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Easy Refried Beans

Refried beans are traditionally made with pinto beans. As an exciting alternative, this variant also incorporates red beans.

This quick and easy to prepare dish is ideally suited to the busy evenings of the week or to accompany typical Mexican or Tex-Mex dishes without meat. 

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword mexican food, refried beans
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 380 kcal


  • 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • ½ medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 32 ounce canned pinto beans rinsed and drained
  • 15 ounce canned red beans with liquid
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • Fresh cilantro to serve,optional


  1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Stir in onion and garlic and add salt and black pepper to taste. Cook for 4-5 minutes, occasionally stirring, until onion turns soft and translucent.
  2.  Bring the heat to medium and add pinto beans, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika and crushed red pepper flakes, if you use them. Stir occasionally, until the beans are very hot and start to slightly break apart, about 8 to 10 minutes. 

  3. Remove from heat and mash beans with a blender or masher until almost soft. Serve with fresh cilantro, at your option. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

When buying canned beans, make sure they are free of excess sodium or fat. Too much sodium in food may lead to increased blood pressure and the risk of heart disease or loss of bone density over time.