Refried Beans are a classic Mexican side dish, and this black bean recipe is our favorite! Packed with the delicious flavors of onion, garlic, cumin, and chipotle chile, it’s a fresh take on refried beans… and one you’re guaranteed to LOVE!
If you’ve ever been to a Mexican restaurant, you know that rice and beans are a staple. They’re the side dish you get with every meal, and even if you’re stuffed… (which I tend to be at Mexican restaurants)… you can’t help but dig in. Because they’re just SO GOOD.
I have to admit, though, when I make Mexican food at home I tend to opt for canned refried beans. Which – let’s be honest – just don’t quite cut it. Which is exactly where these Refried Black Beans come in!
Made with a delicious combination of black beans, onions, garlic, cumin, and chipotle chile powder, they’re fresh and flavorful and… dare I say… even better than what you get at your favorite restaurant.
Top them with fresh cilantro and crumbled queso fresco… and you have yourself the perfect side dish that also doubles as a delicious dip! And if you love black beans as much as I do, you’ll definitely want to check out my Black Bean Soup recipe, too!
I opted to use canned black beans in this recipe for the sake of convenience. If you plan ahead, though, it’s easy and less expensive to use dried black beans and soak them overnight. If you opt for canned beans, be sure to reserve the liquid to use in the recipe. If you use dried beans, you can substitute water for the bean liquid. You may need to add more salt for extra flavor.
- 3 cups black beans (2 cans, drained & rinsed, liquid reserved)
- 3/4 cup reserved bean liquid OR water
- 1 Tablespoon oil
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder (substitute 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- queso fresco, for garnish
- fresh cilantro, for garnish
This recipe is easy to adjust according to your preferences. If you prefer whole beans in the mixture, that’s easy to achieve by mashing them only partially. You can also adjust the thickness of your refried beans by adding more or less liquid to the pan.
1. Bloom your spices – Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add cumin, chile powder, and salt. Stir constantly for 1 minute.
2. Saute your veggies – Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onions and garlic and saute for 5-10 minutes until onions are softened.
3. Add your beans – Add black beans and liquid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
4. Mash your beans – Mash beans in the skillet to desired consistency. If mixture is too dry, add more liquid. If mixture is too soupy, cook longer to reduce.
5. Garnish – Remove from heat and garnish with queso fresco and cilantro as desired.
🍅 Recipe variations
When it comes to refried beans, there are tons of fun ways to add in extra flavor. Here are some suggestions:
- Use pinto beans in place of black beans
- Use dried beans and soak them overnight
- Transfer beans to a food processor if you prefer a smoother texture
- Add 1 can diced green chiles
- Add minced fresh jalapeño or poblano peppers along with the onions and garlic
- Add additional spices such as 1/2 teaspoon coriander, chile powder, or onion powder
- Garnish with sliced green onions, sliced jalapeños, or shredded Mexican cheese
♨️ Storing & reheating
Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. To reheat, transfer to a small pan and slowly add extra liquid (water, chicken broth, or reserved bean liquid) until you reach desired consistency. Heat on medium, stirring frequently, until warmed.
🌮 Meal Suggestions
Refried Black Beans are a delicious side dish for any Mexican meal. They can also be eaten as a dip with tortilla chips or a base for tostadas. Around here, we LOVE Mexican food, and these are some of our tried and true favorites!
- Chicken Flautas
- Baja Fish Tacos
- Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
- Shrimp Tacos
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos
- Chicken Quesadillas
- Enchilada Tostadas
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 179Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 250mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 7gSugar: 2gProtein: 10g