Homemade Refried Beans are a side dish or dip made with pinto beans, onions, jalapeños, and more; tasty for a Mexican or Cinco de Mayo meal.

Homemade Refried Pinto Beans with Coconut Rice

This flavorful recipe is fast and easy to make. The combination of smoky charred onion, garlic, and jalapeño and fresh lime, bright pickled red onion, and creamy cheese, makes for a perfectly balanced dish. Delicious served on this Epic Steak Taco Board.

Homemade Refried Pinto Beans

Friends, have you ever made your own refried beans? Homemade is the best, and I’m super excited to share my recipe with you today.

Abby made us a Mexican-themed feast last week, and these beans were on the menu.

Perfect for Cinco de Mayo, let’s get started!

blue round bowl of Homemade Refried Pinto Beans

Ingredients for refried beans with pinto beans:

  • Pinto beans
  • Avocado or vegetable oil
  • Sweet or yellow onion
  • Garlic cloves
  • Jalapeño
  • Chicken or vegetable bouillon
  • Bacon grease
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pickled red onion to serve (optional)
  • Cilantro, cotija cheese, and lime to serve

This refried bean recipe is quick, too—use canned beans and they’re ready in 30 minutes!

Refried Pinto Beans

What makes refried beans refried?

Why are these beans called “refried?” I’ve always wondered myself, so I did a little research. It’s not about frying the beans, but the word actually comes from the Spanish name for the dish: frijoles refritos. In Spanish “refritos” means “well fried”.

How to serve refried beans

Once you eat “from scratch” refried beans, I promise you’ll never want to eat the canned version again! Just think side dishes for any Mexican feast, which is usually beans, rice, and salad. Oh, and here’s a fun salad to try: Mexican Street Corn Potato Salad.

Refried beans are usually served as a side dish with Tex-Mex restaurant meals, or popular as a dip for corn tortilla chips. Refried beans are also a primary ingredient in many tostada, chimichanga, and burrito recipes. They are also delicious with tacos, enchiladas, rice, and more! This recipe is amazing as a dip!

Homemade Refried Pinto Beans with small bowl of red onions

How to Make Refried Beans:

These beans are so creamy and flavorful, and mix in beautifully with most anything (like Mexican food, scrambled eggs, rice, soup, and more).

  1. Cook the onion, garlic, and jalapeño and then blend (after cooled) until smooth. Add the bouillon, beans and water (if needed) and blend some more.
  2. Add bacon grease (yes, so good!), and then REFRY the beans!

Homemade Refried Pinto Beans with rice and pickled red onions

Oh, and then you add CHEESE!

So good, my friends!

To serve as an aside, sprinkle with cotija, cilantro, lime, and pickled red onion. You can grab the pickled red onion recipe, here.

Enjoy with chips as an appetizer, or as a side to your favorite Mexican dishes!

ENJOY!

Refried Pinto Beans
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Homemade Refried Pinto Beans

This flavorful recipe is fast and easy to make. The combination of smoky charred onion, garlic, and jalapeño and fresh lime, bright pickled red onion, and creamy cheese makes for a perfectly balanced dish. These beans are delicious with tacos, enchiladas, rice, burritos, and more!

Ingredients

  • 1 can pinto beans, preferably high quality, do not drain
  • ¼ c avocado or vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 large sweet or yellow onion, cut into 8ths
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, peeled (whole)
  • 1 jalapeño, quartered and seeded if desired
  • 2 tsp chicken or vegetable bouillon
  • 2 tsp bacon grease
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pickled red onion to serve
  • Cilantro, cotija cheese, and lime to serve

Instructions

  • In a large skillet over high heat, add 1/4 c vegetable oil. Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeño and let sit, undisturbed, for 3-4 minutes; the vegetables should sizzle upon contact with the oil. Cook until the onions, garlic, and jalapeño are tender and charred, 4-5 minutes. The jalapeño may cause you to cough, so make sure to have the fan on and window open.
  • Remove the pan from the heat, using tongs, and transfer onions, garlic, and jalapeno to a blender or food processor; leave the excess oil in the pan for later use. Add the vegetable or chicken bouillon and beans to the blender, with the liquid included, and blend until just smooth-add 1/4 c of water if the mixture is too thick.
  • Add the bacon grease to the pan with the reserve oil and heat over medium. When hot, add the bean mixture back to the pan to refry them. Be careful, the beans will pop and sputter as the water evaporates. Stir the beans occasionally for about 8 minutes until thickened. Taste for salt and pepper, then stir in the 1/2 c of mozzarella cheese. Remove from the heat and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
  • To serve, sprinkle with cotija, cilantro, lime, and pickled red onion. Enjoy with chips as an appetizer, or as a side to your favorite Mexican dishes!
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How to make Homemade Refried Pinto Beans

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