A Spicy Perspective

The Best Refried Beans Recipe (Canned or Dried!)

The Best Refried Beans Recipe from canned OR dried beans! This Easy Bean Recipe can also be made as Instant Pot Refried Beans!

The BEST Refried Beans Recipe #ASpicyPerspective #beans #mexican #canned #dried #instantpot

Why You Should Make (Not Buy) Refried Beans

The Situation: You’ve got guests coming over tonight after work, so you thought you’d make a casual Mexican dinner you can throw together in less than an hour.

You pick up all the ingredients needed for your main dish. You grab what you need to make simple Spanish Rice. But then you reach for the canned refried beans and cringe a little.

Why it is that refried beans taste so good, yet look and smell so bad from a can?

I can’t explain this… But I can tell you I would always rather make them from scratch, than plop a cylinder of gelatinous stinky refried beans out of a can.

Homemade Refried Beans not only look, smell, and taste better than canned refried beans… They are relatively quick to make and you also have full quality control over the taste and texture.

Trust me, it’s worth the few minutes it takes to chop and mash, in order to have refried beans you will be proud to serve!

The BEST Refried Beans Recipe (Instant Pot or Stovetop!) #ASpicyPerspective #beans #mexican #canned #dried #instantpot

The Best Refried Beans Recipe (Canned or Dried!)

We absolutely love this “Best” Refried Beans Recipe, because it’s…

  • Thick and rich
  • Ultra zesty
  • Authentic tasting
  • Easy to convert to “vegetarian” with one little swap
  • Gluten and dairy-free
  • Made with canned beans or dried beans
  • Made on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot!

That’s right, we are offering 3 methods in today’s recipe.

  1. The Fastest Stovetop (Canned Bean) Refried Beans
  2. Cost-Effective Stovetop (Dried Bean) Refried Beans
  3. No-Soak Instant Pot Refried Beans

That way, you can cook whichever version makes the most sense for you!

Beans

Easy Refried Beans Ingredients

  • Canned or dried pinto beans Use canned beans when you are in a hurry, and dried beans when you are watching your budget.
  • Olive oilOr your choice of fat.
  • Sweet onion
  • Garlic
  • Cilantro
  • Chili powderOr ground chile (like ancho.)
  • Ground cumin – For a smoky note.
  • Cayenne pepper
  • BouillonUse cubes or packets. Pork bouillon will offer the most authentic flavor, but feel free to use chicken or vegetable bouillon.
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Water
Refried Beans Ingredients #ASpicyPerspective #beans #mexican #canned #dried #instantpot

How To Make Refried Beans from Canned Beans

The quickie method…

  1. Sauté – Sauté the onions, garlic, herbs, and spices low and slow until the onions are soft.
  2. Simmer – Add the beans, bouillon, and water. Then simmer the beans to incorporate all the flavors.
  3. Smash – Smash the beans with a potato masher, ricer, or even a blender!
How To Make Refried Beans (Instant Pot or Stovetop!) #ASpicyPerspective #beans #mexican #canned #dried #instantpot

How To Make Refried Beans from Dried Beans

The lower-sodium budget-friendly method…

  1. Soak – When using dried beans, you need to plan ahead. Soak the beans in water overnight to prep them for cooking.
  2. Sauté – Sauté the onions, garlic, herbs, and spices low and slow until the onions are soft.
  3. Simmer – Add the beans, bouillon, salt, and water. Simmer the beans to incorporate all the flavors. With dried beans, the simmer time will be quite a bit longer.
  4. Smash – Smash the beans with a potato masher, ricer, or even a blender!
Best Ever Refried Beans Recipe (Instant Pot or Stovetop!) #ASpicyPerspective #beans #mexican #canned #dried #instantpot

How To Make Instant Pot Refried Beans

For IP fans who don’t want to soak the beans…

  1. Sauté – Sauté the onions, garlic, herbs, and spices in the Instant Pot until the onions are soft.
  2. Simmer – Add the beans, bouillon, salt, and water. Pressure cook on high until the beans are soft. Then perform a natural release.
  3. Smash – Smash the beans with a potato masher, ricer, or even a blender!

Get the Full (Printable) Refried Beans Recipe Below 

Mashing Refried Beans (Instant Pot or Stovetop!) #ASpicyPerspective #beans #mexican #canned #dried #instantpot

Homemade Refried Beans FAQ

Are Refried Beans Gluten-Free?

Yes, as long as the bouillon you buy is gluten-free the recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, and nut-free as well. Most brands are, but check the label to be sure.

Are Refried Beans Vegetarian?

That depends on the type of bouillon you select. Buy vegetable bouillon for a true vegetarian refried beans recipe.

Do You Really Have to Soak Dried Beans Overnight for the Stovetop Method?

Yes and no. Most bags of beans offer overnight soaking instructions, and a quick-soak method. I find the quick-soak method produces a slightly firmer bean texture, that is not as good for refried beans.

If you don’t have time to soak the beans overnight, I suggest using canned beans, or going with the pressure cooker method.

Can You Make Instant Pot Refried Beans with Canned Beans?

Yes, but… If you make refried beans (with canned beans) in the Instant Pot, you simply follow the stovetop instructions.

Therefore, unless you don’t have stovetop burners, or are using all your burners for other dishes, you might as well make the recipe on the stovetop.

Perfect Refried Beans Recipe (Instant Pot or Stovetop!) #ASpicyPerspective #beans #mexican #canned #dried #instantpot

Serve Refried Beans With…

Easy Refried Beans Recipe (Instant Pot or Stovetop!) #ASpicyPerspective #beans #mexican #canned #dried #instantpot

The Best Refried Beans Recipe (Canned or Dried)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
The BEST Refried Beans Recipe we've ever made. These Easy Refried Beans can be made from Canned Beans, Dried Beans, or in the Instant Pot!
Servings: 10

Ingredients

Instructions

  • For Stovetop Canned Refried Beans: Place a large saucepot over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil, onions, garlic, cilantro, and spices. Sauté for 15 minutes, stirring regularly, until the onions are very soft.
  • Meanwhile, drain and rinse the beans. Add them to the pot. Then add in the bouillon and 2 cups of water. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, to keep the beans on the bottom from burning.
  • Use a potato masher to mash the beans to your desired consistency. (I like mine pretty smooth.) Stir in the fresh lime juice. Taste, then salt and pepper as needed.
  • For Stovetop Dried Refried Beans: Place the dried beans in a large bowl. Pour in water, covering the beans by 1 inch. Cover the top of the bowl with plastic and let the beans soak overnight. Drain off the water.
  • Place a large saucepot over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil, onions, garlic, cilantro, and spices. Sauté for 15 minutes, stirring regularly, until the onions are very soft.
  • Add the soaked beans to the pot. Then add in the bouillon, 8 cups of water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 hours, stirring every 15 minutes, to keep the beans on the bottom from burning.
  • Remove the lid and simmer another 15 minutes or so, until the liquid has evaporated a bit and the beans are very soft. The cooking liquid should have cooked down to the top of the beans.
  • Use a potato masher to mash the beans to your desired consistency. (I like mine pretty smooth.) Stir in the fresh lime juice. Taste, then salt and pepper as needed.
  • For Instant Pot Refried Beans from (No-Soak) Dried Beans: Set a 6+ quart Instant Pot on Sauté. Add the olive oil, onions, garlic, cilantro, and spices. Sauté for 15 minutes, stirring regularly, until the onions are very soft.
  • Pour in the dried beans, the bouillon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 7 cups water. Stir well to loosen anything stuck to the bottom of the pot. (Debris could set off the burn notice.) Lock the lid into place, and set the Instant Pot on Pressure Cook High for 30 minutes.
  • Perform a natural release. Once the steam button has dropped you can safely remove the lid. The water should have condensed into a thin gravy. If the beans look too watery, remove (and reserve) about 1 cup of liquid off the top.
  • Use a potato masher to mash the beans to your desired consistency. (I like mine pretty smooth.) Stir in the fresh lime juice. Taste, then salt and pepper as needed. *Add some of the cooking liquid back in if desired.

Video

Notes

Bouillon? This concentrated powdered broth offers intense flavor. Chicken bouillon is the easiest to find, however, pork bouillon will give the refried beans the most authentic flavor. Use Vegetable bouillon for a vegetarian refried beans recipe.
No Potato Masher? You can put the refried beans in the blender and pulse them to make them smooth. Just be careful to open the vent and place a dish towel over the lid for your safety. The pressure of the hot steam can sometimes pop the top off!

Nutrition

Serving: 0.75cup, Calories: 180kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 466mg, Potassium: 526mg, Fiber: 8g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 187IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 92mg, Iron: 3mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex-Mex
Author: Sommer Collier

Making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!

Share This Recipe With Friends!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

6 comments on “The Best Refried Beans Recipe (Canned or Dried!)”

  1. I love how easy this was. This will be my go-to recipes for Mexican dinner nights going forward.

  2. Yum! This really is the best! What a great recipe and so easy!

  3. I loved it! So easy to make!

  4. I made these with dried beans and they were incredible. I think next time I’ll tried canned beans!

  5. love this recipe!

  6. Literally one of the best bean recipes that I have seen!