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How to Make Refried Black Beans

How to Make Refried Black Beans

Last Updated on 22nd April 2022 by

The term “refried beans” doesn’t mean the beans are fried a second time. It just means that after the beans have been fried, they are mashed and seasoned.

There are lots of different beans you can have refried, like Pinto, northern, and black beans, but I’m going to show you how to make refried black beans in a way that is well seasoned that I just bet you will love.

You can use refried black beans with tortilla chips burritos, tacos, and other Mexican foods. They make a wonderful side dish as well, used alongside meat or served with salsa.  Once  you know how to make refried beans from canned black beans, you can store your refried beans for a few days in the fridge.

Refried Black Beans
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How to Make Black Bean Refried Beans

You can make refried black beans using a can of beans, which is definitely the easiest way, or you can use dried beans. The dried beans would have to be cooked first, so if that's what you have on hand, be sure to cook them thoroughly before following this recipe.
Now I'll show you a recipe for how to make refried black beans from can that are sure to be a winner next time you serve up some Mexican food.


  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 tsp of chili powder
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • ½ tsp of ground cumin
  • ½ large onion, chopped
  • 1 handful of cilantro
  • A handful of queso fresco cheese for garnish


  • Sauté green onion and garlic in the frying pan with a little butter or oil. Cook on medium heat for a few minutes until the onion starts to brown.
  • Once the onions have browned, add in the cumin and cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Drain the refried beans and add them and two quarts of water to your frying pan. Lower the heat and cover partially. Allow the beans to simmer for about 2 hours.
  • Once the beans have simmered for two hours, add in cilantro and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Add in the chili powder and mix thoroughly. Then, mash down the beans and drain out the excess liquid. You can use a potato masher to mash up the beans while they are still in the pan. Cook for an additional 3 or 4 minutes. If they are too watery, you can allow them to cook a little longer. If they look too dry, you can just add some more water. If you add water, you may want to add more seasoning to taste.
  • Serve your refried beans with cheese on top.

Now you know how to make refried beans with black beans, and cooking them from scratch isn’t very difficult. You can simply let them soak in enough water to cover them, with two additional inches of coverage, and allow them to soak overnight. If you want them to soak faster and to be ready to use quickly, you can cover the beans with boiling water and allow them to sit in the water for an hour.

The method I’ve given you for how to make refried black beans from a can is one of the simpler methods available, there are many other ways you could prepare refried beans, using different seasonings, vegetables, and toppings.

You could also make this in the Instant Pot, using beans that have already soaked and adding everything at once, cooking up your ingredients on high for 35 minutes. Be sure to mash the beans once they’re finished cooking.

If you’re going to put your refried beans into the freezer, you may want them to be a little soupy. They will store better and come out soft rather than dry and hard.

Should You Use Canned Beans or Dried Beans?

A question I see a lot about how to make refried beans from black beans is whether it’s best to use beans from a can or a bag of dried beans. You can get the same texture either way, but you might notice subtle taste differences. A lot of people swear by the dried beans and say that it tastes better and is healthier for you. That is true in some instances, especially if the canned beans have preservatives and additives.

It’s up to you which one you want to use, but just keep in mind that using dried beans will take a whole lot longer. If you prep them ahead of time, it’s no problem. But if you’re trying to make some refried beans in a pinch, you definitely want to go with the canned ones.

Tips for How to Make Black Refried Beans Taste Great

I want to leave you with a few suggestions for how to improve the taste of your black beans and ensure that they turn out great every time. One thing to watch for is the sodium content. Canned black beans may include salt already, and you may not want to add it to your refried bean dish. Check the salt content of the beans before you start seasoning them to ensure that you’re not over-salting them.

There’s also a lot of things you can garnish your refried beans with. If you find that the recipe I gave you above contains too many herbs or veggies, you can take some of those away. You can also add some garnishes to help soften the flavor. A dollop of sour cream on top or some small corn chips as a garnish can be a great way to make the dish have a broader appeal.

You can also make this a very cheesy dish, mixing cheese into the beans or garnishing with a number of different cheeses.

Always be sure to serve your refried beans hot. The definitely taste best this way, and if you want to reheat them from the fridge or freezer, it’s best to heat them on the stove in a pan. You may want to add a little water to the pan so that they don’t burn and dry out. Cooking them in a pan rather than in a microwave will ensure more even heating and will help them to have a better texture.


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I'm Pauline, a retired patisserie chef, mother of four and now a full time food blogger! When i'm not cooking i love long walks, reading thriller novels and spending time with my grandkids. Head to my about me page to learn more about the woman behind the food!  You can find my Facebook here

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