How To Make Canned Refried Beans Taste Like Restaurant

5 from 16 votes
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Transform canned refried beans into restaurant quality with the help of a few simple ingredients. This recipe to make a can of refried beans taste better works well for an easy side dish or dip.

Bowl of refried beans topped with cheese.


Make refried beans that will rival your favorite Mexican restaurant in minutes. Creamy consistency with delicious flavor, you won’t believe how easy this canned refried beans recipe is to make.

One of my favorite parts of eating out at a Mexican restaurant is the side of Mexican rice and refried beans that often accompany your meal. I do love charro beans and black beans but there is something so delicious about creamy refried beans that really hits the spot.

Using a can of refried beans makes this recipe fast and simple.

What you need

Refried beans – You will need a can of refried beans. Use your favorite brand like Old El Paso, Taco Bell, Rosarita, ect.

Sour cream – This helps to make a creamy texture and adds a bit of tangy flavor. You can substitute with Greek yogurt or even heavy whipping cream.

Hot sauce – Hot sauce is optional but does add a nice hint of spice. Adjust the amount to your taste.

Cumin – Adds a slight smoky flavor to the beans.

Chili powder – Adds another layer of delicious flavor to the beans.

Cheese – Shredded cheese is used to top the beans. You can use a blend of cheeses like colby and monterey jack or a cheddar blend.

How to make

Step one: Gather ingredients. Place canned refried beans in a medium saucepan. Stir in sour cream until blended.

Can of beans, bowl of cheese, sour cream, seasonings, hot sauce.

Step two: Stir in hot sauce, salt, cumin, and chili powder. Heat over medium heat and stir until combined. Cook until beans are heated through and warm.

Step three: Optional, top with shredded cheese and serve.

Hot sauce, cumin, and chili powder.

How to serve refried beans

Refried beans makes a delicious side to many Mexican dishes and Tex-Mex food like tacos, Here are a few suggestions on other ways to serve them:

  • Dip: They can be served as a tasty dip served with a side of tortilla chips and salsa. Or use them as a base for a layered dip.
  • Nachos: Use as a topping for a big plate of nachos.
  • Quesadillas: Use them as a filling for the quesadilla or as a spread on top.
  • Burritos: Makes a wonderful filling for burritos, tacos, or enchiladas.

Recipe tips and tricks

Make sure to stir the beans while they are cooking so they don’t burn on the bottom.

Want to add a little extra heat, mix in a pinch of cayenne pepper or add some diced jalapeno pepper.

If you have a large crowd, this recipe is easy to double.

To make this a bean dip, place bean mixture in an oven safe dish. Top with shredded cheese and bake at 350 degrees F until cheese is melted.

How to store

These beans can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat on the stove over medium heat or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

Bowl of beans topped with cheese.

More easy Tex-Mex recipes

Bowl of refried beans topped with cheese.
5 from 16 votes

Canned Refried Beans Taste Like Restaurant

By Heather
Canned refried beans are transformed to taste like restaurant style beans.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 16 oz can refried beans
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded colby monterey jack cheese optional


  • Place canned refried beans, sour cream, hot sauce, cumin, salt, and chili powder in a medium saucepan.
  • Stir to combine and warm over medium heat until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  • Optional, top beans with shredded cheese and serve warm.



Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 706mg | Potassium: 49mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 351IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This was really tasty. I am keeping this to make again. Usually we dump the rest of the can of bland refried beans after dinner (whatever we didn’t eat) but this time the leftovers were saved to the fridge to reheat and enjoy on their own as a snack tomorrow. I used sriracha as my hot sauce.

  2. 5 stars
    What a simple and wonderful way to increase the taste of canned refried beans. This is a repeat for me as my family really likes it.

  3. Loved the way the refried beans turned out, so creamy just like the restaurants make. Thanks for this great tip.

  4. 5 stars
    so easy and delicious!!!! family enjoyed it. Thank you for this recipe. I am going to continue to make the refried beans like this from now on.