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How to Make Refried Beans From Canned Pinto Beans

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings 1x


Canned pinto beans quickly transformed into delicious refried beans (refritos) for a versatile side dish that goes with breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Equipment needed

  • strainer or sieve
  • skillet
  • potato masher (a fork will do in a pinch)


Units Scale
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 (15 oz) cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • pinch of ground red Hatch chile powder
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garnish with freshly grated cheese such as Monterey Jack or Oaxaca


  1. Set a skillet over medium heat. Add butter and swirl to melt. Add the beans, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and chile powder. Stir and mash the beans until just a few whole beans are left.
  2. Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Garnish with cheese and optional additions mentioned below if desired.


Freshly minced onion can be substituted for the onion powder in step 1: After the butter is melted, add 1/4 cup minced onion and cook until softened and golden brown. Then continue with adding the beans and seasonings, leaving out the onion powder.

Optional additions to add in step 1 with the beans – 1/4 cup fully cooked chorizo, 1/4 cup chopped Hatch green chile, 1 jalapeno, chopped

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: lunch or Dinner
  • Method: Sauté
  • Cuisine: New Mexican

Keywords: refried beans, pinto beans, refritos, canned beans, green chile, chili powder