Ground Beef and Refried Beans for Quick Burritos on the Run

Sneak Preview: This Ground Beef and Refried Beans recipe is perfectly seasoned to make a quick burrito. You only need to add lots of cheese (and maybe some salsa and sour cream).

refried beans in a bowl with tortillas, jalapenos, cheese and sour creamPin

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When you live in Texas, Mexican food is part of the landscape. But as an Indiana farm girl, I did not always crave Tex-Mex as I do now. I think it’s because of the infamous canned tamales.

A glass jar of tamales sat in my mom’s pantry for years.  I can still picture it. We used to move that jar around in the cabinet while looking for something tastier. When we finally opened the jar, the tamales were mushy and flavorless.

It’s a wonder I ever touched Mexican food again.

Then I married a Texan. That changed everything.

Refried beans became my new favorite tortilla stuffer. Now, our whole family loves them!

Throughout my married life, I have tried many refried bean recipes. This one is slightly more complicated but worth the trouble.  Ground beef increases the flavor considerably. Also, you don’t have to use the more traditional lard or bacon grease unless you want to.

Ingredients and substitutions:

  • DRIED PINTO BEANS: Please note that the older dried beans are, the longer they will take to cook. Substitute 4 (15 oz.) cans of pinto beans that have been rinsed and well-drained for dried beans if you want to save time.
  • SALT: Omit the salt if you are using canned beans.
  • GROUND BEEF: Substitute turkey or ground breakfast-style sausage if you like.
  • OYSTER SAUCE: Don’t be put off by the name. You can read more about oyster sauce here. It is a common Chinese cooking ingredient that adds umami. You could leave it out, but it is an important component of the taste profile of these beans. Soy sauce and hoisin sauce are two possible substitutes.
  • TOMATO PASTE: If you use tomato paste from the can, freeze the remainder for later. Using tomato paste squeezed from a tube is even easier.
  • JALAPEÑO PEPPER: If you don’t have a fresh jalapeño pepper, substitute 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of pickled jalapeño peppers. Did you know you can freeze fresh jalapeño peppers? You don’t even have to cut them up. Just throw a bag of whole fresh peppers in the freezer.
  • ADOBO SEASONING: This is a Puerto Rican spice mixture. If unavailable, substitute 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano.

Can I freeze these refried beans?

These beans freeze beautifully. Place them in freezer zipper-locked bags for convenience.

One tortilla plus a small serving of these refried beans equals an effortless, healthy lunch when eaten with my daily salad.

Do you need to make refried beans in a hurry? Make them in an Instant Pot in 90 minutes.

How to make Ground Beef and Refried Beans:

pot of cooked pinto beansPin
Cooked beans are ready to transform into refried beans.
browning the ground beef.Pin
In a separate skillet, brown the ground beef mixture, onions, and jalapeño pepper.
mashing beans and beef together.Pin
Combine beans and meat in one pot and start mashing. Cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
tacos made with refried beans and beef.Pin
Fill flour tortillas with bean mixture and lots of cheese. Serve with salsa or guacamole.

If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately for a quick answer: Paula at Hope to see you again soon! 

refried beans and beef in a bowlPin

Ground Beef and Refried Beans Recipe

Paula Rhodes
Refried beans are coupled with ground beef and several seasonings that results in extreme flavor–perfect for burritos or to use as a side dish.
4.41 from 5 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 9 hrs
Total Time 9 hrs 30 mins
Course Beef
Cuisine Tex-Mex
Servings 10 servings
Calories 236 kcal


  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ large onion - coarsely chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño pepper - minced
  • ½ teaspoon Adobo seasoning


  • Soak 1 lb dried pinto beans and cook according to package, adding salt AFTER beans are tender.
  • Meanwhile, combine 1 lb lean ground beef, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 1 large egg, ¼ c oyster sauce, 1 T tomato paste, and 1½ t Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl. Mix it however you can. Hands work best–it's like making meatloaf. Cover with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the refrigerator while the beans cook.
  • When beans are tender, drain off juice and reserve.
  • In a separate skillet, brown ground beef mixture, ½ large onion, chopped, and a chopped jalapeno pepper. Drain excess grease.
  • Combine beans and meat in one pot and start mashing. A fork will work, but a masher or granny fork works faster. An immersion blender works even better. Mash until there are no prominent whole beans but still some texture. Put small batches in a food processor if you don't want lumps. Add reserved liquid until beans are the thickness you like. If they are still too thick, add a little more water.
  • Season with ½ t Adobo seasoning and simmer on the stove over low heat for another 30-45 minutes.


See the section about “Ingredients and Substitutions” in the post for more information about possible substitutions.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 236kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 571mg | Potassium: 848mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 92IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 4mg
Keyword recipe for refried beans, refried bean dip with ground beef, refried beans with ground beef
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  1. Hi Romaine! I haven’t checked your blog for a while and I’m glad I did it today! You don’t cease to inspire us with your wonderful creations – I especially like cookies, cakes, puddings…you make, sweet recipes in general. They look so amazing. Keep up the good work:)

  2. Ann Hastings says:

    I guess I didn’t eat much Mexican Food growing up, because my mom was an Indiana Farm Girl too!!! This recipe looks great!

  3. This looks good. I guess I’ve never thought about making my own refried beans. Your tortillas look so good. I wish our Costco had good tortillas!

  4. Judy Smith says:

    You brought back memories for me. I remember visiting my parents friends in Washington D.C. back in 1969 and eating Taco’s for the first time, they had to show us how to eat them. When we got back to Georgia. Mama started cooking them for us. She also could only buy the corn tortilla’s in the can, and had to fry each one of them when we had Taco’s.

  5. Arthur Arre says:

    5 stars
    Hey Ms Paula love your website and subscribe to newsletter but er um….” Oyster sauce is, as advertised, made from oysters. It’s a mixture of caramelized oyster juices (a byproduct of cooking oysters in water for a prolonged period of time), salt, sugar, and sometimes soy sauce that is thickened with cornstarch.”