Refried Kidney Beans {recipe} – Amount to More than a Hill of Beans

Refried Red Kidney Beans[Eating Rainbow | Red | Refried Red Kidney Beans]

You’ve probably been banged over the head so many times with the fiber-, protein- and nutrient-rich health benefits of the kidney-shaped legumes that you’ve been squirting a little sriracha hot sauce into an open can of black beans and eating it straight with a fork every day.

(Or maybe that’s just us?)

But did you know that while beans in general are super, three beans topped out the USDA’s List of Top 100 Common Foods for Antioxidants? Small red beans were number 1, followed by kidney beans and pinto beans at the 3rd and 4th spots!

Kidney beans! Who knew? Obviously not us, until recently.

So now we’ve got a stash of both red kidney and pinto beans (which we’re categorizing as “red,” too) alongside our usual black beans, and while throwing whole beans into soups/stews, salads, or Huevos Rancheros has been the case of late, we’ve taken a liking to the idea of refried beans — simmered in stock to soften, then mashed and “fried” in a saute pan. That’s “fried” in quotes, because we’re not really frying the beans in the traditional way with lard. We use a little bit of olive oil in the pan and some of the simmering liquid to get the beans to the right consistency. Pinto beans are the standard refried beans, which is great since they’re right up there on the Antioxidant list, but we’ve been using kidney beans recently to change things up.

Refried Kidney Beans

We use canned beans for the convenience factor in our hectic daily lives, but if you have the time and discipline, starting with dried beans is great. You just need to adjust the recipe knowing that: 1) two 15 oz cans of kidney beans after draining and rinsing yielded 3½ cups of beans, 2) 1 cup dried beans yields 2½ cups cooked beans, and 3) err on the side of more beans!

serves 2 large portions, 4 as a side dish
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 15-ounce cans of red kidney beans, drained (and rinsed, to remove excess sodium)
½ to 1-cup water, vegetable or chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cook until fragrant. Add beans and ½ water/stock to pan. Reduce heat to low and cook to soften beans, about 10 minutes. Mash beans in the pot over the low heat with potato masher (or a large fork), adding more water/stock if necessary to get your desired consistency.

Serve warm.

by Sarah J. Gim on March 7, 2011 · 13 comments

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Nathan May 27, 2012 at 6:27 pm

I love the internet. I made “refried” kidney beans tonight with chicken stock, cumin, cayenne and adobe. They were delicious. Glad you think so too. Even happier to know they are rich in antioxidants. Thanks for your site!


Amanda December 26, 2012 at 9:02 am

I made homemade whole wheat tortillas intending to make enchiladas but randomly wanted bean burritos and only had red and black beans in the house! Thank you for your recipe!


NNChick February 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Excellent recipe! I added cumin, cayenne, paprika and chili powder (to taste, but just about 1/8 tsp), used 1/2 shallot in replace of the onion (it’s what I had), and used real chicken stock. I also added fresh cilantro during the process and at the very end. It made an awesome vegetarian burrito. Just add fresh cut tomatoes, avocado and a dab of sour cream. Thank you!


Atish Jogi February 14, 2013 at 10:03 am

Great great recipe! Thank you.


PG Wolcott January 26, 2015 at 5:02 pm

Found your receipe on the web, tried and have added it to out families liked. Thanks for sharing!


Bethica Loney July 7, 2016 at 8:24 am

Thank you for this recipe~!


Jevontay Coates June 9, 2017 at 1:49 pm

Terrible recipe. Ruined it by adding 1/2 cup of water. Thanks jackasses


Gabrielle June 10, 2017 at 6:31 pm

Rude much?

amy February 7, 2018 at 9:06 am

No kidding, class much? Sheesh… use your manners for goodness sake. We’re all adults here… well, most of us.

Marie June 25, 2018 at 2:21 pm

LOL! Someone was a wee bit hangry! Should have had a snack while waiting on dinner
Doubtful your meal was ruined. A little more mashing and a little more summer and I’m sure it would have been great. Better luck next time and thanks for the laugh

justina April 15, 2019 at 10:05 am

no one made you add the water, thats all on you, child. did someone threaten/force you to add the water or did you mindlessly follow the recipe fully knowing it wouldnt be to just your liking with the sole intent of becoming a whiny attention-whore? hahahahahaha

Steven May 11, 2018 at 7:20 pm

This was my first time making refried beans and I loved it. I personally followed the recipe down to the letter save I added 6 ozs of chicken stock and cooked the beans longer at 15 minutes and I added siracha to mine and the result was amazing! I personally love that it goes great with vidalia onions. Easy to remember and a repeat and so so cheap and filling. This recipe may be the solution to my making my weight cuts easier. Packed in fiber and protein too. I could not be more pleased.


JC August 24, 2019 at 3:41 pm

Hahaha – – Gotta Luv the Internet !
(or maybe not)


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: