The next time you’re looking to fiesta come dinner, turn those canned black beans into a gourmet Mexican side dish with just a few simple steps! These Refried Black Beans are a handy mix of convenience and homemade thanks to a smart combination of canned black beans, fresh ingredients, and the perfect blend of Mexican spices!
The uses for these refried beans are practically endless. Here are just a few of our favorite ways to serve them:
- A healthy, vegetarian main dish with toppings like sour cream, cotija cheese, and pico de gallo.
- As a side dish to literally any Mexican or Tex-Mex dish.
- A nacho topping or addition to your taco, burrito, or on these healthy turkey tostadas!
- A dip alongside a giant bowl of tortilla chips.
- For breakfast, slathered across a tostada topped off with scrambled eggs (like on our Huevos Motulenos)!
Looking for more healthy Mexican side dishes? Bookmark this Mexican Bean Salad for next time. It’s the perfect side for summer BBQs and potluck parties!
HOW TO MAKE REFRIED BLACK BEANS
- Saute Veggies | Add oil to a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and allow it to come to temperature. Then, add in diced onion and jalapenos and stir to coat in the oil. Cook until softened, for about 5 minutes. Add chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute more.
- Add Canned Black Beans | Add 2 cans of black beans (bean broth and all) to the pan, along with adobo sauce, spices, and water.
- Simmer | Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring every so often, for about 35 minutes. The mixture should appear slightly reduced and thickened.
- Mash | Add in chopped cilantro and use the back of your spoon or a potato masher and mash until your beans reach your desired consistency.
REFRIED BLACK BEANS INGREDIENTS
- Veggies | Nothing adds flavor to a dish like fresh ingredients. You’ll be surprised at what a little diced onion, jalapeño, garlic, and cilantro can do to your beans. I promise — this simple addition is worth the extra prep, not to mention it gives these black beans a boost of nutritional value!
- Black Beans | For ease and convenience, this Refried Black Beans Recipe calls for canned black beans. If you are curious, Bush’s Black Beans were used for recipe development.
- Adobo Sauce | These days you can buy adobo sauce sold on its own or you can get it out of canned chipotle peppers (these canned peppers come swimming in this flavorful sauce). You’ll typically find it on the international aisle of your grocery store near the other Mexican ingredients. If you’re unfamiliar with this ingredient altogether and wonder what it tastes like exactly, it’s tangy, smoky, and somewhat spicy. Note, if you are uncomfortable with spice, feel free to leave it out altogether.
- Spices | The spices going into your Refried Black Beans are traditional to both Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine. You will need cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, Kosher salt, and pepper.
WHAT EXACTLY ARE REFRIED BEANS?
The deceptive name, refried beans — a Tex-Mex side dish staple, might lead one to believe that these beans, were not only fried once but twice. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Refried beans are essentially just cooked beans that have been reheated and mashed until they’ve reached a creamy consistency.
ARE REFRIED BLACK BEANS HEALTHY?
There isn’t much about this Refried Black Beans recipe that couldn’t be deemed as healthy. As clarified earlier, there’s no “frying” involved whatsoever.
Not to mention, black beans are an excellent source of healthy minerals such as iron, magnesium, and zinc, have also been associated with blood sugar regulation, cancer prevention, and are both eye and heart-healthy!
So, in a nutshell, yes — these Refried Black Beans are healthy.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH REFRIED BLACK BEANS
As mentioned above, the uses for Refried Black Beans go on-and-on, but if you’re looking to serve them up as a side dish, here is a list of our favorite main dish candidates:
TOPPINGS FOR YOUR BEANS
Want to take your Mexican black beans to the next level? Toppings are the way to go. Serve them with any of the following items and instantaneously level up your meal!
- Fresh-Squeezed Lime
- Chopped Cilantro
- Cotija, Queso Fresco, or Monterey Jack cheese
- Pico de Gallo
- Chopped Jalapeños
- Chopped White Onion
- Diced Avocado
- Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt
- Hot Sauce
HOW TO STORE REFRIED BLACK BEANS
Keep leftover Refried Black Beans refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
If you’d like to freeze them, allow them to cool to room temperature and then transfer them to a freezer-safe, ziptop bag. You could also keep them in a snug, freezer-safe container — too much headspace will promote freezer burn. They will stay good for up to 3 months in the freezer.
5 MORE MEXICAN SIDE DISHES YOU’LL LOVE
Homemade Mexican Refried Black Beans made easy and delicious with canned black beans, fresh ingredients, and the perfect blend of Mexican spices! Serve as a side dish, a dip, or as a vegetarian main dish!
- 2 tablespoons canola or avocado oil
- 1 small white or yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 2 (14-ounce) cans of black beans
- 1 1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce from a can/bottle of chipotles in adobo
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
Add oil to a large frypan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and jalapeños and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring often.
Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute more.
Add the black beans (along with the juices), adobo sauce, spices, and water to the pan and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the cilantro and remove from the heat. Mash the beans using the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher until you have reached the desired consistency. For a smoother consistency, you can either use an immersion blender or run the beans through a blender or a food processor fitted with a blade attachment.