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Healthy refried beans are a go-to meal in my home to satisfy Mexican cravings. Refried beans make a great dip for your tortilla chips, a hearty nacho topping, a spicy meatless filling for your Mexican wraps or as a side dish for Taco Tuesday.

Healthy Refried Beans

Traditionally, refried beans are made from pinto beans. This version also incorporates red kidney beans for an interesting alternative.

This quick and easy recipe is perfect for busy weeknight meals or whenever you want a healthy, meatless side dish for your favorite Mexican or Tex-Mex entrees. It’s a must for Cinco de Mayo celebrations, along with our spicy salsa recipe.

For a more authentic variation, substitute bacon grease for the olive oil in this recipe.

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Healthy Refried Beans

Healthy Refried Beans

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Yield: 4

Healthy Refried Beans

Healthy Refried Beans

This quick and healthy Mexican recipe is great for busy weeknight meals or whenever you want an easy meatless side dish for your favorite Spanish entrees.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 3 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 16-oz. cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-oz. can red kidney beans, with liquid
  • 1 T. ground cumin
  • 1 t. chili powder
  • ½ t. smoked paprika
  • Optional:
  • ½ t. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Fresh cilantro, to serve


1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is soft and translucent, approximately 4-5 minutes.

2. Reduce heat to medium and add beans, ground cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, and crushed red pepper flakes, if using. Cook, stirring occasionally until the beans are heated through and start to break apart slightly, approximately 8-10 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and puree beans with an immersion blender or a potato masher until almost smooth. Serve topped with fresh cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 459

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Easy Healthy Refried Beans

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