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Easy Refried Beans

These Easy Refried Beans are no stranger to anyone who loves Mexican or Tex-Mex food. The creamy texture of the smashed pinto beans along with the down home flavor puts it at the top of my list of favorite fiesta sides to make.

Easy Refried Beans

Easy Refried Beans Recipe

At one of our favorite local Mexican restaurants they have a super simple approach to refried beans. They begin with lard and salt, a touch of garlic and that’s pretty much all they do to them. I love them and always order them with my entrée whether it’s I’m having tacos,  a taco salad or enchiladas each time we visit.  Even though they’re simple, the creamy texture is so pleasing. However, when I make refried beans at home I like to add my own twist to them and season to our liking. I skip the lard and start with bacon drippings and butter. I also add sweet onion and then have fun adding the seasonings we like. I find it’s best to use canned pinto beans that have few seasonings in them giving me the opportunity to personalize them myself.

Easy Refried Beans

How to Make the Best Refried Beans Recipe

While these kind of Mexican refried beans are made slightly different by everyone, I like to punch the flavor up a bit starting with bacon drippings and sweet onion. Doing so, adds just the right amount of seasonings and a they’re finished with sprinkling of cheese for the crowning touch. Whether they’re enjoyed as a side dish or a quick dip with tortilla chips they’re sure to make a delicious addition to your menu.

  • Ingredients you’ll need to make homemade Refried Beans: 3 cans plain pinto beans, bacon drippings, diced onion, butter, taco sauce, chili powder, ground cumin, lemon pepper, garlic salt and shredded monterey jack cheese.
  • Kitchen gadgets you’ll need: A large skillet, a colander. sharp knife and cutting board, cheese grater, measuring cups and spoons and a potato masher.
  • You could make these refried beans with leftover cooked pinto beans. When doing so, consider the seasonings used in the beans and make any adjustments to the spices in the recipe as needed.
  • You can make these beans up to 2 days in advance and store them chilled in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat over medium heat in a skillet and top with shredded monterey jack cheese just before serving.
  • Store leftover Refried Beans in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. You can also freeze them for up to 1 month.
  • Serve these beans with tortilla chips or as a side for tacos, enchiladas, fajitas or burritos for a homemade fiesta any night of the week.


Easy Refried Beans

More Southern Style Beans Recipes to Make

Beans are a stellar choice whether you serve them as an entree or a side dish, More recipes that feature beans you may like to make:

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Easy Refried Beans

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mexican Inspired
Keyword: easy-refried-beans, refried-beans-recipe
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 294kcal
Author: Melissa Sperka


  • 1 small sweet onion minced
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp bacon drippings
  • 3 16 oz cans plain pinto beans (Do not drain)
  • 1/4 cup medium heat taco sauce
  • 1 Tbsp dark chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic salt additional to taste
  • 1/4 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese divided


  • In a heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat cook the onion, butter and bacon drippings for 3 minutes or until the onion has softened.
  • Add the beans, taco sauce, chili powder, cumin, garlic salt and lemon pepper. Mix well.
  • Use a potato masher to mash the beans until chunky smooth. Cook until the beans begin to bubble.
  • Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust the garlic salt to your taste.
  • Add 1/2 of the cheese to the beans, stir until melted. Sprinkle the remaining on top.
  • Serve immediately.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 294kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 1083mg | Potassium: 91mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 543IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @melissassk or tag #melissassk!



  1. I’m not sure I can add the liquid from the cans of beans. I always wash my beans from the can. Is there something else that could add in to replace that?

  2. Quick question wanting to make these and don’t have bacon drippings would using crisco instead work?

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