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Frijoles Refritos (Mexican Refried Beans)

These Mexican refried beans are made with homemade frijoles de la olla. Called frijoles refritos in Spanish, this easy side dish is ready in minutes and always get compliments! Sometimes all you need is a simple recipe.

Refried beans in a serving dish next to tortillas

I recently shared my Mexican grandmother’s frijoles de la olla recipe and today I’m coming at you with a tasty way to use those delicious beans. This refried beans recipe take less than 15-minutes to make and goes with everything from tacos and enchiladas, to mulitas and carne asada. I also love making them into bean and cheese burritos for a simple and satisfying supper.

If you’re looking for frijoles refritos just like abuela used to make, here’s your recipe!

What Are Refried Beans?

Refried beans are exactly what they sound like. You take cooked beans, mash them, then fry them up in a bit of olive oil or butter with a few spices. They are a popular Mexican side dish (as well as in other Latin American countries).

In Spanish they are called “frijoles refritos” which essentially means “well fried beans” The English term re-fried is misleading because the beans are actually only fried once.

Smashed frijoles de la olla being made into refried beans in a skillet

How to Make Mexican Refried Beans

Are you ready to make frijoles refritos? Here’s a quick overview. Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for ingredient amounts.

Ingredients

  • Frijoles de la olla – I like to make refried beans using homemade frijoles. You can also use canned pinto beans, but in my opinion the flavor is better if you use homemade.
  • Unsalted butter
  • Cumin
  • Smoked paprika

Process

  • Melt the butter in a medium sized pan.
  • Add about 2 1/2 cups of beans to a small pan, mash them with a potato masher.
  • Add 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika. Stir to incorporate, then cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid has evaporated and the beans have thickened. This will take 5-10 minutes, depending on how much liquid you used.

That’s it! I told you this recipe was simple. 😀 You can add a pinch of kosher salt to taste at the end if needed. I never do this since there is salt in the frijoles de la olla, but everyone’s tastebuds are different so always taste your food before serving and adjust as needed. If you are using canned pinto beans you will probably need to add a bit of salt.

Two tortillas with refried beans in the middle, eggs on the tortillas with red and green salsa
Huevos divorciados with frijoles refritos.

Ways to Use Them

You can use refried beans pretty much the same way you would use regular Mexican beans. But in addition to all the ideas I shared with my frijoles de la olla recipe, frijoles refritos also have these options:

  • Huevos Rancheros. Spread some refried beans on a warm corn tortilla, then top with fried eggs, cheese and pico de gallo salsa. I will be posting my huevos rancheros recipe soon!
  • Huevos Divorciados. This is what is shown in the photo above. Serve refried beans with warm corn tortillas, fried eggs and both green and red salsa. This recipe will also be on the site soon! (Not trying to tease ya, there are just only so many hours in the day lol.)
  • Bean and Cheese Burritos. Layer refried beans and cheese into warm flour tortillas, then fold into a burrito. Sometimes I will spoon a bit of enchilada sauce down the middle for extra flavor.
  • Quesadillas and Mulitas. Add refried beans as a layer in your quesadilla or mulitas. Bean and cheese quesadillas are tasty!
  • Double Crunch Tacos. This is another recipe that will be posted soon. Basically you fill a hard taco shell with ground beef taco meat, then wrap it in a small flour tortilla that has been smothered with refried beans. The beans hold the flour tortilla to the hard taco shell and add another layer of flavor.

How to Store and Reheat Extras

  • Fridge: Refried beans are usually made in small batches so it’s rare to have extras. If you do though, simply let your frijoles refritos cool, then transfer them to an airtight container and store them in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat them in the microwave in a microwave safe container when you’re ready to eat them.
  • Freezer: You can also freeze refried beans for up to 3 months. Simply place them in an airtight, freezer-safe container and pop them in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the fridge when you’re ready to use them.
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Frijoles Refritos

Refried beans in a serving dish next to tortillas
Save Recipe

These Mexican refried beans are made with homemade frijoles de la olla. Called frijoles refritos in Spanish, this easy side dish is ready in minutes and always get compliments! Sometimes all you need is a simple recipe.

  • Author: Rustic Family Recipes
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 servings
  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups frijoles de la olla
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Instructions

Melt the butter in a medium sized pan.

Add about 2 1/2 cups of beans to a small pan, mash them with a potato masher.

Add 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika. Stir to incorporate, then cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid has evaporated and the beans have thickened. This can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how much liquid you added with the beans.

Keywords: frijoles refritos, frijoles refritos receta abuela, how to make refried beans

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