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Easy Restaurant Style Refried Beans

In this post I’ll be sharing how to make Easy Restaurant Style Refried Beans at home. You’re gonna love it!

Do you want to know how to make amazing homemade refried beans just like a restaurant? Well, first things first, I have a bit of news to break to you. The majority of Mexican restaurants use canned refried beans. What? Yes, sorry but it is true. And we’re gonna use them too but make them better!

There are the rare exceptions and some eateries start out completely from scratch by cooking their own pinto beans to make this beloved side dish. Like I said however most use the canned version but make them even better with a few easy tips.

Another little secret about refried beans that you may not know about is they all have lard in them. If you’ve ever tried rushing preparing them and pop them in the microwave you can kind of taste the lard. No thanks, I’d rather take a few minutes and make them the best that they can be.

Once you try preparing refried beans this way there’s no going back because you’ll immediately fall in love with how delicious and authentic that they taste.

How to Make Canned Refried Beans Better

Canned Refried Beans - prepared like a Mexican restaurant - Best ever!

What are refried beans? I believe most of us already know the answer to this but on the chance someone has never enjoyed this tasty side at a wonderful Mexican cuisine restaurant I’ll explain. Refried beans are usually made with well seasoned cooked beans, either pintos or black beans, that are mashed and fried with lard. There may be other seasonings added or additional ingredients included to improve taste.

How do you serve refried beans?

  • As a Side Dish – this is by far the most popular way to enjoy refried beans. Have you ever been to your favorite Mexican restaurant and not had a side of refried beans? Probably not. I also think they’re a required menu item on Taco Tuesdays and Cinco de Mayo
  • As a Dip – a creamy bean dip is a wonderful option and I’ll be the first to say that, yes, I take those crispy tortilla chips and scoop up those delicious refried beans. It’s so good!
  • As a Filling – these creamy beans make a delicious filling for burritos and tacos.

Restaurant Style Refried Beans

Restaurant refried beans with bacon fat in a skillet

What do you need to make Refried Beans?

  • A can of refried beans – folks seem to have their preferred brand of refried beans that they swear by. My personal favorite choice is La Preferida Authentic Refried BeansThe Rosarita brand is also very popular. Do you have a favorite? Let me know.
  • Bacon Fat – yes, bacon fat! The bacon fat adds so much additional flavor to this creamy bean side.
  • Sour Cream – the sour cream adds even more creamy texture and great flavor.
  • Shredded Mexican Blend Cheese – cheese is optional but I love it and usually when I am served refried beans at a restaurant, they do have a bit of melty cheese on top. Totally up to you though. 
  • Hot Sauce – also optional but I do like to add a little hot sauce over top of my refried beans because we love our hot sauce in this house.

How to make Refried Beans from a Can

how to make the best refried beans like a restaurant - add sour cream

Begin by melting a little bacon fat in a skillet then add your canned refried beans. Stir or “re-fry” the beans until very hot and creamy. This takes just a few short minutes.

Once the refried beans are hot and creamy, add a dollop of sour cream, continue stirring to incorporate with the beans.

Mexican Restaurant Refried Beans

Best ever creamy restaurant style refried beans in a skillet

Now aren’t those some creamy refried beans that look amazing? Yes!

If you’re skipping the cheese then you can go ahead and serve your refried beans straight from the skillet with your meal. I know that your mouth is watering at this point and it is hard to resist having a taste.

Fellow cheese lovers, y’all come on ahead with me and let me show you how I finish up making these refried beans just like my favorite restaurant.

Canned Refried Beans Made Better

Refried beans topped with cheese in the oven

Transfer the refried beans from the skillet to a small baking dish. If you’re using an oven proof skillet then you can keep them in the skillet.

I was using an oven proof skillet but because I’m sharing this recipe with y’all I did want to put it in a prettier dish. 

Top the beans with as much of the shredded Mexican cheese blend as you like and pop the dish into a hot oven to bake until the cheese is melted.

Once the cheese is melted it is time to serve up your creamy refried beans with your meal to enjoy. I know that these delicious, and perhaps better than a restaurant, refried beans will become a favorite at your house.

Below, you will find a printable recipe card with all of the details for your convenience but first I want to share a few more dishes with you that I know you’ll enjoy for your Mexican style meals at home.

Great Cinco de Mayo Recipe Ideas

  • Salsa Verde Chicken – a delicious quick and easy chicken recipe that is quickly seared then popped in the oven with flavorful Salsa Verde.
  • Easy Cheesy Oven Baked Tacos – delicious hard shell tacos filled with seasoned ground beef and cheese are toasted in the oven before being topped with your favorite taco toppings.
  • Easy Crock Pot Chicken Tacos – 3 simple ingredients in your slow cooker are all it takes to make a wonderful juicy chicken filling for soft tacos.
  • Dorito Taco Salad with Catalina – this is a potluck and family meal favorite taco salad with cheesy Doritos (or corn chips) that everyone goes nuts over. It’s so good!
  • Smothered Beef and Bean Burrito Bake – an easy Mexican inspired casserole of delicious burritos smothered in queso and baked until hot and bubbly.
  • Taco Boats – a fun and delicious option for taco night with seasoned ground beef and soft taco boats to hole all of your favorite toppings.

Restaurant Style Refried Beans from a Can Recipe

Yield: 1 Side Dish of Refried Beans

Easy Restaurant Style Refried Beans

Authentic restaurant style refried beans topped with melted cheese - amazing!

Creamy, delicious restaurant style refried beans that you make at home using canned refried beans.

Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 23 minutes


  • ½ tablespoon of Bacon Fat
  • 16 ounce Can of Refried Beans
  • 2 tablespoons of Sour Cream
  • ½ cup of Shredded Mexican Cheese Blend


Restaurant Style Refried Beans

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Melt the bacon fat in a skillet over medium heat.
  3. When the skillet is hot, add the canned refried beans; stir to fry until heated through.
  4. Next, add the sour cream and stir to combine then transfer the beans to a small baking dish and top with cheese. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 15 minutes.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 180Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 471mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 4gSugar: 1gProtein: 9g

Vegetarian Option – if you prefer to follow a vegetarian diet then be sure to look for canned refried beans that are specifically labeled as a vegetarian option. In place of bacon fat, use vegetable oil and follow the rest of the recipe as instructed.

Pin graphic - Restaurant Style Refried Beans recipe

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Thank you so much for stopping by! I am so happy that you did and I know that you’ll love these amazing restaurant style refried beans just as much as my family does.

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Tanner Russell

Sunday 19th of December 2021

Absolutely amazing. My family swore I bought this from a restaurant. Flavorful and nobody knew they came from a can.

Julia Jordan

Sunday 19th of December 2021

I'm so happy that y'all enjoyed this recipe. It's amazing how just a few easy steps really makes them taste just like the restaurant version. ~Julia

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