How To: Make Canned Refried Beans Taste like a Restaurant’s

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Turn a can of refried beans into restaurant quality in a matter of minutes! Only two simple add-ins and it’ll feel like you’re eating at your favorite Mexican restaurant, right at home!


Restaurant Style Refried Beans

Mexican food is far and beyond my MOST FAVORITE food.  I never seem to tire of it.  Typically when you ask someone what their favorite restaurant is, it’s something they think of that is really special, like a special occasion type of thing.  Not me.  I always say my favorite little Mexican place.  The margaritas are good, the Dos Equis Amber is cold, the chips and salsa are homemade and the food is FABULOUS!

(plus I don’t have to dress up if I don’t feel like it, no judging, just good food.)


Restaurant Style Refried Beans

^^ LOVE IT? PIN IT!!!! ^^



how to make canned refried beans taste like a restaurant

I love how the refried beans at a Mexican place are so creamy and taste so much better than the canned stuff.  Did you know though, that making the canned ones TASTE like the restaurant ones is super duper easy? How do you say easy in Spanish?  — “fácil”




I used to have a friend many years ago that was Mexican, and she was a fantastic cook.  She told me that adding milk to the canned beans was her mom’s secret, and that works, too.  I have to say, though that adding sour cream is even better! It gives them just a slight tang with a smooth creaminess to them.



Restaurant Style Refried Beans

This is one of my MOST POPULAR recipes on my site.  It happened almost instantly.  Who couldn’t love something so very simple??  Only 3 ingredients, and in no time, you will have a piping hot bowl of Restaurant Style Refried Beans.  Top them with cheese, like we do, to make them even better!



I’ll Drink to that!

Copy Cat El Bee's Margarita
Copy Cat El Bee’s Margarita -Only 3 ingredients make up our favorite El Bee’s margaritas. Delicious, but beware, they pack a punch!



Strawberry Margarita
Strawberry Margarita -Perfectly sweet Sauza Strawberry Margaritas — made by the pitcher, perfect for poolside sipping.


Blueberry Margarita
Blueberry Margarita Pureed fresh or frozen blueberries, lime simple syrup and your favorite tequila and you are on your way to a pitcher of seriously delicious sipping!


Bean Dip
Restaurant Style Bean Dip

Using this recipe, you can quickly turn these beans into a Restaurant Style Bean Dip!

Serve them up as a side dish or with a bowl of chips for dipping.  Either way, it’s a “ganador” (WINNER) of a recipe! I always buy the Old El Paso Fat-Free Refried beans, they always turn out perfectly, and they are lower in fat and have loads of fiber!  You can even use fat free sour cream and make these even more guilt free!




Texas Trash Dip An Affair from the Heart
Warm Bean Dip: a.k.a. TEXAS TRASH DIP One of my MOST POPULAR Recipes ever!



Love MEXICAN like I do?  I have TONS of MEXICAN RECIPES to share with you.  I hope that you will stay and browse a while.

When you’re done there, you can pop over to my MEXICAN RECIPE Pin Board on Pinterest for more great recipes!

“Dump” Salsa Tastes just like your favorite Mexican Restaurant’s fresh salsa – made right in your blender!



Ready?  Let’s cook! M.

Overhead of Restaurant Style Refried Beans in a black bowl
4.48 from 668 votes
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How To: Make Canned Refried Beans Taste like a Restaurant's

Whether you serve these refried beans up as a side dish, or a dip, you will love how easy it is to make a can of refried beans TASTE like they came from your favorite Mexican restaurant!
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: How To: Make Canned Refried Beans Taste like a Restaurant's
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 112kcal
Author: Michaela Kenkel


  • 16 ounce can Refried Beans
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1-3 teaspoons of hot sauce depending on the heat you want
  • shredded cheddar cheese


  • In saucepan on the stove, or in a microwaveable bowl, stir ingredients together and cook until heated through.
  • Top with cheese and serve.
  • *Note: I use fat free beans and fat free sour cream and it works great!*
  • Can also be baked with cheese on top and makes a great (and EASY) dip!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 112kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 377mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g

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  1. For the life of us, we couldn’t figure out how to get refried beans (which is about the only thing our daughter will eat consistently) from a can in the store. We’ve even been ordering takeout from Mexican restaurants just to make sure she eats. But lo’ and behold…I just made this and she dug right in! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  2. hi michaela! i was wondering what brand of hot sauce you recommend? i have sriracha on deck but i’m not sure that the flavors would work

    1. I typically use a taco sauce — we almost always have the Taco Bell hot sauce — I wonder if sriracha would take away from the “Mexican” aspect of it?

  3. Just had this with some breakfast quesadillas (eggs / green peppers / cheddar / cilantro)


    Thanks for this 🙂

  4. Hi. I made these tonight as a side, along with Spanish rice, to mushroom and cheese quesadillas. I was looking for a way to spice up a can of refried beans I had in the pantry. I have to say these were some of the best refried beans I’ve ever eaten! They were even better than many Mexican restaurants I’ve been to! I’m pinning this recipe for future use! Thanks so much for sharing it!

  5. This was stupid easy to make, and boy did it really spice up those refried beans! They were a great taco fixing that will now be a staple for taco night.

  6. I didn’t add salsa because I had kids eating too, but I think 1/3 cup of sour cream was too much for one can of beans. It was still good though, and I will do it again but next time with just a dollop.

    1. Everyone has different tastes, that is the beauty of making it your own. 🙂 I typically don’t use a hot taco sauce, just a mild one to give them a little more flavor. Even if there is no heat at all, it gives them a nice taste.

  7. Hi there! Can’t tell how delicious canned fried beans can taste after the addition of sour cream in them. Plus adding a dash or two of your ‘dump’ salsa to them for a real taste treat. These two are just a couple of my ‘go to’ recipes from your blog.
    Miss Millie
    P. S. Fall supper request the other night was Kapusniak! The soup paired with crusty rolls, sliced cheese and fresh apple slices. Took that northern late-summer chill right out of the air.

    1. Miss Millie – You made my day with your sweet comment! Thank you for letting me know that you enjoy my recipes. I hope that you will continue to find more to love! Now I am hungry for Kapusniak! Adding it to my list for next week! thank you! xo

  8. There is nothing more aggravating than having to scroll through some writers history or musings to find the stupid directions and ingredients.

  9. I am super excited to try this! We had plans to go out for taco Tuesday, but a MI snowstorm hit us! I’m making these along with Mexican adobo pork loin and Mexican rice! I have just discovered your page and I can’t wait to explore more! Thank you!

  10. Very good! I made it as written the first time and we really enjoyed the recipe! The second time I made it, I added some chopped raw onion and we liked it even more!

  11. Thanks for the recipe…My additions:

    Bacon (minced fine)
    Onion/garlic (minced fine) cooked in bacon fat
    Garlic powder
    Onion powder
    Chipotle sauce, to taste (from a can of chipotle chili) — adds a smoky hot flavor
    Monterey Jack cheese as a topping
    Green onions sliced fine as garnish

    These additions certainly added to the time factor, but if I’m having guests, I think it’s worth it.

    1. sounds like it would sure pack a flavor punch – but you are right about the time factor. I love them just as they are, and they are super quick to make. But if you had the extra time, I bet your way tastes great!

  12. WOW! I Love your detailed institutions. It was helpful. Made it for dinner tonight and served it with Mexican rice. My family loved it.

  13. Michaela,

    I just signed up to follow you….I have been searching and searching to find the BEST canned refried beans….those beans are AMAZING!!! Thank you also for sharing your story….I can’t wait to try your other recipies!

  14. Instead of sour cream would your refried beans recipe work with a similar amount of Greek yogurt?

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