


  • 2 cups pinto beans (drained, reserve liquid)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • Salt to taste


  1. Pour beans into a bowl and sprinkle seasonings on top.
  2. Mash beans with a potato masher (you can also use a food processor, or blender, but I like a coarser mash personally).
  3. Add reserved bean broth as needed to reach desired texture of refried beans.

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  1. these are fresh beans and then mashed? don’t you re-fry them hence Re-fried beans? cause I tried making bean dip with just fresh beans and it tastes nothing like dip. After I fried the cooked beans in a little bit of oil in the skillet then it tasted like re-fried beans. ?? just wondering why you don’t re-fry them.

  2. I just read your refried bean recipe. I like to have them on hand often. I cook my brown beans by 2 or 4 lbs. at a time and freeze them in quart freezer bags. I put 2 or 2 1/2 cups in each bag. To make refried beans I thaw out a bag of beans and put them in the food processor with 1 cup salsa, 1 tbs. of chili powder, 1 tbs. Cumin, 1 tsp. Garlic powder ans salt and pepper to taste. I process till smootn and put in a covered container. Then I just take out what I need and heat in microwave or on stove till hot. I love to have them with enchilada sauce and grated cheese on top for lunch. Yum.

  3. When you say to reserve the liquid… is that just the cooking liquid? I don’t buy canned beans, I just buy dry and soak/cook them myself. So I just reserve the water they cook in?

    1. Yes, I reserve a bit of the cooking liquid to mix back into the beans because I don’t like filling my beans up with lard or oil. It’s just a personal preference. 🙂

    1. I’m a control freak about ingredient. A lot of refried beans have junk lard, or even seed oils in them that I try to avoid, and sometimes you run into preservatives and other food additives that we try to stay away from.

      And, of course, cooking your own beans is cheaper, which is nice too. 🙂

  4. I just made these and love them! I used some reserved aquafaba instead of cooking liquid (because I had a kitchen snafu) and it worked out wonderfully. Thank you so much for sharing.

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