Refried Beans Recipe

Frijoles Refritos

To say “refried bean” is really a misnomer as they are only fried once.  I do not think calling them “fried beans” would sound right either.  Refried beans is probably one of the mostly frequently served side dishes with most Southwestern entrees, along with some version of Spanish Rice.  They are also a frequently used as filling for burritos, gorditas, and as toppings for chalupas and tostadas.  These beans are one of the simplest of all southwestern foods to prepare, and can be more versatile in their preparation than many people realize.

Recipe, comments, and photos are courtesy of Cynthia Detterick-Pineda of Andrews, TX.


Refried Beans



Refried Beans Recipe - Frijoles Refritos:
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Southwest
Keyword: Frijoles Refritos Recipe, Refried Beans Recipe
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
  • 4 to 5 cups beans, cooked (pinto, anasazi, or black beans work best*
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil, vegetable shortening, or lard
Optional Ingredients:
  • 1/2 large white or yellow onion, diced finely
  • 1/2 cup cheese (cheddar, queso quesadilla, Monterrey jack, or other similar cheese of your choice), shredded

  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Using a skillet that is not non-stick is best when making refried beans as you want them to stick slightly and become drier as they cook.

  3. Carefully add the beans and mix well with the oil, allowing them to fry approximately 3 to 5 minutes.  Adding the beans may cause spattering of the oil, especially if they are cold when added, so be very cautious to prevent burns.

  4. Adding beans to oil

  5. After frying, mash the beans with a potato masher to your desired consistency.

  6. Mashing Beans    Mashed Refried Beans


  8. Some people prefer some whole beans left while others will even use a hand blender to completely smooth out the beans.

  9. Serve with chopped onions sprinkled on top and covered with grated cheese of your choice if desired.

  10. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

  11. Variation Ideas:

  12. Chorizo Fried Beans: (personally my favorite way to prepare refried beans)

  13. Replace the oil in the above recipe with 1/4 cup ground chorizo.  In a large skillet, fry the chorizo thoroughly.  NOTE: If the chorizo is in a casing like a sausage, remove this before frying.  Add the beans and follow the recipe as above.

  14. Chorizo Sausage

Recipe Notes

* Check out Cynthia's Basic Bean Recipe for Cooking Beans.


Beans    Southwest Recipes    Vegetarian Recipe Collection   

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