Cheater Restaurant Style Refried Beans

4.93 from 27 votes

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Cheater Restaurant Style Refried Beans have a yummy, restaurant like, creamy consistency and flavor. I always use this for a side to our Mexican dishes.

Cheater Restaurant Style Refried Beans in a white bowl surrounded by tortilla chips.

Cheater Restaurant Style Refried Beans

You are going to LOVE these “cheater” restaurant style refried beans. They are the perfect dip and so good with Mexican dishes. Have you ever noticed that when you get refried beans at a restaurant they are creamy and smooth and easy to dip your chips in, but the canned stuff is so thick, breaks your chips, and doesn’t taste nearly as good? Well this is my “cheater” recipe to make the canned stuff have that restaurant like consistency and flavor. In fact, I like the flavor of these beans even better than anything I have had at a restaurant. Be sure to check out all our other tasty Mexican Recipes! We have all kinds of yummy Mexican dishes to round out your meals and celebrations!

Restaurant refried beans vs. canned

If you’re talking plain canned beans, then, the restaurant refried beans vs. canned debate is over in a snap. Restaurant versions win. But, if you’re talking about these awesome cheater refried beans, the answer flips. Cheater Restaurant Style Refried Beans have a little more intensity and kick, which I love. They aren’t too spicy but definitely have a little spice. You can amp up the spice by adding more hot sauce, or tone it down by adding less — whatever your family prefers! Make sure to use the Valentina brand of hot sauce! It is the best! You can find it with the Hispanic food at most grocery stores.

Which beans to use?

We like to use the Taco Bell brand of refried beans. They seem to fit this recipe the best. However, if you’re looking to make this recipe a little lighter you can use the low-fat or non-fat refried beans. You may have to alter the amount of sour cream you add, depending on the consistency of the beans you buy. The Taco Bell brand is pretty thick so we add ⅓ cup of sour cream, but if your beans are more runny to begin with then you might want to only add ¼ cup or less.

Best Mexican Food Recipes

I use these restaurant style refried beans and our Restaurant Style Mexcian Rice for sides every time I make Mexican food at home, we honestly never make a Mexican dish without these two sides anymore. Some of my favorite dishes to serve these with are our Carne Asada Burritos and our Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas. It also makes a much better base for 7 layer bean dips (it’s perfect for our 9 layer bean dip HERE). You can also spoon these beans right into a burrito or taco or on top of a big, cheesy pile of nachos. Whatever you do, just get these on your table next time you eat Mexican food!

Cheater Restaurant Style Refried Beans in a white bowl surrounded by tortilla chips.

Cheater Restaurant Style Refried Beans

4.93 from 27 votes
Cheater Restaurant Style Refried Beans have a yummy, restaurant like, creamy consistency and flavor. I always use this for a side to our Mexican dishes.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 13 mins
Total Time 18 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican/Spanish
Servings 6



  • In a medium sized bowl combine the refried beans, sour cream, and hot sauce.
    Refried Beans ingredients in a bowl
  • Pour into a glass pie pan or 9×9 dish and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or til its hot and bubbly. Remove and stir well.
    Stirring refried beans in a glass pan
  • Top with grated cheese and heat in the oven for 3 more minutes or until cheese is melted.
    Adding cheese to refried beans
  • Serve with tortilla chips and with our Restaurant Style Mexican Rice for a complete side dish to any Mexican meals.
    Dipping into refried beans with a tortilla chip


Nutrition Information

Calories: 162kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 9gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 743mgPotassium: 33mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 305IUVitamin C: 1.7mgCalcium: 188mgIron: 1mg

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About the author

Emily Walker

Emily lives in Meridian, Idaho, with her husband, Beau, a physician assistant, and her three incredible children: a son and two daughters. Travel is one of her favorite ways to experience new cultures and cuisines, and she has a love for all things Disney.

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  1. 4 stars
    I plan to try this refried bean add-on this week, and I’m giving it 4 stars because it sounds so good. However, nobody ever said TexMex is health food, so may I (a Texan who has eaten TexMex for almost all of my 79 years) suggest another addition? Anybody from this part of the country knows that pinto beans must be seasoned with a tad of bacon drippings or some ham hocks —the way that greens, dried beans and such are always cooked in this southern part of the U.S. And really, you’re going to have to add a little water to what comes out of the can to get a consistency that can be dipped with a chip.
    [Bless your hearts, you don’t have HEB grocers, which sell OUTSTANDING frijoles refritos (refried beans) close to GREAT straight out of the bag they are packaged in.]

    Many of us cook pinto beans from scratch, simmering slowly for most of the morning, but I have cheated for a while now, (with canned Bush’s beans seasoned as if they were my own from scratch, then smushed to the desired consistency).

    Thanks for your recipe—I would NEVER have thought to incorporate sour cream. Of course, I also have to make arroz Mexicano (Mexican rice), and use our classic bottled heat from McIlhenny on Avery Island, Tabasco. So many brands are regional, but they usually have quality equals where we live.

    I’m so glad to have found your site; you seem dedicated to being the best cook possible. I had to wait until my retirement to have time to devote to improving cooking skills!

  2. 5 stars
    The best refried beans I’ve ever had! Easy, quick and always loved by everyone! I’ve also made these with refried black beans and they are just as yummy!

  3. 5 stars
    We didn’t have all the ingredients on hand, so made something similar. I substituted vegan cream cheese for sour cream. And for cheese used queso fresco.
    These substitutions worked well for us, and the beans added nice flavor and creaminess to tacos!

  4. 5 stars
    So perfect to accompany the rest of my Mexican dinner. And so very easy. My go to for Refried Beans!! Thank you so much.

  5. 5 stars
    I love the creamy restaurant style beans but until now have been unable to master them. As you suggested, I used Taco Bell (fat free) refried beans and added a little olive oil. I hit them with an emersion blender and a little water and they were perfect. I topped them with the sour cream.

    1. 5 stars
      Made this tonight. Everyone loved it. Super easy to make on a week night too. Made exactly as described. Would make this again for sure.

  6. 5 stars
    I so love your cookbook! I even bought a year of favorites for myself and a friend! Thank you so much for all your wonderful hints & tips also! ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Hi Mimi- Thank you so much! I am so thrilled to hear that you have enjoyed our cookbooks 😀 We hope to provide you with many more recipes, hints, and tips for years to come. Thanks for your support! – Erica

      1. Has anyone made this the night before and put in the oven versus stove top or done these in a crockpot? I’m making a large quantity for a party and would like to use the oven or crock pot! Thanks!

  7. 5 stars
    My husband walked up while I was prepping this and was instantly grossed out when he saw the sour cream, he hates sour cream. I asked him to give it a chance. He did and he did not regret it. These beans were as good, maybe better, than ANY that we’ve ever had anywhere. He was blown away and so was I! I did not have the hot sauce you described but used some Taco Bell Diablo sauce instead and wow, they had a great kick! I’m also a HUGE fan of your Restaurant Style Mexican Rice, I’ve been making it for a couple of years and it’s outstanding. I feel like after searching for years, I’ve found the perfect recipes. I can’t wait to see what kinds of meals we can whip us using these beans and your rice as staples!

  8. 5 stars
    These were delicious! I didn’t measure the sour cream as I was in a hurry and I think I added a little more than a third cup so mine were lighter in color but they were still very good. I didn’t have the hot sauce brand that you referenced so I used what I had in the pantry. This will be my new recipe for
    quick refried beans. Thank you for sharing a great recipe.

  9. 5 stars
    Very good!!!! Now I need to find a way to make $1.00 Spanish rice side in a bag taste better. Any suggestions?

    1. Hmmm our best suggestion is to make restaurant style Mexican rice. It tastes better than those rice side dishes 🙂 Click HERE for the recipe!

  10. 5 stars
    Wow, yum. I have added cheese and hot sauce to refried beans before, but never thought to use sour cream. So creamy, cheesy, and delicious. Thanks!

    1. So glad you liked it! The sour cream makes all the difference. I think that is the “secret” that makes it taste like restaurant refried beans. 🙂 Thanks for the 5-stars!

        1. 5 stars
          Like another commenter I cooked a whole bag of pinto beans and needed a way to utilize them. Your recipe is great. I just wanted to add that you can freeze them for up to 8 months if you make a ton like I did. Just defrost a portion here and there night before and lunch is served next day — no problem. Also another idea is to make layered dip for evening snacking. Some guacamole, sour cream, refried beans, and hummus…. Mmmm mmmm mmm. Thanks for the sour cream tip!

    1. That should totally be fine. Yo will just want it on low, probably, to avoid burning. Hope this helps!

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