How to make homemade refried beans

The recipe in this post was developed by Kate Sherwood, The Healthy Cook, and taste-tested in the Nutrition Action Test Kitchen. Have a comment, question, or idea? Email Kate at

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These easy refried beans come together with just five pantry staples: oil, garlic, dried oregano, beans, and salt.

What’s next? That’s up to you. Try refried beans as a side dish, on a tostada (see photo), in a taco, or atop a bowl of brown rice and fixings like shredded lettuce, salsa or tomatoes, and avocado.

Basic Refried Beans

Time: 20 minutes.
Serves 4.

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch dried oregano
1 15 oz. can no-salt-added pink, pinto, or black beans (about 1½ cups)
½ tsp. kosher salt

  1. In a medium pan, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering. Sauté the garlic and oregano until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
  2. Stir in the beans with their liquid. Bring to a simmer. Mash into a purée with a potato masher and continue to simmer until thickened (see photo), 2-3 minutes.
  3. Season with the salt.

Per serving:

  • Calories: 140
  • Total fat: 8 g
  • Sat fat: 1 g
  • Carbs: 15 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Total sugar:  1 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Sodium: 250 mg
Photo: Kate Sherwood/CSPI.

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