Refried beans are something that you might keep stocked in your pantry. People who make many different Mexican dishes will often use refried beans.
Sometimes you might think that refried beans are a bit generic when they come out of the can. Do you wish that the refried beans that you have stocked in the pantry were as tasty as the beans that you find at restaurants?
Many people do, and there might be some options that will allow you to make the refried beans a bit more interesting. Spicing the beans up a bit with a few good ideas might make your next meal that much more enjoyable.
Keep reading to learn how you can make canned refried beans taste better than usual. It should make a difference even if you have a picky palette.
Add Ingredients to Improve the Taste
What you want to do is add ingredients to improve the overall taste of the refried beans. This will ensure that they will taste creamier, and this will be a lot more similar to what you get at a Mexican restaurant.
Thankfully, you’re not going to need many ingredients to get good results. Even just adding some butter will improve the taste a little bit.
For this trick to work as well as it possibly can, you’ll want butter, white onions, minced garlic, half and half, sour cream, salt, pepper, cumin, and cheese. When you have all of the necessary ingredients on hand, it’ll be time to grab your skillet and get to work.
Take your skillet and melt some butter in it. Use a good amount of butter so that you’ll have an easy time with this next step.
You’re going to need to dice half a cup of white onion and then start sauteing it in the skillet. Saute the onion until it is translucent.
Next, you’ll be adding a teaspoon of minced garlic. This is meant to cook over low heat to add fragrance.
Open your can of refried beans and put it in the skillet. Try to combine the beans with the onion, melted butter, and garlic.
With this done, you’re going to pour a quarter cup of half and half into the skillet. Stir everything up and then add a quarter cup of sour cream to the skillet.
Stir again and add some seasoning to the mix. You’ll be seasoning using pepper, cumin, and salt.
The idea is to season the beans to your taste so you don’t need to use a specific amount. If you need advice, then perhaps consider going with one teaspoon of each.
Cheese is the next ingredient that you’ll be adding to the mix. You could use fresh cheese, but it might be easier to use shredded cheese that you buy from the store.
A Mexican shredded cheese blend would work very nicely for this. Add it to the skillet and then stir it into the beans while cooking everything.
After everything has been combined your beans will be finished. You should have refried beans that are much closer to restaurant-quality now.
You Can Use Other Ingredients
It should be noted that the idea presented above is just one way to go about making canned refried beans taste even better. You might not like some of the ingredients that are being used based on your personal tastes.
In this situation, it’d be perfectly fine to make some substitutions. For example, you might not be a big fan of garlic.
You could take the garlic out of the above recipe and everything would turn out just fine. It isn’t completely necessary to use onions if you don’t want to either.
Some might think that using half and half makes things too creamy. You could use normal milk or a thinner type of milk if you wish to do so.
The amount of milk that you use can change based on your goal. You might want to use a bit less milk if you’re hoping to keep the beans thick.
Those who want the beans to have a creamy, smooth quality will likely want to use a bit more milk. It can be good to experiment and figure out your own ideal solution.
Even playing around with the type of cheese that you use can give you different results. You might choose to use cheese that has a bolder flavor or you might want something that’s even more subdued.
What If You Want the Beans to Be Spicy?
One common complaint about canned refried beans involves them being sort of plain. The recipe above will give it more flavor, but what if you want more of a spicy kick?
Admittedly, the recipe that’s listed above doesn’t do anything to add spiciness to the beans. If that’s what you’re going for, then you’ll want to try adding spicy ingredients.
You might be able to get great results just by adding a bit of your favorite hot sauce to the mix. Try putting a bit of hot sauce into the beans and stirring them up afterward.
Give the beans a taste test and see if the spice level is to your liking. If it’s not hot enough, then you could add more hot sauce until your mouth is sufficiently burnt.
Another idea is to add peppers to the beans. Hot peppers will definitely alter the flavor of the beans, and you’ll be able to make things substantially spicier.
Depending on how much spice you desire, you’ll be able to add various types of peppers. Consider trying chili peppers, banana peppers, or even hotter peppers if those don’t do the trick.
Dice the peppers up and then stir them into the refried beans while heating them up. You’d essentially be doing the same thing that you did with the onions or the garlic in the earlier recipe.
You Can Also Make Homemade Refried Beans
What if you just can’t get things perfect no matter what you try? Sometimes it isn’t going to be easy to perfectly replicate that homemade taste when you’re using canned refried beans.
In this situation, it’d probably make more sense to just make your own instead of using canned beans. You could find a recipe that you like and just make everything yourself from basic ingredients.
This gives you the ability to make the refried beans that you truly desire. Typically, homemade refried beans will be tastier than the ones that come out of a can.
If you don’t have the time to make your own beans, then you’ll at least be able to make the canned stuff taste better. It just comes down to what you find to be acceptable.
The good thing about trying to add to the flavor of canned beans is that the process only takes a few minutes. Even with chopping up ingredients, it shouldn’t take you longer than five minutes to do this.
Those who are pickier about their Mexican cuisine might not accept canned refried beans. If you’re one of those people, then you should try to carve out some time to make homemade beans so that you’ll be happy.
Most people are going to be quite happy with normal canned refried beans. If you think that they’re a bit too bland, then you might want to spice things up.
There are quite a few ways to go about doing this, but adding several ingredients to the mix will make things tastier. Try melting some butter in a skillet to get things started.
When you add ingredients such as garlic, white onion, half and half, sour cream, and cheese to the mix, it’s going to improve the taste. You can then season with pepper, cumin, and salt so that it’ll turn out perfectly.
If you want the beans to be a little thicker, then you might not want to use too much half and half or milk. Add more milk to make the beans as creamy as possible.
Making the beans spicy is going to take a different approach. You’ll want to try adding ingredients that will give the refried beans the necessary kick.
One idea is to add hot sauce to the beans and stir things up. You might need to keep adding a little at a time to try to get things just right.
You could also try mixing in hot peppers with the beans to see if that will make things better. Many people like the way that this tastes, but you’ll have to judge for yourself if you wish to try this out.
If you just don’t like the taste of canned refried beans even after going to all of this effort, then you should stick with homemade. Yes, it’ll take longer to make homemade beans, but it might be worth it in your situation.
Hopefully, this information has helped you figure out how to fix up refried beans. You’ll be able to make tasty burritos, nachos, and other Mexican dishes now that you know the tricks above.
Let your friends know that it’s possible to doctor up canned refried beans if they aren’t happy with them. They just might be appreciative of your new discovery.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard.