The Best Refried Beans Recipe (Really!)

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Treat your body and your taste buds right with these protein-packed and delicious Refried Beans.

The Best Refried Beans Recipe featured above

Refried beans sometimes seem like the shy cousin you have to invite to the dance but you don’t expect will wow on the floor with the latest moves. But good refried beans can make or break a dish. And the best refried beans can be a star.

Suffice it to say this recipe is not a wallflower. With its mix of spices, onions, garlic, and lime, these beans bring some fiesta to the table. It’s the perfect side dish to complement entrees like Mexican chicken or Enchiladas. It’ll also work as part of an appetizer feast, alongside some Queso and Cowboy Caviar. Bring these humble legumes into the spotlight; it’s time for them to shine!

Why You Will Love This Recipe //

This tasty dish is also good for you, since the beans are loaded with protein and fiber. It can be a go-to dish if you’re feeding vegetarians. And here’s a bonus: it’s easy to make and store.

Ingredients //

It may seem like a lot, but trust me, the end product will be well worth the effort.

  • 1 can pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion (chopped)
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 TBSP lime juice
The Best Refried Beans Recipe ingredients

How to Make // The Steps

Step 1: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the onions. Cook until soft and turning translucent, about 5 minutes.

The Best Refried Beans Recipe step 1

Step 2: Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Cook for another 30 seconds until fragrant. Pour in the drained beans and 2 TBSP of water. Stir, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.

The Best Refried Beans Recipe step 2

Step 3: Reduce the heat to low and remove the lid from the saucepan. Mash the beans with a potato masher or the back of a fork until you reach your desired consistency. Cook the beans for 3 more minutes.

The Best Refried Beans Recipe step 3

Step 4: Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Season with the sea salt and add a splash of water if the beans seem too dry. Your refried beans are ready to serve!

The Best Refried Beans Recipe step 4

Tips & Tricks for the Perfect Refried Beans

  • You can tweak the cumin and chili powder to your personal flavor preferences.
  • Sautéing the onions and garlic takes time so be patient.
  • The consistency of the beans will depend on the type of masher you use. For chunkier beans, the trick is to use a potato masher; for a creamier texture, I usually use an immersion blender.
The Best Refried Beans Recipe featured below

FAQs

Can I swap out pinto beans for something else?

I prefer making my refried beans with pinto beans, they are my go-to for this dish but you can use black beans, navy beans, or even kidney beans.

Can I use other types of oils?

Canola oil or sunflower oil are suitable substitutes. You can even use butter instead.

What are some fun variations?

For spice, add a teaspoon of chipotle powder, or throw in some diced bell peppers for a pop of color. You can even add some saltiness with some crumbled feta.

The Best Refried Beans Recipe featured picture below

Serving Suggestions //

Dress these beans up with some fresh lime juice and cilantro. Serve them with warm, fluffy tortillas, use them as a topping for some oven-baked nachos, or as a side for a main entrée, like these chicken fajitas if you’re for an all-out Mexican theme. This utility player won’t let you down!

Make Ahead and How to Store //

This is a great make-ahead dish. Simply follow the instructions, let the beans cool down, and then store your finished refried beans in the fridge until close to serving time. When you’re ready, you can serve them however you prefer: cold, room temperature, or heated. To reheat, just add a bit of water to the beans in a pan on medium heat on your stovetop. You can also warm them up in a covered dish in the microwave (just add a little water first and stir).

The Best Refried Beans Recipe featured image below 1

Refried Beans

Treat your body and your tastebuds right with these protein-packed and delicious Refried Beans.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 80 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 can pinto beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion chopped
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tbsp lime juice

Instructions
 

  • In a medium saucepan heat the olive oil and add the onions. Cook until they have softened and are turning translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Cook for another 30 seconds until fragrant. Pour in the drained beans and 2 tbsp of water. Stir, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat to low and remove the lid from the saucepan. Mash the beans with a potato masher or the back of a fork until you reach your desired consistency. Cook the beans for 3 more minutes.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Season with the sea salt and add a splash of water if the beans seem too dry. Your refried beans are ready to serve!

Nutrition

Calories: 80kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 1gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gSodium: 6mgPotassium: 66mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 56IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 15mgIron: 0.4mg
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