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Easy Refried Black Beans

Whether you need a quick and easy side dish for your next Taco Tuesday or an ingredient to work into other recipes, these healthier refried black beans are the perfect solution. This recipe uses a combination of onion, garlic, diced green chiles, and hot sauce to transform canned black beans into smooth and creamy refried beans in less than 20 minutes.

And since we make things kinda healthy around here, each serving only has 1.5 grams of fat and 100 calories!

a bowl of refried black beans on a wooden serving plate with lime wedges

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How to Make Refried Black Beans

This is a really simple recipe with only 7 ingredients. I’ll walk you through the recipe step by step with visual examples below and touch on ingredient modifications as we go. If you feel confident, feel free to hit the jump to recipe button at the top of the page. 

Refried Beans Ingredient Rundown

black beans, diced green chiles, minced garlic, and diced onion

To keep things as easy as possible, I tested this recipe with dried garlic and onion powder instead of fresh. While you can get away with dried spices in something like my black beans quesadillas, it just isn’t the same here. The canned beans and green chiles save a ton of time and work already. So take the minute or two to prep fresh onion and garlic.

Other than what you see here, you’ll need a tablespoon of olive oil (or your choice of fat), a tablespoon or two of hot sauce (or an acidic component like lime juice), and some beef or chicken broth. And that’s it.

Step 1: Cook diced onion in olive oil for 4-5 minutes before adding minced garlic and cooking an additional 30-60 seconds.

onions and garlic cooking in a skillet

If you ignore my advice to use fresh onion and garlic, you can add a teaspoon of garlic and onion powder to the olive oil to bloom before adding the ingredients in step 2. But don’t ignore my advice.

I’ll also mention that if you’re okay with a few extra calories, you can add an extra tablespoon of olive oil in this step. The extra fat will make your refried black beans all the creamier. And if you divide an extra tablespoon across the 10 servings, it only adds about 12 calories per serving. 

Step 2: Add hot sauce and diced green chiles, stirring to combine.

adding hot sauce and diced green chiles to the cooked onion and garlic

While diced green chiles are typically quite mild, I’d tread carefully with the hot sauce. If you’re using a spicy hot sauce, start on the lower end. You can always add more after tasting the refried black beans in the final step during mashing. 

If you know you’re spice averse, you can swap the hot sauce for something like lime juice. 

Step 3: Add canned black beans and broth.

reducing the black beans and broth

In case you didn’t notice in the ingredient rundown, I used no salt added black beans from HEB. These canned black beans have less liquid in the can than most other canned black beans. That’s why I’ve given a range for the broth. Start with the half cup of broth/cooking liquid and add as needed. Use the above right photo as a visual cue for the amount of liquid needed. 

Don’t sweat perfection here. If you add too much, the liquid will still cook off. Just give it a few more minutes. 

Step 4: Cook until very little liquid remains, about 5 minutes, before mashing the refried black beans to your desired consistency. 

mashing the black beans for refried black beans

You can use the backside of a spatula, a potato masher (careful with your skillet), or even a stick blender once they’re out of the skillet. The consistency of your refried black beans is up to you. Go super smooth and creamy for smearing on tacos or go chunky for a side dish with a bit of texture. 

Ways to Use Your Refried Black Beans

Keep it simple by smearing your beans on a tortilla to make tacos or tossing a dollop on nachos, get creative and work them into a recipe like my barbacoa beef tostadas, or serve them as a side dish. Here’s a handful of main dishes that would go well: 

I can’t wait to hear what you think about these refried black beans or how you use them. Leave a recipe review or pop in my free Facebook group to share your recipe ideas with more than 16,000 other healthy home cooks. And if you have a recipe question I forgot to cover, drop a comment at the bottom of the post. 

a bowl of refried black beans on a wooden serving plate with lime wedges

Refried Black Beans

Yield: 10 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

A healthier, low fat refried black beans recipe made with canned black beans, onion, garlic, and diced green chiles.

Ingredients

  • 2 cans Black Beans
  • 4 oz can Diced Green Chiles
  • 1 (250g) White Onion, finely diced
  • 5 cloves (25g) Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp (16g) Olive Oil
  • 1-2 Tbsp (15-30g) Hot Sauce
  • 1/2-1 C (120-240mL) Beef or Chicken Broth

Instructions

  1. Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat before adding the onion. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the onion softens and begins to slightly brown.
  2. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, before adding the diced green chiles and hot sauce. Stir until combined.
  3. Add the black beans and 1/2 cup of broth. (If your black beans have lots of liquid in the can, you may not need the rest of the broth.) Cook until very little liquid remains, about 5 minutes.
  4. Reduce to a low heat and use a potato masher or the backside of a spatula to mash the black beans. If your refried beans are thicker than you'd like, add more broth and cook a bit further.

Notes

Each serving of refried black beans has 0 WW SmartPoints (blue).

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Servings Serving Size: 3 oz
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 100Total Fat: 1.5gCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 5g

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Amy

Wednesday 21st of April 2021

Hi! Can I chop up some chipotle peppers from the can in place of hot sauce & can diced chilies?

Mason Woodruff

Friday 23rd of April 2021

I would think so. You may need to add a little extra liquid to make up the difference, though. Let me know how it goes!

Lauren G

Friday 16th of April 2021

Mine looked not so appealing, but they taste amazing! Nice, easy way to step up the basic black bean side to serve with the Green Dragon shredded chicken or Mexican Shredded Chicken!

Brooke

Wednesday 27th of January 2021

Great recipe! I even had my husband give a rave review-"You need to make these in bulk."

Mason Woodruff

Thursday 28th of January 2021

I said the same after we ran out. Thanks for letting me know y'all enjoyed this one!

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