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Homemade Refried Beans are simple, easy to make, and taste better than store-bought refried beans by a mile. They are creamy, chunky, and delicious! |

Refried Beans

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  • Author: Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings
  • Diet: Vegan


These homemade Refried Beans are simple, easy to make, and taste better than store-bought refried beans by a mile. Creamy, chunky pinto beans with a hint of onion, garlic, and a handful of spices make these refried beans so delicious. Finished with fresh cilantro and lime juice, you’ll never go back to settling for canned refried beans ever again. 


  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup water (or more as needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (or chili powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the hot oil sizzles, about 1 minute. Add onion and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add pinto beans, water, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix well and cook until beans are heated through and softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Turn heat to low and mash up the beans using a potato masher or a fork. Stir constantly and adjust the consistency by adding water, 1/4 cup at a time, if needed. For a smoother consistency, transfer the beans to a food process and puree until smooth.

  4. Stir in lime juice and cilantro.


How to store: Once the refried beans cool completely, you can transfer them to an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 4 days.

How to reheat: Reheat them over medium-low heat on the stovetop until warmed through or cover them and microwave on high in 30-second intervals.

How to freeze: Transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag, separating into serving sizes as needed, and remove as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat straight from frozen as directed above or allow the beans to defrost in the refrigerator overnight before use.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican