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Refried Beans

rate this recipe:
4.8 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Serves 6 to 8
Learn how to make refried beans from scratch, and you'll never get the canned kind again! You can make this recipe with dry pinto beans or canned ones. Vegetarian with a vegan option. Gluten-free.


Option 1: Refried Beans from Dried Pinto Beans

  • 1 recipe Pinto Beans, (cooked from scratch with seasonings)
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • Water, as needed
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon chili powder

Option 2: Refried Beans from Canned Pinto Beans

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 cans pinto beans, including liquid
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, more to taste

Serving options

  • Cilantro
  • Cotija cheese
  • red pepper flakes


  • To make refried beans from dried pinto beans: Prepare the full Pinto Beans recipe. Transfer a little more than half of the cooked beans to a blender with about 2 to 4 tablespoons of water, enough for the beans to blend. Return the blended beans to the pot and stir in the avocado oil, lime juice, and chili powder, to taste. If the mixture is too thick, stir in more water to reach your desired consistency.
  • To make refried beans from canned pinto beans: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until softened. Stir in the cumin and chili powder, then add the beans, oregano, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, for 15 minutes. Transfer 3/4 of the cooked beans to a blender and blend until smooth. Return the blended beans to the pot, and stir in the lime juice. Season to taste and serve.
  • Serve the finished refried beans with cilantro, Cotija cheese and red pepper flakes, if desired.