Classic Refried Pinto Beans

Prep Time:

Cook Time:

Serves: 4


  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped (about ¾ cup)

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced

  • 2 cans or pouches (15.5 ounces each) organic Green Valley Pinto Beans, drained and liquid reserved

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • kosher salt

  • ground black pepper


  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil until shimmering.

  2. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and lightly golden, about 6–7 minutes.

  3. Add the garlic and cumin; cook until fragrant, 1 minute.

  4. Add the pinto beans and cook for 2 minutes.

  5. Add ½ cup of reserved pinto bean liquid.

  6. Using a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon, mash the beans to form a chunky purée or for a smoother puree use a stick/immersion blender.

  7. If the beans seem a bit too liquid, continue cooking to dry out. If beans seem too dry, add a tablespoon or two of additional pinto bean liquid.

  8. Serving suggestions: serve as a side dish sprinkled with cheese, with chips and salsa, on a tostada, in a burrito, piled on nachos, with cheese in a queso dip or as the base of a 7–layer dip.


  1. Smoky & Spicy Refried Beans

    Puree a can of chipotle chilies in adobo with a stick/immersion blender, food processor or in a standard blender until smooth. Following the basic technique in the recipe above, after sautéing the onion and garlic, add 1–2 Tablespoons of the chipotle puree to the beans (depending on how spicy you like it) before mashing along with a good squeeze of fresh lime juice.

  2. Bacon Jalapeño Refried Beans

    Finely dice 4 strips of bacon (4oz) and sauté over medium heat until just barely crispy. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel lined plate until needed. Following the basic technique in the recipe above, use the rendered bacon fat to sauté the onion, garlic and 1 seeded finely diced jalapeño, adding additional oil if needed. Add ¼ teaspoon chili powder with the spices. Add the cooked bacon to the beans after mashing, stirring to blend.

  3. Pumpkin Refried Beans

    Following the basic technique in the recipe above, after sautéing the onion and garlic, add ½ teaspoon chili powder, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne with the spices and increase the salt to ½ teaspoon, then add ½ cup pumpkin puree to the beans before mashing.

  4. Indian Spiced Refried Beans

    Following the basic technique in the recipe above, add 1 seeded finely diced jalapeño to the onions, increase garlic to 2 cloves and sauté with 1 teaspoon peeled finely minced ginger. To the spices add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, ¾ teaspoon curry powder, ⅛ teaspoon cayenne. Finish with 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Final Step

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