Creating this recipe was somewhat accidental, but what a happy accident it turned out.

creamy black beans | aflavorjournal.comCreamy refried black beans are something I dream about constantly.  It is no secret that I have a weekly craving for Tex-Mex and Mexican, so it should come as no surprise that one of my weekly Mexican-food-making-adventures led me to stumble across this gem of a side dish.

Do you like garlic?  Do you like hot sauce?  Do you like refried beans?  Then I’d like to welcome you to the Tex-Mex side dish show.  These beans have all of those wonderful ingredients mixed into it, and the recipe itself is very versatile.  I’ve always been a huge fan of refried beans, regardless of how fancy or sloppily assembled they come.  After scanning the shelves at the grocery store one afternoon, I spotted refried black beans and thought I’d try them out to see if there was any real difference between them and the typical pinto bean base.  While there isn’t a huge difference to me, I found myself really enjoying them more than I had anticipated. 

creamy black beans | aflavorjournal.comOne night I was baking chimichangas and opted to prepare beans as a side.  I spotted the refried black beans in my cabinet, and I figured I had time to play around with them a little.  I like to think of it like creating a hodgepodge of my favorite flavors all melting together into creamy bean goodness.  So, I started with some lightly sautéed garlic and onion, then added some sour cream to make them creamier, some hot sauce because yesssss I’m addicted, a few spices here and there, and bam.  This little nugget was born.

creamy black beans | aflavorjournal.comCreamy refried black beans go with anything Tex Mex.  Beefy quesadillas (you can even add them inside the quesadilla), baked chicken chimichangas, and chicken fajitas are some great options to start.  On my old blog, I had recipes for all three of those things – so I promise to link my new and improved versions of each on this blog very soon!

quick and easy creamy refried black beans are the PERFECT side dish for tex-mex dinners! with garlic, onion, sour cream, hot sauce, and some spices - it's the ultimate bean side dish! Here’s another thought : creamy refried black beans would also make an awesome base layer for the fiesta flatbread I made up one day!  That was another happy accident – I definitely recommend checking it out if you haven’t done so already.  It’s by far one of the most fun and colorful flatbreads I’ve ever made! 

Quick and easy, this is the perfect side dish for any weeknight dinner.  Please enjoy!

[my additional tips!]:

Actual Prep / cook time:  15 minutes

Clean-up difficulty:  2

Overall difficulty to make:  2

Overall satisfaction:  9 

Price range?  This dish is under $3 for two people.

What I would change next time?  Nothing.  I’ve made this a few times now, and I love the amount of seasonings just they way they are listed.  As always, adjust to your liking!

For your own version, I recommend:.

  • Adjust spices to your liking IF you think you need to, but the recipe is pretty solid as is.
  • If you don’t like sour cream, I’m sure greek yogurt may do the trick.  It creates a creamier texture that I find very appealing.
  • Adjust the heat to your liking, and use your favorite brand of hot sauce!

© 2015 : a flavor journal : by sara alvord
creamy refried black beans.
Serves 4
Creamy refried black beans are the ideal side dish for any Tex-Mex dinner. Loaded with garlic and a hint of heat, these are sure to be a hit!
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
  1. 1 T butter
  2. 2 small clove garlic, minced
  3. 2/3 cup white onion, finely chopped
  4. 1 can refried black beans (15.5 oz)
  5. 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  6. 1/2 tsp. cumin
  7. 2/3 cup sour cream (light works!)
  8. 2 Tbps. cholula
  1. Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic, cook 1-2 minutes until tender and fragrant, then add onion and cook another 2-3 minutes until translucent.
  3. Add beans, and combine thoroughly so they begin to melt with the onion and garlic.
  4. Once the beans are smooth and melted, add the cayenne and cumin and combine well.
  5. Add the sour cream and hot sauce (optional), and stir thoroughly.
  6. Top with any combination of tomatoes, green onion, jalapeños, cheese, etc.
  7. Serve hot!
  1. The cayenne can be adjusted to your preference, and the hot sauce is totally optional! Start small and add as you like.
  2. Use this as a layer inside of quesadillas, as a flatbread base, or as a side. It's very versatile.
  3. I didn't find a need for salt and pepper, but always add some if you feel it needs it!
a flavor journal.