Spicy Refried Beans

Homemade refried beans with kick!

Sure, it’s really easy to pick up a can of refried beans from the supermarket, but making your own is both more rewarding and a heck of a lot healthier. Plus, you can spice things up just the way you want it. This spicy refried beans recipe steers relies on the oils from serrano peppers (or jalapeños if you can’t easily source serranos) – cooking them halved lengthwise with the beans. You can then remove the chilies for a smoother refried bean mix, or chop up the chilies and incorporate then into the beans.

Spicy refried beans are a delicious side for Mexican meals, or simply serve them with tortilla chips for a delicious spicy snack.

Spicy Refried Beans

Spicy Refried Beans

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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 people


  • 2 cans pinto beans 15 ounce cans (or one large 29 ounce can), beans rinsed
  • 2 serrano peppers halved lengthwise and stemmed, seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth low-sodium
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese cheddar or Mexican 4 cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a saucepan heat the oil over medium heat, then add the butter. Melt the butter, stirring to combine the oil and butter. 
  • Place the serrano pepper halves into the saucepan and saute them in the oil/butter mix for 1 minute, stirring often to infuse the pepper oils into the butter and oil. 
  • Add the pinto beans and low sodium chicken broth to the saucepan. Continue to cook, stirring the beans often and mashing them smooth in the process, for approximately 10 minutes. 
  • Remove the serrano pepper halves from the beans, then add salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Place the refried beans into a bowl and allow them to cool for 5 minutes. Top the beans with shredded cheese and serve.


If no serrano peppers are at hand, you can opt for jalapeño peppers. They are half as spicy as serranos, though, so increase the amount used to 3 or 4. Or, if you prefer a lesser spice, keep the amounts equal (2 jalapeño peppers). 
Optional: You can chop up the serrano pepper and stir it into the refried beans for extra spiciness once the beans have been cooked in the pepper oils. 
Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

See more of our spicy recipes…

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on January 20, 2021 to include new content.
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