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Refried Black Beans

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Refried Black Beans are classic Mexican side dish made easy and delicious with canned beans, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sea salt. They make the perfect side dish for your favorite Mexican food recipes, and an excellent base to tostadas, salads, dips, and burritos!

Check out these Instant Pot Mexican Black Beans if you prefer dried beans made in a pressure cooker.

Refried Black Beans in a serving bowl topped with crumbled cheese and cilantro.

I really LOVE these Refried Black Beans!! I made them to use in my Breakfast Tostada recipe and now I want to use them everywhere that I can, they are that good!

Additional Black Bean Recipes

What you will need

Ingredients needed to make refried black beans.
  • Canned black beans make this recipe quick and easy without loosing out on flavor.
  • Yellow onion sautéed in olive oil with chili powder, cumin, and minced garlic add an amazing amount of flavor.
  • Fresh water to cook the beans and thin them out if needed.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and crumbled queso fresco or cojito cheese.

This recipe is gluten-free and vegan, when a dairy-free cheese is used.

Be sure to check out the detailed printable recipe card below

Looking down on a bowl of Refried Black Beans topped with crumbled queso and chopped cilantro.

How to make Refried Black Beans

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, chili powder, and ground cumin.

Chopped onion, chili powder, cumin and olive oil in a skillet.

Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, stir and cook for an additional minute.

Cooked onion, chili powder, cumin, and garlic in a skillet.

Add the beans and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Black beans and water added to the onion mixture in a large skillet.

Mash beans with a potato masher or the back of a large spoon to desired consistency.

Smashed Refried Black Beans in a skillet with a potato masher on the side.

If beans are too dry, add more water. If there is too much liquid, continue cooking until they reduce down.

Season with salt to taste, and remove from heat. Serve with vegan, Monterrey Jack, or queso fresco cheese, and chopped cilantro, if desired.

A bowl of Black Refried Beans topped with crumbled queso and cilantro.

Recipe variations

  • Substitute pinto beans for traditional refried beans.
  • Use lard or bacon grease for even more flavor.
  • For a smokier flavor use chipotle chili powder instead of regular.
  • For added heat, substitute cayenne powder. Start with .25 teaspoon and work your way up from there.
  • For a smoother texture puree in a food processor or blender.
  • Garnish with sliced jalapeño peppers, sliced green onions, and any combination of cheeses that your family loves.

Got leftovers?

Store beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a small pan over medium heat, slowly adding additional liquid until you reach your desired consistency and they are heated through.

Tools used to create this recipe

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More Classic Mexican recipes

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Enjoy!!

Refried Black Beans in a serving bowl topped with crumbled cheese and cilantro.

Refried Black Beans

Refried Black Beans are classic Mexican side dish made easy and delicious with canned beans, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sea salt
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: homemade black beans
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 181kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • .75 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 large cloves garlic minced
  • 30 ounces black beans two cans, drained and rinsed
  • .75 cup water or more as needed
  • sea salt to taste
  • queso fresco Monterey Jack, or vegan cheese (optional)
  • chopped cilantro to garnish

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions, chili powder, and ground cumin. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, stir and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add the beans and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Mash beans with a potato masher or the back of a large spoon to desired consistency. If beans are too dry, add more water. If there is too much liquid, continue cooking until they reduce down.
  • Season with salt to taste, and remove from heat. Serve with vegan, Monterrey Jack, or queso fresco cheese, and chopped cilantro, if desired.

Notes

  • Substitute pinto beans for traditional refried beans.
  • Use lard or bacon grease for even more flavor.
  • For a smokier flavor use chipotle chili powder instead of regular.
  • For added heat, substitute cayenne powder. Start with .25 teaspoon and work your way up from there.
  • For a smoother texture puree in a food processor or blender.
  • Garnish with sliced jalapeño peppers, sliced green onions, and any combination of cheeses that your family loves.
  • Store beans in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a small pan over medium heat, slowly adding additional liquid until you reach your desired consistency and they are heated through.

Nutrition

Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 418mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 158IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 3mg

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9 Comments

  1. I think I need to just come and stay at your house for awhile!! You always have the best stuff! Pinning these beans!!

  2. This looks amazing!! Found your recipe at Two Cup Tuesday.  I am one of the hostesses of Tickle My Tastebuds and would love you to stop by and link up this recipe if you have not yet already.
    Lori

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