Easy Refried Beans

Get perfectly creamy restaurant style refried beans by adding just THREE extra ingredients to your canned beans! These refried beans are perfect served as a dip, side, or filling for burritos and tacos!

Homemade refried beans are a frequent dish at our house with all the Mexican recipes we make! It’s perfect served as a dip, side, or filling for burritos and tacos!

Homemade refried beans in white bowl

only 3 additional ingredients

Our family uses beans for dipping and all sorts of recipes—from our Tostadas to our Bean Burritos.

Yes, I know you can buy refried beans from the can, but this recipe calls for the canned beans as well as a few other ingredients that will take canned refried beans to the next level! These beans are so creamy and delicious, you will never want JUST the canned beans again.

My mom and aunt also make beans COMPLETELY homemade by smashing up beans and such, but we’ve found that this recipe is just as good and SO much easier. Once you add the extra ingredients (there’s only THREE!) to the canned refried beans, they become so smooth and creamy, just like the restaurant style!

They’re great for dipping chips in, as well as anything else you use beans for. Mind you, my family is Hispanic and we have Mexican dishes all the time so you better believe we make these pretty often. The next time you’re enjoying a Mexican meal, make these Creamy Refried Beans and I promise they’ll be a hit!

How to make refried beans

These homemade refried beans only require THREE additional ingredients besides the can of beans:

  • crisco
  • milk
  • cheese

COMBINE & STIR. All you have to do is combine the can of beans, crisco, and milk in a pot over medium heat and stir vigorously with a wire whisk until silky smooth.

ADD CHEESE. Add the cheese and let it melt before serving. The recipe calls for 1-2 cups of cheese, but I suggest going more towards 2 cups… makes them even more delicious and cheesy!

Restaurant style refried beans in a white bowl topped with cilantro

homemade beans Tips and FAQ:

What kind of cheese should I use? I personally use either cheddar or a Mexican blend. Any variety that melts well will do, and it melts best if it’s shredded/grated.

How long can refried beans be left out? These shouldn’t be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours, otherwise harmful bacteria can start to grow. Either reheat them, or store them in the fridge to avoid bacteria.

Storing/Reheating. Put the refried beans in an airtight container, or in a bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap. They will stay fresh for 3-4 days. To keep them longer, store them in the freezer for several months. To reheat, put in a saucepan over low heat and stir until heated through.

Ways to use refried beans: There are unlimited ways to use these yummy beans. Whether you use them on the side of your Mexican dish, as a dip for your homemade tortillas, or a filling for your burrito, you can’t go wrong!

For more bean dip recipes, check out:

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Refried Beans Recipe

5 from 10 votes
Get perfectly creamy restaurant style refried beans by adding just THREE extra ingredients to your canned beans! These refried beans are perfect served as a dip, side, or filling for burritos and tacos!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 262 kcal
Author Lil' Luna


  • 30 oz Refried Beans
  • 1/4 cup crisco shortening
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1-2 cups cheese


  • Combine Beans, shortening and milk in a pot over medium heat. Stir vigorously with fork or wire whisk until silky smooth. Add cheese and let melt before serving. Enjoy with warm tortillas or tortilla chips.


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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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  1. Hi, what brand of beans do you recommend??? I have tried a couple brands that were pretty good when I seasoned them and some that were just bad…

  2. Ive never written a review, but this was so good and so easy. My husBand made the comment that he had forgotten how good refrieD beans were. I then had to tell him why they were so good. Easy and good – what could be better? I will Use this recipe from now on. Try it. You wont be disappointed.

  3. When you say Crisco, do YOu mean vegetable shortening or vegetable oil? Also, what kind of cheese? What seasonings would you recommend if plain canned pinto beans were used instead of a can of premade refried beans? (Apologies for all-caps, don’t know why it’s not letting me type in mixed case.)

    1. I am talking about vegetable shortening & I like to use cheddar cheese or a Mexican blend. I would just add salt & pepper for sure, maybe a little cumin or chili powder? I haven’t personally made re-fried beans from scratch, so I would need to test it out.

  4. 5 stars
    I will use this recipe every time from now on! SO creamy & so good! They taste like restaurant beans! My family wants these again soon!

  5. I am reluctant to put crisco into the bean. Seems a bit high on the grease/fat side. Can i leave it out?