Refried beans made with just 2 ingredients! Well, as long as you don't count salt and freshly ground black pepper. Seriously, this is the absolute EASIEST way to make refried beans. You will make them weekly once you know this method. It's a 30 minute recipe!
This method for making the fastest and easiest refried beans ever is a trick from my private chef days. The families that I worked for almost always had 'taco night' as one of their requested weekly dinners. Since the type of private cheffing I did entailed leaving ready-to-heat meals behind, I relied on these easy refried beans as a side dish.
Once you see how simple this recipe is, you will be tempted to make it weekly. It really only contains TWO ingredients! I'm not including salt and pepper in this count, of course, because I assume you already have that in your pantry. Truly, all you need is cooked pinto beans and a few slices of bacon to make these creamy refried beans.
They can be made with a can of pinto beans, or with instant pot pinto beans, too! If you're looking for the refried black beans version, I have that, too!
Bacon. You need 4 slices of your favorite bacon for this recipe; we like thick-cut peppered bacon the most.
Pinto Beans. Just 2 cups of cooked pinto beans (either from the instant pot or a can). You can scale this recipe up to serve more, if you need to. One can of pinto beans is equal to roughly 1 ¾ cups of cooked beans--it's fine to just use 1 can for this recipe.
Salt and Pepper.
How to make refried beans:
- Gather the ingredients: bacon, cooked beans, salt and pepper.
2. In a heavy-bottomed pan, add the chopped bacon pieces, and turn the heat to medium. Stir frequently while the bacon cooks and releases its fat. Lower the heat if the bacon starts to burn around the edges before the center of the meat is cooked. The whole process will take about 8-12 minutes. Bacon is best when its cooked slowly, in my opinion.
3. The bacon is done when it is red and golden. Remove it from the pan using a slotted spoon, and leave the bacon grease in the pan.
4. Add the cooked pinto beans to the pan, and use a potato masher to smash the beans while they warm up in the bacon grease. You can do this off the heat, if you're worried about splashing the bacon grease and burning yourself. Once all of the beans are mostly smashed, place it back on the heat to warm it through.
5. Taste the beans and add salt and pepper, to taste. If you used my instant pot pinto beans recipe to make these, you'll love the taste of the serrano peppers coming through!
Are refried beans gluten free?
Yes, my recipe is! I've noticed a lot of canned recipes are gluten-free, too. If refried beans are good, they shouldn't need any flour to thicken.
How much refried beans per person?
This is a great question, because I'm always wondering it myself. The average sized scoop of refried beans on a plate is ½ cup. This recipe makes a little more than 2 cups of refried beans, so it serves 4 people. You can double it or triple it, as you need.
Can refried beans be frozen?
You can absolutely freeze these refried beans in small portions for defrosting and reheating later. They keep in the deep freezer for up to 6 months. To defrost, place in the fridge overnight and reheat gently on the stove. Add some of your favorite salsa to thin out the texture.
- 4 slices of bacon, diced
- 2 cups of cooked pinto beans, drained
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper*
- In a heavy-bottomed pan, add the diced bacon. Turn the heat to medium, and cook the bacon
pieces, stirring frequently, until they release their fat and start to crisp up. It should take about 10
minutes. Stir and check on it regularly, and lower the heat if it threatens to burn. Bacon is always
best cooked slower than faster.
- When the bacon is almost crisp and all the way cooked, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon. Leave all of the rendered fat in the pan.
- To the pan, add the drained beans, salt and pepper. Use a potato masher to mash everything together, until it’s smooth and creamy. Taste, and adjust for seasoning.
*If you make this using my Instant Pot pinto beans, they have lots of spice from the serrano pepper in the pot., and they might not need any black pepper.
Bacon: You need 4 slices of your favorite bacon for this recipe; we like thick-cut peppered bacon the most.
Pinto Beans: Just 2 cups of cooked pinto beans (either from the instant pot or a can). You can scale this recipe up to serve more, if you need to. One can of pinto beans is equal to roughly 1 ¾ cups of cooked beans--it's fine to just use 1 can for this recipe. Drain the liquid before using.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 176Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 459mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 8gSugar: 0gProtein: 12g