Written by Sunny

Modified & Updated: 02 Jun 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Refried Beans with Queso Fresco and Jalapeno

Refried beans are a popular side dish typically associated with Mexican cuisine and have been savored for hundreds of years. Not only are they incredibly flavorful but they come packed with essential nutrients that your body needs! From protein and fiber to carbohydrates and iron, there’s an abundance of vitamins in refried beans that make them an amazing addition to your meal. So if you want more information on the health benefits of these delicious little bites, read on as we delve into all the essential nutrition facts about refried beans!

Table of Contents

High in Fiber

Refried beans are rich in dietary fiber, which helps with digestion, weight management, and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. A half-cup serving contains about 7 grams of fiber.

Good Source of Plant-Based Protein

Refried beans provide a great source of plant-based protein. A half-cup serving contains approximately 7 grams of protein.

Low in Fat

Despite their name, refried beans are low in fat when prepared using a minimal amount of oil or fat. Traditional recipes call for lard, but healthier alternatives like olive oil or even water can be used to reduce the fat content.

Rich in Minerals

Refried beans are a good source of essential minerals such as iron, potassium, and magnesium. These minerals are crucial for various bodily functions like energy production, muscle function, and blood cell formation.

Good Source of B Vitamins

Refried beans contain several B vitamins, including folate, thiamine, and niacin. These vitamins are essential for energy production, brain function, and a healthy nervous system.

Low in Calories

A half-cup serving of refried beans has approximately 120-150 calories. This makes them a healthy and satisfying side dish or ingredient in various recipes.


Refried beans are naturally gluten-free, making them an excellent option for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.

breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, cheese, and refried beans, created with generative ai
Image from Adobe Stock


Beans are known for their antioxidant content, and refried beans are no exception. They contain phytonutrients like flavonoids and phenolic acids, which help protect the body against oxidative stress and inflammation.


As a plant-based food, refried beans are cholesterol-free. This makes them a heart-healthy choice for individuals looking to lower their cholesterol levels.

Sodium Content

The sodium content in refried beans can vary greatly depending on the recipe and preparation. Canned refried beans often contain a high amount of sodium, while homemade versions can be made with less salt for a healthier option.

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

Refried beans can be made vegetarian or vegan by using oil or water instead of animal-based fats like lard.

Nutrient Density

Refried beans are considered a nutrient-dense food because they provide a variety of essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients in a relatively low-calorie package. This makes them an excellent addition to a healthy and balanced diet.

Effect on Blood Sugar

Due to their high fiber and protein content, refried beans can help stabilize blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates. This makes them a good option for individuals with diabetes or those looking to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Weight Management

The fiber and protein in refried beans can help promote satiety and weight management. Consuming foods high in fiber and protein can make you feel fuller for longer, reducing the chances of overeating or snacking between meals.

More About Refried Beans

Versatility in Recipes

Refried beans can be used in a variety of dishes, including tacos, burritos, nachos, and more. They can also be used as a base for dips or spread on toast.

Traditional Mexican Ingredient

Refried beans are a staple in Mexican cuisine and have been enjoyed by various cultures for centuries.

Mexican food. Chicken fajitas and refried beans
Image from Adobe Stock

Can Be Made with Different Beans

Although pinto beans are most commonly used in refried beans, other types of beans like black beans, kidney beans, or even chickpeas can also be used to create different flavors and textures.

Shelf Life and Storage

Canned refried beans have a long shelf life, making them a convenient pantry staple. If you’re making homemade refried beans, they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Environmental Impact

Beans, in general, have a lower environmental impact compared to animal-based protein sources. Choosing plant-based protein options like refried beans can help reduce your carbon footprint and support sustainable agriculture.


Refried beans have become a staple in countless homes across the world, transforming from a traditional side dish to a truly versatile ingredient! Their delicious flavor and wealth of essential vitamins make them as healthy as they are tasty – and an easy addition to meals both big and small. Even if you’re unfamiliar with refried beans, we urge you to give them a try and experience their unique goodness for yourself. We’re sure you’ll find these little beans make for a hearty side dish or satisfying meal on their own – so why not get creative in the kitchen today?

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