They’re not pretty but . . .

This is an easy and delicious recipe for “refried” black beans.  These are great in tacos, enchiladas, or as side.  

I like to use freshly cooked dry black beans in this.  I used to think that it was a lot of extra work to start with dried beans . . . until I started doing it.  Obviously it’s not an option if you come home from work on a weeknight and want to whip these up, but if you know you want to make them in the next couple of nights, you just throw some in a pan of water to soak, then boil them while you are doing something else around the house.  Once I started using the dried beans, I really noticed the improvement in flavor and texture.  Now I use dried beans almost exclusively.  Of course, you can absolutely use well-rinsed canned beans and have a great result with this recipe as well.

Probably more important than the beans is the broth.  Be sure to use a good broth that you really like the taste of, because the broth adds a lot of flavor to the final dish.

These freeze well, so when I make them, I make a big batch, have black bean tacos that night, and use the leftovers in another meal later in the week, or freeze them.

 refried beans

"Refried" Black Beans

Servings: 6


  • 1 TBSP canola oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jalepeno or fresno chile minced (remove seeds and ribs for a more mild chile flavor)
  • 1 1/2 TBSP cumin
  • 1 TBSP ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp chipotle chile powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 cups cooked black beans if using canned beans, be sure to rinse them well
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth*
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 2 TBSP chopped cilantro


  • Heat a large skillet to medium heat and add canola oil.
  • Add onions, garlic and chile and cook for 5-7 minutes until softened and beginning to brown.
  • Add cumin and ground chiles and paprika and cook for another minute until spices are fragrant.
  • Add 1 cup of beans and 1/2 cup of broth to pan and mash beans using a potato masher until they have a paste-like consistency, then add another 1 cup of beans and 1/2 cup of broth and repeat process. When all beans are mashed, remove from heat and mix in liquid smoke, lime juice and cilantro.


*I like Better Than Boullion No Chicken Base

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