Refried beans are just what you need when you crave simple, comforting, delicious food. This Mexican-inspired dish consists of nutritious pinto beans in a rich gravy. Whether you use it as a side for rice, serve it as a dip with nachos, or add it to a burrito it tastes great.
To prepare it, you should first cook the beans. Once the beans are done, you can season it with herbs and spices and then mash it up. Although the recipe for refried beans is not complicated, it is time-consuming. Just cooking the pinto beans will take more than an hour.
So, what do you do when you do not have enough time or the necessary ingredients for this recipe? Pick up the canned version.
But not just any can! Choose the right one and you can enjoy the sensational taste of this traditional Mexican recipe at its finest.
A Detailed Look at the Best Canned Refried Beans
If the thought of buttery, well-seasoned, and flavorful beans sounds appealing, here are the brands you must try.
1. Old El Paso Traditional Refried Beans
Low cholesterol, zero-fat, and creamy—this brand ticks all the boxes!
- 110 calories per can
- Good source of fiber
- Low in fat and high in protein content
- Reasonably priced
- Does not need heating
- Can be eaten alone or added to other dishes
- The new recipe is not as appealing as the original version
- No easy-open tab on the can
The original Old El Paso Traditional Refried beans recipe was just perfect. Deliciously flavorful, creamy, and balanced, it was hard to resist. So, it isn’t surprising that this product was a staple in many households where tacos are on the menu.
The original recipe of Old El Paso was low in cholesterol and fat. It was also high in protein and fiber and tasted delicious. You could eat it as a side dish or use it as a filling or dip for tacos, enchiladas, and wraps.
However, the brand switched the recipe recently. Although the nutritional profile has not changed, the taste and texture are not the same.
While the beans are fluffy and soft in the new version, they do not have the same flavor as the original version. The taste of cumin is powerful and does not appeal to all.
Nonetheless, it is a low-fat version with definite benefits. Additionally, Old El Paso refried beans are inexpensive and have good value for money.
2. Rosarita Traditional Refried Beans
Authentic Mexican flavors come alive in this indulgent, rich, and delicious canned-style refried beans.
- 120 calories per can
- 2.5 g of fat per can
- Less than 1 g sugar
- Taste is as close as it can get to freshly prepared refried beans
- Reasonably priced
- Low in fat
- Has a very small amount of sugar
- Vinegary taste
- The packaging is prone to damage
As a product from a brand that specializes in Mexican fare, Rosarita’s traditional refried beans live up to expectations. The beans are perfectly cooked and have a well-rounded, delicious taste. Additionally, the texture is creamy and appealing. The flavors are balanced, and the spice profile is perfect.
Rosarita traditional refried beans taste best when the contents are warmed and served hot. The generous serving in a can is indulgent and satisfying. You can either have it with rice or use it as a filling in tacos and wraps.
The only drawback to this variety is the pronounced taste of vinegar. It may not appeal to everyone.
The brand also has other variations of refried beans like spicy jalapeno, vegetarian, lower sodium, and black bean. Of these variants, we highly recommend the spicy jalapeno. The low-fat version has a runny texture, but the taste is just as authentic.
Overall, this is a brand that doesn’t disappoint!
3. Taco Bell Original Refried Beans
Chunky textured beans with the perfect balance of sweet and salty flavors!
- Contains pinto beans and pink beans
- 130 calories per serving
- 0 cholesterol and 5g dietary fiber
- Chunky texture
- Delightful sweetness alongside the traditional flavors
- Contains soya
- Slightly salty
If you are looking for a brand that closely replicates the taste of restaurant refried beans, this is the one to choose.
Taco Bell’s original refried beans have a distinct chunky texture which sets it apart from other brands. Although the beans are not fully mashed, it is thick with an even consistency.
The most attractive factor about Taco Bell refried beans is its original Mexican flavor. The beans are perfectly seasoned and have a delicious, earthy taste. The addition of soy creates a pungent saltiness that enhances the overall flavor.
The addition of pink beans with the pinto beans creates a natural sweetness. With its one-of-a-kind texture and aromatic flavors, it is great as a dip. We think that this is a healthy option as it does not contain any saturated fats and is rich in protein.
Stock up on Taco Bell refried beans for those days when you are too lazy to cook. Enjoy a satisfying, hearty meal that is both delicious and nutritious.
4. Amy’s Vegetarian Organic Refried Beans
These organic pinto beans are healthy and full of natural goodness.
- Organic and vegan refried beans
- Flavored with garlic and other spices
- Contains green chilies
- No GMO, artificial ingredients or unhealthy components
- Trans-nut free
- Interesting flavors
- Strong flavors of onion, garlic, and cumin
- Soupy texture
Amy’s organic refried beans qualify as healthy and delicious organic, vegan products. The taste is authentic and boasts pure Mexican flavors. Nevertheless, the strong taste of garlic, cumin, and raw onion stand out. These ingredients can leave an unpleasant after-taste.
The texture of Amy’s organic refried beans is not chunky and creamy, as in traditional refried beans recipes. Instead, it is quite soupy and watery.
However, the greatest advantage of Amy’s organic refried beans is that it contains zero artificial ingredients. With no bad stuff whatsoever, it is a good choice for health-conscious people. It is suitable for vegan and vegetarian lifestyles.
If you consider the nutrition value, texture, and flavor, it is excellent value for money.
5. La Preferida Organic Authentic Refried Beans
Rich, creamy, organic refried beans without any preservatives or artificial ingredients!
- 110 calories
- Contains organic pinto beans
- Contains water and sea salt
- Minimal ingredients
- Minimal processing
- Thick and creamy texture
- Refrigerates well
- Has no oil
- Good price
- Bland and not as flavorful as other brands
If you are not fond of spicy food, you will enjoy La Preferida Organic refried beans. This product contains just a handful of ingredients. It does not have overpowering spices like garlic, onion, or cumin.
The organic ingredient list ensures that it is safe and healthy. The beans look clumpy and thick when you open the can. So, you may have to dilute it before reheating. However, it also means that you will have leftovers that you can refrigerate for later use.
La Preferida Organic refried beans form a good bean base for various recipes. Since there are no strong spices, you can mix them with other herbs and seasonings. Try working with pieces of cooked chicken, fruits like pineapple, fresh cucumbers, and herbs like parsley or garlic.
To step up the flavor profile, you can also season with cumin, garlic powder, or chili powder, and it will taste just divine. Or use the taco seasoning from the La Preferida brand to enhance the taste and give it some depth of flavor. Then use it as a filling for tacos, enchiladas, burritos, or in a wrap or sandwich.
La Preferida also has a fat-free version and black bean variant of refried beans.
Canned refried beans are a convenient way to enjoy amazing Mexican flavors without spending too much effort or time to prepare them from scratch. Once you try it, it is guaranteed to be a game-changer that you will want to stock up on.
Refried beans are a rich source of protein, as they contain high-quality pinto beans. The beans are cooked slowly with flavorful seasonings. It is also a good source of healthy carbohydrates and fiber.
Although the name “refried beans” suggests that it is an oily dish, there is no frying involved. Most canned refried beans have negligible oil content.
Canned refried beans are a versatile pantry ingredient. Use them to whip up an instant batch of authentic-tasting burritos. Or roll it into a tortilla for a quick and easy snack or substitute them for baked beans in your Sunday breakfast. It will be a healthy and hearty option that will impress the entire family. Although a variety of refried beans are available in the market, some brands are better than others. We have discussed the top contenders in terms of flavor, quality of ingredients, texture, and value for money in this post. Use it to find the one that you like. And don’t forget to let us know which one you loved the most!