This refried beans recipe is healthy, simple, and packs all the flavor! All you need is 4 main ingredients and 15 minutes. This is the perfect recipe for easy, high-protein meals.
The perfect refried beans recipe does not need lard or much oil. I have a secret tip on how to get the perfect flavor without the excess fat. I learned to make these refried beans from scratch but I can also let you in on a shortcut! My mom has been making refried beans my entire life so I learned how to give them flavor in a few different ways. I hope you love it and make it for your favorite recipes with refried beans.
Mexican Refried Beans
My mom taught me how to make these so I guess you can say they are authentic. In Mexico, everyone makes their beans a bit differently and according to their tastebuds! You can also adjust this recipe to your liking because everyone is different. I do recommend you follow it as much as possible the first time and then taste and adjust it to your liking.
Mexican refried beans are usually served as a side but can be the main entree as well. They are typically served with Mexican rice, or eaten with tortillas. They can be part of many nourishing dishes at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They are vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free so they are also perfect for gatherings and potlucks!
How to Make Refried Beans
This delicious refried beans recipe comes together in 4 easy steps! You can use homemade beans or canned beans. You will need cooked beans, onion, pepper (optional), vegetable broth (I used Better than Bouillon + water to make my broth) salt, and a bit of oil.
- Turn a pan on medium heat and add oil. Once it’s hot, add onion, and serrano pepper, and cook for about 3 minutes until fragrant and golden brown.
- Add beans and water/veg broth. Wait until they simmer for 2 minutes. Once they are heated all the way through, use the backside of your spatula to mash them until you get your desired consistency. You can also blend them if you want them more purée-like.
- Add more water if you want then a little runnier. Taste and add salt as needed.
- Turn the stove off and let sit for a few minutes before serving.
Are Refried Beans Healthy?
Beans are one of the most nutritious foods on this planet! They are packed with fiber, protein, iron, calcium, and so much more. Research shows that eating beans consistently can help prevent many chronic diseases such as diabetes, high cholesterol levels, and colorectal cancer. What can make refried beans “unhealthy” is adding too much oil or lard. Lard is high in saturated fats and can affect blood cholesterol. I recommend using small amounts of avocado or canola oil as it is better for heart health.
The key to achieving great flavor in healthy refried beans is frying onion in a little oil. You only need about a tablespoon of avocado oil to fry your onions nicely. Fry until they become fragrant and turn a golden brown color. You may also add a bit of Serrano or jalapeño pepper along with the onions if you want a little kick. Adding the peppers will also amplify the flavor of the beans so if you cannot tolerate spice as much, try adding a quarter if the pepper just for flavor.
Refried Beans from Scratch
Making your beans at home is very satisfying because it’s overall pretty easy and the beans are much better quality than canned beans. Frijoles de la olla (homemade beans) taste so much better. Making them at home will also save you lots of money throughout the year and you’ll only need 4 main ingredients: dried beans, water, salt, and garlic (optional).
I highly recommend using Peruvian beans also known as Canary or Mayocoba beans. They are mild in flavor and have a nice buttery taste. They are also known for making you less gassy/bloated! You can use any kind of beans but keep in mind that cooking time may vary depending on which you use. Speaking of gas, soaking the beans the night before cooking them can also significantly reduce flatulence!
Recipes with Refried Beans
There are so many different ways to enjoy refried beans. Here are some of my favorite recipes that you should try:Print