Never Fail Refried Beans

Nachos are a staple in my house.


Now, when I say nachos I don’t mean those spray-cheese and Tostitos nachos you can find at any snack bar. No, these are legit.

We start off by lining a plate (or cookie sheet if we’re feeling fancy) with three types of chips: typically blue corn chips, white corn chips, and flax seed chips. We then add the Refried beans, avocado, corn, ground beef, and mozzarella and cheddar cheese. And for a nice kick we top it all off with paprika, chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Pop in the microwave for a minute and you’re golden.

The nachos are removed from the microwave, then topped with Greek yogurt (or sour cream) and chopped tomatoes.

Like I said, our nachos are definitely legit.


My mom and I love Refried beans. I mean, love. As a kid I used to eat it straight from the can, either with a spoon or tortilla chip. And let me tell you, when it comes to Refried beans, the chip-to-bean ratio is usually 1 part chip and 2+ part beans. Too much chip to bean and you don’t really get the full experience. 😉

The problem is this: the sodium. One two many Refried-bean-slathered chips and we’ll bloat up like balloons.

That’s the beauty of making your own: you can control the bloat! (I mean, control the amount of sodium… ;))


This recipe uses a myriad of spices to achieve the best spicy, savory Mexican Refried beans flavor, without excessive amounts of added sodium. In comparison to the 249mg sodium 2 tbs classic Refried beans has, this recipe only has 130mg. In fact, if you really want to reduce the sodium, you can choose to add only 1/4 tsp sea salt and end up with 75mg sodium per 2tbs.

Additionally, this recipe is seriously a crowd pleaser. Aside from impressing everyone by making your own Refried bean dip, you’ll impress your guests with how daggon delicious the dip is.


The recipe isn’t called “Never Fail” for nothing! 😉

Never Fail Refried Beans

  • 1 3/4 c no salt added light red kidney beans (or Pinto beans, dark red kidney beans, black beans, etc.)
  • 1/4 c chopped white onion
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried or fresh cilantro
  • 3-4 tbs water
  • chopped green onions (for garnish)

Strain kidney beans and pour onto a skillet. Add onion and 1 tbs olive oil. Add salt and spices and stir until combined. Cook on medium-high heat until beans begin to burst open (about 10 minutes), stirring every few minutes. Pour into a food processor and add olive oil. Processed until chopped finely (about 1 minute), then add a tablespoon of water and process again. Continue adding tablespoons of water until the smooth consistency of refried beans is reached. Scoop into a bowl and garnish with green onions. Enjoy!

Nutrition information: (calculated using

Calories: 76

Fat: 4g

Carbs: 10g

Protein: 3g

(Yields 8 two tablespoon servings)

Each serving (2 tbs) has 130mg sodium and 1g sugar. If you choose to half the salt, each serving will only have 75mg sodium.

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