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Refried beans in serving dish with queso fresco.

Easy Refried Beans

Easy creamy refried beans made with canned pinto beans, onion, garlic and bacon drippings.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword homemade refried beans, refried beans
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 71kcal
Author Kelly Wildenhaus


  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings/grease or lard or corn oil
  • ½ onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 (16-oz.) can pinto beans, undrained
  • ¼ cup water
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Crumbled queso fresco, for serving


  • Heat bacon drippings in medium-large skillet. Add onions and stir and cook until softened and starting to brown. Add garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add 1 can of pinto beans ~ do not rinse or drain ~ and ¼ cup water. Bring to a simmer and then mash with a potato masher to desired consistency, about 7 to 10 minutes until pretty smooth and thickened up. 
  • Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a little queso fresco crumbled on top.


  • Cook beans to desired consistency, but keep in mind they will thicken upon standing and cooling.
  • Can use lard or corn oil instead of bacon grease.


Calories: 71kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 13mg | Potassium: 27mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg