Refried Beans

Refried Beans, ready to eat

In my recipe, pinto beans and kidney beans are simply fried up with onions, garlic and spices, then lightly mashed. While I am sticking to a vegetarian version of the dish, many recipes only require pinto beans and some include bacon.

For convenience and to save time, I use canned beans. If you can't find Pinto Beans, you can substitute them with black eye'd beans. You may also notice the name is misleading as the beans are simply fried once.

6 Portions
Prep: 5 Minutes
Cook: 10 Minutes



  • 3 tbsp olive oil or rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely crushed
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground chilli
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • 1 x 400g can pinto beans, drained
  • 1 x 400g can kidney beans, drained
  • 1-2 tbsp water
  • Finely ground black pepper
  • generous pinch maldon salt or other quality salt flake


To Cook

  1. Heat the oil in a medium sauce over a moderate high heat. Sauté the onion in the oil for 4-5 minutes until soft and beginning to colour. Add the garlic, cumin and chilli to the pan and cook while stirring for approximately 1 minute.
  2. Add the beans, 1 to 2 tablespoons water (so the mix isn't too dry), coriander, salt and pepper to the pan. Stir with a wooden spoon until the beans are heated through. Remove from the heat and lightly crush with a potato masher. Season to taste.

To Serve

  1. Serve hot or warm with tortillas, sour cream, cheese and guacamole, or your choice of accompaniments. Any leftover beans can be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat to serve.