Turn Canned Pinto Beans Into Restaurant-Worthy Refried Beans With This Simple Tip

When you're craving a flavorful, spicy, shareable, and filling dinner, it's hard to beat a Mexican restaurant. There is just something about sitting down with friends and family to share tacos, salsa, bean dip, and other favorites that makes it the perfect dining experience. In fact, Mexican restaurants have become so popular that they make up a whopping 10% of all restaurants in the U.S. But, while going out to eat is always good fun, doing so frequently is not in the budget for most of us. And, if you're a Mexican food fanatic, you likely crave your go-to orders more often than you can justify a trip to your local Mexican food joint. 


But, if you find your at-home Mexican nights typically fall flat compared to your favorite taco place, you can easily elevate your homemade dinner by upgrading core dishes like refried beans. Refried beans are an incredibly easy dish that you can make restaurant-worthy by following just one simple tip. For rich, creamy refried beans that taste like gourmet, blend canned pinto beans in a food processor first. This quick trick results in an amazingly smooth texture. Plus, it makes homemade refried beans faster and more convenient than ever. It's a low-effort, high-reward kitchen hack for delicious bean dip whenever you want it.

How to make the perfect refried beans

Creamy refried beans are made by frying and mashing cooked beans into a thick and creamy consistency. Canned pinto beans are the ideal ingredient for this because of their tender, buttery quality. Plus, using canned beans means that you don't have to spend hours soaking and cooking dried beans. By using canned beans and the food processor hack, this Mexican dish is easier than ever! To make restaurant-worthy refried beans using this simple trick, heat oil on the stovetop and cook diced onion, garlic, and any other desired flavoring ingredients. Then, add the drained and rinsed beans with ¼ cup water for every can of beans. Season as desired, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. 


After cooking, it's time to mash the beans. This is where the food processor comes in handy. You could mash the refried beans with several tools, including the back of your spoon, a potato masher, or a fork. But for perfectly smooth beans made easy, skip the elbow grease and blend them in a food processor instead. After cooking to perfection, carefully pour the bean mixture into your food processor and pulse until it reaches your desired consistency. This pureeing process is so much quicker and more effective than doing it by hand.

What to serve with creamy refried beans

After mastering the perfect homemade refried beans, you can make them even more irresistible by adding your favorite toppings. Load the beans with shredded cheese, chopped peppers, onion, tomatoes, queso fresco, or fresh cilantro depending on what you're in the mood for. Delicious add-ons like these are an excellent way to make this relatively simple recipe truly incredible. Adding sour cream is another quick trick to dress up your refried beans and give them an even better texture. 


These beans are a staple dish for a satisfying Mexican spread at home. Once you've prepared and garnished them according to your taste, you can serve your beans with a variety of your favorite Mexican recipes to truly take your meal to the next level. For an appetizer, for instance, serve the thick, blended beans as a dip for tortilla chips or as the topping for ultimate chicken nachos. Flavorful refried beans also make superb filling for burritos, enchiladas, and tacos, so feel free to get creative.