Simple way to make restaurant quality refried beans.

Refried Beans


Main cooking ingredients

  • 1 lb Pinto Beans
  • 1 Onion
  • 1/2 lb Bacon un-cooked
  • 1 Tbsp Onion Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder

Post cooking additions

  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 2 oz Cream Cheese
  • 3 Cup Shredded Cheese
  • 2 oz Heavy Whipping Cream


Night before preparation

  • Inspect beans and remove any discolored and shriveled ones, as well as rocks and other debris.
  • Soak the beans in a bowl of water overnight, covering by a couple inches.


  • Rinse, stir, and drain beans to get rid of all loose skins and debris.
  • Put in crockpot and cover in water, with 1/2 inch water in excess at the top.
  • Add in the bacon (halved), the onion (quartered) and the powders.
  • Cook on high for 8 hours, or low for 9 hours, stirring every hour or two.
  • Smash the beans to preferred consistency.

Post cooking

  • Add Post cooking additions and stir.
  • Cook on low for 15 mins.

These taste really close to restaurant style refried beans, which I have loved since childhood. As a kid I used to mix the beans with some thick sour cream, so my taste reference might be a bit different from yours.

I leave the beans soaking in the crockpot, limiting the amount of dishes and clutter used.

The original recipe uses evaporated milk instead of the cream cheese and whipping cream, which works just as well. It is all about making the beans rich and creamy. That being said, I don’t recommend using only mozzarella cheese, which is what I used. When it melts, it coagulates into a large grouping of melty cheese making it difficult to mix in thoroughly. I use mostly sharp with a bit of mexican cheese for mine.

These do quite well being frozen too. Though if you use baggies like I did, I recommend squeezing it out like an icing bag.

My most recent cooking of these was probably my best yet and had quite a few changes: 8.5 hours cook time on low with 1 lb beans, 5 slices bacon (cut into bite size pieces), 1 Tbsp better than bouillon (chicken), 1 tsp onion powder, and 1 Tbsp minced garlic. After that I added a generous amount of salt (1/2 Tbsp), a couple grinds of pepper, 3 oz cream cheese, 8 oz sharp cheddar, 8 oz mozzarella, 4 oz mexican cheese, a 12 oz can of evaporated milk, 1 stick of butter, and a splash of heavy whipping cream (1-2 Tbsp).

Original Recipe

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