Adding more beans to your diet means you'll be getting additional fiber, protein and other much-needed nutrients. Making your own refried beans can be time-consuming and more expensive than buying the ready-to-eat canned variety. But canned refried beans can be bland and dry, and may need a little spicing up. Read on for tips for revving up the taste of frijoles refritos.

Boost the Flavor

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and place cumin seeds in hot pan. Dry toast the seeds, stirring continually, until they release their aroma and a few make popping sounds. Move the toasted seeds to a small dish and set aside.

Add olive oil to the skillet. Turn the heat down to medium, and toss in minced garlic and chopped onion. Sauté until glossy and translucent.

Add the can of refried beans, using a wooden spoon to break up the beans and to mix in the sautéed garlic and onions. Add the cumin seeds and continue to stir.

Stir in salsa, adding enough to soften the consistency of the beans. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove the beans from the heat so they don't dry out. If the beans seem too stiff, add more salsa or thin them out with broth or water.

Serve these dressed-up refried beans as a side dish with rice and chicken. Or serve as an appetizer with tortilla chips or warm tortillas by spreading the beans on a plate and topping with chopped green peppers, grated pepper jack cheese, chopped tomatoes and jalapeños, olives and sour cream.


  • Try using these tasty beans in a layered casserole or as a hearty side to a breakfast of huevos rancheros. You can add bacon for more flavor; be creative and add your own touch to the beans.