creamy refried black beans recipe

creamy black beans |

the best canned refried black beans recipe

Creating this recipe was somewhat accidental, but what a happy accident it turned out.  I could eat these creamy refried black beans on their own.

creamy black beans |

Creamy 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 |

One 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 |

what do you eat with refried black beans?

Creamy refried black beans go with anything Tex Mex.  Here’s some of my favorites:

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 — updated in 2020.
Print Recipe
4.8 from 5 votes

creamy refried black beans.

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 Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: creamy beans
Servings: 4
Author: sara rose :
Cost: $2


  • 1 T butter
  • 2 small clove garlic minced
  • 2/3 cup white onion finely chopped
  • 1 can refried black beans 15.5 oz
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/3 cup sour cream light works!
  • 1 Tbps. cholula


  • Melt butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat.
  • Add onion, cook 3-4 minutes until tender. Add the garlic and cook another minute until tender and fragrant.
  • Add beans, and mix thoroughly with the onion and garlic. Stir until smooth, then add the cayenne and cumin. Stir to mix.
  • Stir in the sour cream and hot sauce (optional) until fully combined.
  • Top with any combination of tomatoes, green onion, jalapeños, cheese, etc.
  • Serve hot!


The cayenne can be adjusted to your preference, and the hot sauce is totally optional! Start small and add as you like.
Use this as a layer inside of quesadillas, as a flatbread base, or as a side. It's very versatile.
I didn't find a need for salt and pepper, but always add some if you feel it needs it!

check the "about me" page for more information on Sara.
  1. Reply

    I am a huge fan of refried black beans. Actually, I’m a fan of any beans! 🙂 I’ll have to give this a try.

    1. Reply

      Please do! And I’m right there with you … I LOVE beans!

  2. Loved your post. I’m going try this recipe for sure.

  3. These beans look amazing, I have to try these ASAP. Maybe with some fajitas 🙂

    1. Reply

      That would be perfect!!

  4. Reply

    Holy mother of pearl, that looks amazing!! I’m going to try it this weekend.

  5. Reply

    Making refried black bean is so delicious and there are so many uses for them. I make a big batch.

  6. Reply

    I made homemade refried beans for the first time ever yesterday. I was canning kidney beans we grew ourselves and ran out of time to finish canning anymore. So i found a recipe to make refried beans with some of what was left. Then we ate it smeared on tortillas with cheese.

  7. These look wonderful! I love traditional refried beans because of the texture but like black beans more, so this is perfect!

  8. Reply

    I will try this 🙂

  9. My mouth is seriously WATERING! This looks de-lish. I’ll have to add this recipe to my next Mexican-inspired feast!

    xo Kathryn

    • Melanie
    • April 20, 2020

    HI! I’m a US expat living in New Zealand and it’s almost impossible to find the traditional pinto version of refried beans….so the black bean version literally doesn’t exist here 🙁 However, we DO have canned black beans. Is it pretty easy to turn them into “refried”, as listed in the ingredients,, and if so, do you have a suggested recipe for it? Thanks in advance!

    1. Reply

      Hi Melanie! I’m actually testing a recipe right this moment that uses canned black beans instead of the refried version! (Your timing is impeccable!) I will report back to you ASAP after I make this version, and get the recipe to you!

    2. Reply

      Melanie – I just posted this recipe using canned black beans instead of refried! Let me know if this is what you’re looking for, or if I can help you find something else?

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