Smoky Refried Beans

"Once you've made your own beans you will never go back to the can. There simply is no substitute. They are quick, simple, and delicious."
photo by Nimz_ photo by Nimz_
photo by Nimz_
photo by Chef shapeweaver photo by Chef shapeweaver
Ready In:




  • Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium-low heat.
  • Add whole garlic cloves and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes.
  • Smash garlic cloves with a fork just enough to break them open and flatten them a little.
  • Add pintos and liquid and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  • Add spices and salt to taste. Stir well.
  • Turn the heat down to medium-low and smash beans with a big fork. You don't have to smash every single bean. Leave some whole for texture.
  • When mashed to your liking, squeeze the lime juice all over the beans and serve warm.
  • These beans make a great taco filling or tostada topping. My husband likes them mixed with a little salsa and eaten as a dip.

Questions & Replies

default avatar
Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. jaybee chef
    I've been making these for years but I always have roasted garlic cloves on hand as well as cilantro pesto that I make and freeze in ice cube trays. So what I do is put a cube of thawed cilantro pesto and a few cloves of roasted garlic in the pan, flatten the garlic with a spoon and then continue from there as directed. Then I top with queso or Mexican 4 cheese and heat in the microwave until the cheese just melts. This ia a simple and yummy recipe. I like the mixture of whole and mashed beans. If you want a tip for mashing, try a potato masher rather than a fork. These can be so easily adapted to different tastes just by adjusting spices. If it's too mild, you can always add jalapenos or even hot sauce to taste. Personally I like the amounts of cumin and chili powder, but I think my cilantro pesto and the addition of cheese adds more dimension.
  2. Mindelicious
    I used dry beans so I adapted things alittle bit. Canned beans never digest very well for us. This recipe was wonderful and I really like the addition of lime juice. The beans were great as listed but the DH loves spice so we added some jalapenos and onions for good measure which they wouldn't need depending on what you would be serving them with. Thanks Groovy!!
  3. EmilyStrikesAgain
    This was excellent! So quick and easy it was ridiculous- the hardest and most time consuming part was mashing the beans. My arms got tired. I drained the pinto's completely (bean liquid is what gives you gas!) and added about 1/4 cup water with a sprinkle of Vegeta granules.
  4. falafel
    I had high hopes for this recipe, but the only reason it was any good was because of the onions, cheese, and salsa that I served with it. On its own it would've been inedible. I used pintos.
  5. Nessfamily3400
    Very good recipe. I added double the amount of garlic cloves. In addition to the juice from the beans I also used 1/2 cup of the broth from recipe # 202935 (Simply Carnitas) and they turned out great. I loved the freshness and kick that the lime gives it in the end. Will be using this recipe again for sure.


  1. mandabacca
    Very good. The first time I made them I used twice as much lime as I was supposed to and they did not taste good. This time I made them I forgot I was out of cumin. So I'm having trouble actually doing this recipe as written! I subbed 1/2 paprika and 1/2 curry for the cumin and that tasted different, but good! I slowly added lime this time... and I prefer it with 1/2 tbsp - 1 tbsp lime only. I think this would be tasty even just with a little bit of oil and the garlic. I will probably reduce the amount of oil in the future.
  2. Chef GreanEyes
    quick recipe!! i was outta refried beans and had tons of black beans in the cupboars. otherwise did this recipes about the same except i added some onions, cheap saffron i had acquired, used bottled lime juice as i had no limes, omitted the cumin, and added some 'Rock & Roll BBQ Jalapeno Dust' recipe #212062 as i didn't feel like running to the store for a jalapeno. next time i will add a little salt and try armymomx2's idea of using bacon grease instead of oil.... can you believe we didn't have any bacon grease!!!?? what a sin! thanks groovyrooby!!!
  3. rosslare
    Excellent refried beans, smoky or not, and super quick and easy, too! I actually used a beef stock cube instead of salt for flavor, but cant be sure if it really was necessary.


this is me in my biking get-up. my husband and i go on monthly critical mass bike rides with a group of local folks to promote alternative forms of transportation. i'm originally from the Midwest, but my husband & i moved down here to Miami, FL, where we are both in a PhD program in anthropology. for fun i watch lots and lots of movies, read novels, non-fiction, magazines, newspapers, graphic novels, catalogs, pretty much anything i can get my hands on, especially cookbooks. my pets are rita and nesta, nearly identical brother & sister littermates. they are the most co-dependent kitties i have ever known. very sweet, but a little too clingy sometimes. my pet peeves are the phrases, "i don't like it" followed by, "i've never had it".
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes