How to Thicken Refried Beans

Are your refried beans a bit runny? Let’s face it, no one likes those. We need a way to thicken them up so they maintain that nice beany texture we all love.

It’s easier than you might think to make the bean juice thicker at home with just a few pantry staples. You can also use these methods in thickening stroganoff recipes.

In this article, I’m going to show you my secret for how to thicken refried beans perfectly every time.

How to Thicken Refried Beans 7 Simple and Easy Ways

We cover some of the obvious ways to thicken the beans as well as some more “cheffy” ways to recover refried beans that are really runny.

1. Cooking an extra few minutes 

Sometimes refried beans that are cooked for a shorter amount of time can be too runny. If you’d like your refried beans to have a thicker consistency, you can simply cook them for longer.

This is a good way to thicken without flour.

How to thicken refried beans by cooking them for longer

This process will cause the beans to absorb more of the liquid in which they’re cooking, resulting in a thicker dish. As well as losing some of the water by futher evaporation or as chefs say – “reducing refried beans will cause them to thicken”

To achieve a good result, keep cooking until your desired thickness is achieved, and always stir your beans every few minutes during this process.

Cooking for longer also helps give the flavors of the seasonings and added ingredients such as onions and garlic time to develop fully. The extra cooking time will turn simple ingredients into an intensely delicious flavor explosion!

2. Using a Cornstarch Slurry to Thicken Refried Beans

One of the best ways to thicken refried beans is by adding a cornstarch slurry. All you need to do is mix together some cornstarch and cold water until it becomes a smooth paste.

Thicken Refried Beans with A Cornstarch Slurry
Thicken Refried Beans with A Cornstarch Slurry

How to Thicken Refried Beans with A Cornstarch Slurry

If your refried beans are too thin, you can easily thicken them with a cornstarch slurry. Simply combine 1 part cornstarch with 2 parts cold water to create the slurry.

After combining the ingredients together, slowly stir the mixture into your refried beans. Make sure you continue stirring for at least 3-5 minutes until everything is fully combined and heated.

The result will be perfectly thickened refried beans that are just as delicious as when they started off! If you find your refried beans still aren’t thick enough, simply repeat this process until you reach the perfect consistency.

3. Add a Flour Roux

A roux is the basis for many cooking techniques, and flour roux is no exception. It’s a combination of equal parts fat (like butter) and all-purpose flour cooked together until it’s light brown in color.

You can also use a cheese roux concentrate.

How to Thicken Refried Beans using A Flour Roux

Flour rouxs are most commonly used to thicken sauces, gravies, and soups. For refried beans, you start by heating butter in a pan and adding flour one spoonful at a time as you whisk until it’s combined into the butter.

You want to keep cooking the mixture while stirring constantly until it turns light brown—this is what sets your roux aside from an ordinary mixture of fat and flour.

Once your roux has reached the desired consistency (light brown), slowly add liquid to it while constantly whisking until smooth. This will form a thick paste that you can use to thicken refried beans or any other sauce of your choice!

4. Refried Beans Thickened with Potato

Potatoes are one of the best ways to thicken refried beans. With just a little bit of potato, you can take your refried beans from runny and thin to thick and creamy.

Furthermore, you can thicken refried beans using potato flakes or leftover mashed potato.

How to Thicken Refried Beans using Mashed Potato

Making refried beans just a bit thicker is achievable with mashed potatoes! All you have to do is add some cooked, mashed potatoes to your refried beans and mix until evenly combined.

This little trick works because the starch in potato helps to thicken any excess liquid.

The ratio of potato to beans depends on how thick you want your beans to be. Try adding a few tablespoons at first and then increasing each time until you reach your desired consistency.

Adding salt and pepper will also help bring out flavor and balance out the sweetness of the mash.

5. Frying the Leftover Refried Beans

Frying the leftover refried beans is a great way to further thicken them up and create an even creamier texture.

Thicken Refried Beans By ReFrying
Thicken Refried Beans By ReFrying

How to Thicken Refried Beans By ReFrying

If you have any remaining refried beans, you can pour them into a frying pan over medium-high heat.

As the beans fry, they will thicken up and become even smoother. Be sure to stir frequently to avoid burning!

You can add a bit of oil or butter for extra flavor and creaminess. You can also add spices or herbs like cumin, oregano, paprika or garlic powder for a bit of extra flavor.

6. Try Using Guar Gum To Thicken The Refried Beans

The sixth trick for thickening your refried beans is to try using guar gum. Guar gum is a natural ingredient that acts as a thickening agent, so it’s perfect for creating a smooth and creamy consistency.

How to Thicken Refried Beans using Guar Gum

It’s not widely available in supermarkets but you can buy it online. When you’re ready to use the guar gum, start by adding just a tiny pinch—if you add too much, your recipe will become goopy instead!

When done right, guar gum helps create the perfect texture of mildly thickened refried beans. Plus, when cooked into cooked food like this one, it has no noticeable flavor at all!

7. Thicken Refried Beans using Butter

Thickening refried beans using butter is a great way to give them a creamy, delicious texture. To thicken the beans, you’ll need butter, either melted or softened.

How to Thicken Refried Beans using Butter

You can start by heating the butter in a pan and adding the refried beans into it until the bean mixture is at your preferred consistency. Once boiled and reduced, the butter coats each bean for flavor and thickness.

Lastly, as you heat up your refried beans using butter stir constantly so they don’t get burnt! This way you’ll ensure that your refried beans have an optimal thickening and a loverly buttery taste added to your beans.