Traditionally, refried beans are made from pinto beans. This version also incorporates red kidney beans for an interesting alternative. This quick and easy recipe is perfect for busy weeknight meals and goes great with the Chicken and Black Bean Burrito Skillet recipe that I shard earlier. This recipe is also great whenever you want a healthy, meatless side dish.

Easy Refried Beans
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
25 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 4
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 16-oz cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-oz can of red kidney beans, with liquid
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • sea salt & black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • fresh cilantro, to serve
  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and translucent, approximately 4-5 minutes.

  2. Reduce heat to medium and add beans, ground cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and crushed red pepper flakes, if using. Cook, stirring occasionally until the beans are heated through and start to break apart slightly approximately 8-10 minutes.

  3. Remove from heat and puree beans with an immersion blender or a potato masher until almost smooth. Serve topped with fresh cilantro, if desired. 

Hope you enjoy!


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