This recipe is a perfect mixture of smooth refried beans mixed with the soft texture of whole pinto beans, seasoned with garlic, onions, and Mexican spices. Top all that off with some gooey cheese and you have a perfect Mexican side dish.
The truly great thing is that once all the ingredients are mixed together it bakes up in just 15 minutes!
This recipe for Mexican Refried Beans makes a great side dish for burritos, tacos, or enchiladas… all your favorite Mexican Dinners. These beans would also be great for a bean burrito or inside my Enchiritos.
Refried beans are whole pinto beans that are cooked soft and then pureed or smashed into a creamy texture. They are a staple in Mexican and Tex Mex Cooking. However, recipes vary quite a bit from home to home and by region.
My recipe for Mexican Refried Beans could not be easier. I make mine with canned refried beans because I like to keep side dishes easy. I do not want to soak and cook beans for 24 hours, just for a side dish!
A side dish should not take that long! You with me?
That would be like going to a Beyonce concert and the opening act performing for 2 hours and Beyonce coming out for 15 minutes! does.not.make.sense.
How to Make The Best Refried Beans
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and grab a small baking dish, like an 8×8 or 9×9.
In a small frying pan, over medium low heat, saute the chopped onion and garlic in 1/2 tablespoon of oil, just until they are softened, about 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, stir together the canned refried beans, the drained and rinsed whole pinto beans, chili powder, cumin, salt, and onion powder. When the onions and garlic are ready stir them in.
I also like a couple dashes of Tabasco, hot sauce, or Taco Bell mild sauce stirred in. It gives it a little vinegar tang and great flavor! But, it’s totally optional. But, you should do it.
Pour the mixture into your baking dish.
Sprinkle the top with your preferred cheese (I like pepper jack or colby jack). Cover the pan with foil and pop it into the oven with the timer set for 10 minutes.
At the end of 10 minutes remove the foil and place it back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
Garnish with cilantro and diced tomatoes if you are feeling fancy.
They are ready to eat as soon as they come out of the oven!
Variations on The Best Refried Beans Recipe
Here are a few ideas on how you can change up this Refried Bean recipe to suit your taste buds:
- Add a tablespoon or two of your favorite hot sauce.
- If we have Taco Bell hot or mild sauce in the house I will add a little to the bean mixture. It gives it a great vinegar tang. BTW you can now buy it in the grocery store!
- Sprinkle in some red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper for extra heat.
- Substitute Refried Black Beans and a can of whole black beans.
- If you like your beans super cheesy stir a 1/2 cup of cheese into the bean mixture and then top the beans with an additional 1/2 cup of cheese.
- Top the beans with whatever cheese you like: cheddar, monterey jack, pepper jack, colby jack, queso fresco (however, note that the queso fresco will not melt).
I hope you give this recipe for The Best Refried Beans a try in your kitchen!
The Best 15-Minute Refried Beans Recipe
The Best 15-Minute Refried Beans
- 16 oz canned refried beans get traditional, not fat-free
- 15.5 oz canned whole pinto beans drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup onions, finely diced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp oil
- 1/4 tsp each: cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt
- **optional, couple dashes of tabasco or hot sauce
- 1/2 cup shredded cheese cheddar, pepper jack, colby jack, queso fresco, monterey jack
- **optional garnish- cilantro and diced tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 350. Grab a small baking dish, 8×8 or 9×9
- In a small frying pan, over medium low heat, saute the onions and garlic in the oil until they are translucent, about 4 minutes.
- While the onions and garlic cook, in a mixing bowl stir together the refried beans and whole pinto beans, all the seasonings, and optional hot sauce. Once the onions and garlic are ready stir them into the bean mixture.
- Pour the beans into the baking dish. Top with the shredded cheese. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 10 minutes.At the end of 10 minutes remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes.Garnish with cilantro and diced tomatoes if you are feeling fancy. Enjoy this awesome Mexican side dish!