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Saucy Refried Beans

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 4
Calories: 127kcal
Author: Nisha Vora


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or neutral-flavored oil of choice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 (15-ounce / 440g) can pinto beans or black beans (keep the bean liquid, don't drain)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup (60 - 80 mL) vegetable broth or water, only as needed
  • Kosher salt or sea salt to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 small handful of cilantro, chopped


  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and jalapenos. Cook for 90 seconds to 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the garlic starts to turn golden. Add the oregano, chili powder, and cumin and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  • Add in the beans with their liquid, bay leaf, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the beans are saucy, the liquid has evaporated quite a bit and the mixture has thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaf and take off the heat.
  • Using an immersion blender or a potato masher, mash most of the beans, but leave some beans whole for texture if you want. Return the pan to the stove and cook the beans, stirring often, for 2 to 3 minutes. If the beans appear dry, add a few spoons of veggie broth or water and stir to combine.
  • Season the beans with salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat, and stir in the lime juice and cilantro.
  • When reheating on the stove or in the microwave, add a few splashes of water or vegetable broth to loosen the beans.