Refried Black Beans

5 from 48 votes

Creamy refried black beans are a tasty twist on one of your favorite Mexican dishes. This healthy side dish is just as good as refried pinto beans and makes the perfect addition to any Mexican meal.

Close up refried black beans topped with cotija cheese and a lime wedge situated on a small white plate.

Refried Black Beans Recipe

Mexican food is quite possibly my family's favorite cuisine. And hey, if it were up to me, I'd eat a taco every day!

We love having fun with taco Tuesday and we really go all out. Once I learned to make my own refried black beans, it took things to the next level.

This easy recipe makes the most fresh and creamy refried beans ever. I seriously never want to eat the canned version again! After you try a serving of homemade refried black beans, you just can't go back.

Of course, we serve our hearty tacos with a side of traditional Mexican rice. Sometimes we'll make cauliflower Mexican rice if we're saving some calories! But these creamy beans make the the perfect side dish.

Homemade refried beans have so much flavor and they go with any Mexican food dinner you can think of. You can whip them up in a flash too! So it's the easiest healthy side dish to make on a busy weeknight.

Why You'll Love this Recipe

With just a few basic ingredients, you can make a final product that is worthy of a place on the table for your fiesta! You're going to love this recipe because...

  • This easy refried black beans recipe is loaded full of protein. It is a great way to make a meal more filling and hearty.
  • Making refried beans from scratch means that you can ensure there are no additives or preservatives. Not to mention, you can adjust the ingredients to fit your personal preferences or dietary restrictions.
  • Most of the ingredients needed to make this recipe are things that you likely already have in your pantry. You may just need to run out and grab queso fresco!
Refried black bean ingredients separated into small glass bowls.


Of course, the main ingredient and star of the show is canned black beans. But here is a list of everything else you'll need to make this black refried beans recipe:

  • black beans
  • fresh lime juice
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • salt
  • queso fresco

Substitutions and Variations

If you are unable to locate queso fresco, you can use feta cheese or ricotta cheese in it's place.

Not only can you use dried spices, but fresh spices would be tasty as well. Minced cloves of garlic would add lovely flavor, as well as fresh cilantro! You can also add a little kick with some fresh jalapeños.

This cooking process does not call for any added liquid. However, if the beans turn out too thick for you feel free to a little liquid. Chicken broth, vegetable broth, or a little water should thin it out. Just be sure to simmer with all of the other ingredients!

Top your black beans with queso fresco, green chiles, fresh cilantro, sour cream, or diced onion if you want extra flavor and texture.

Overhead refried black beans topped with cotija cheese and a lime wedge situated on a small white plate.

How to Make Refried Black Beans

You can make this refried bean recipe in a few simple steps:

Pour whole black beans into a small saucepan, with the liquid in the can. Bring the beans to a boil, and then add fresh lime juice and all of the spices.

Allow the whole beans to simmer with the lime juice and spices for 5-7 minutes. Then, grab a potato masher or a fork and mash the beans.

Mash to your preference. You can leave them a bit more chunky or make them a more creamy texture.

Hot Tip: If you'd like your refried black beans to be extra smooth, use an immersion blender (affiliate) or food processor to blend out the chunks.

Remove the beans from the heat and then place into your serving dish.

Top with crumbles of queso fresco and serve immediately!

How to Store Refried Black Beans

Allow homemade refried black beans to cool completely to room temperature storing them. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can also freeze them in an airtight container for about 3 months.

To reheat, place them into a saucepan and warm on the stove top. Add a splash of water if they seem a bit too thick and sticky. You can also reheat leftovers in the microwave.

refried black beans, salsa and enchiladas on a blue countertop.

What to Serve with Refried Black Beans

These yummy refried beans can be served with so many different dishes. Just the other night, we ate them with rotisserie chicken enchiladas that I made with homemade enchilada sauce. So yum!

Grilled chicken fajitas made in a homemade marinade, served with a side of Mexican rice and refried good!

Refried black beans go with any tacos too, even beef taco lettuce wraps.

I always serve tortilla chips, fresh guacamole and salsa with our Mexican food dishes too. It's a must! Leftover refried beans are good with chips too.

Refried black beans top with cotija cheese and cilantro on a cream-colored plate. Garnished with a slice of lime.

Tips for Success

Here are some tips and tricks for making this recipe:

  • Grab the canned black beans with no salt added so that you can control the amount of salt in this refried bean recipe.
  • For best results, use fresh lime juice instead of the bottle stuff you can buy at the grocery store.
  • Don't overcook the black beans or they may lose some of their flavor. Just follow the timings listed and mash them well. They should turn out the right texture!
Horizontal photo of refried black beans.


Can I use dry black beans to make homemade refried beans?

You can absolutely use dry beans in this recipe. Give the beans an overnight soak, and then drain and rinse them the next day. When you're ready to make your refried beans, just add them to a saucepan with enough water to make sure they're fully covered. Then simmer for two hours until they are soft and mushy, and proceed with the recipe as normal!

Are refried beans healthy?

Just like any other food, it's everything in moderation. However, black beans are very high in dietary fiber and are a great source of protein. Most often, traditional refried beans are made with lard. But this recipe does not call for that making it a much healthier option than canned refried beans at the store that are often loaded with sodium and excess fat.

More Side Dish Recipes

Did you make this recipe?

If you make and love this recipe, please leave a ★★★★★ review below! It means so much to me when you try my recipes, and I'd love to know how it goes. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions.

Close up refried black beans topped with cotija cheese and a lime wedge situated on a small white plate.

Refried Black Beans

These super simple refried black beans will be your new favorite taco night addition!
5 from 48 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Madison Wetherill


  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, no salt added (do not drain)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice from ½ lime
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup queso fresco cut into small chunks


  • Pour black beans from the can into a small saucepan. (Do not drain first.)
  • Bring beans to a boil over medium heat.
  • Add lime juice, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder and salt to the pan.
  • Allow beans to cook for 5-7 minutes.
  • Use a potato masher or fork to mash beans. Mash these to your preference, whether that's a more uniform mashed beans or more chunky.
  • Taste and season with more salt if needed. Stir in the salt, then remove from heat.
  • Top with queso fresco and serve.


Allow the beans to come to room temperature before storing in an food-safe, airtight container.


Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 666mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 1g
5 from 48 votes (48 ratings without comment)

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