The Pretend Chef

Nigerian Refried Beans

tasty Nigerian Refried beans

Beans, Porridge/Pudding, vegetarian | August 27, 2017 | By

Refried beans is a staple Mexican dish where it is called Frijoles refritos meaning well-fried beans though it is usually literally translated Refried beans that is beans fried twice. Refried beans is not new to the Nigerian cuisine and though it is not called refried beans in Nigeria, we fry our beans from time to time.

It reminds me so much of aganyin beans, maybe somebody copied the other who knows? Mexicans use lard while Nigerians use palm oil.

So, I was going to make Ripe Plantain empanada and wanted something different from the usual Minced meat or egg filling and I thought ewa and dodo (Beans and fried plantain), my favourite food in the boarding school. I thought why not, they go so beautifully well. Refried beans fitted exactly what I was craving, with the addition of tomato making it well-rounded, a combination of beans, Nigerian stew and fried plantain, simply awesome and totally a meal-on-the-go.

tasty Nigerian Refried beans

To prepare refried beans

1 cup beans
2 tablespoons palm oil (or vegetable oil)
1 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Seasoning cube
1 scotch bonnet or 1 teaspoon dry chilli powder
1 tablespoon tomato paste

Pick the beans over, removing stones and bits, wash beans.

Place beans in a pot with enough water to cover it about 1 inch above, add little chopped onions.

Boil until the beans is very soft. The water should have dried by now.

boiled beans for Nigerian Refried beans

Use a potato masher, fork or wooden spoon, mash the beans into a pulp. Set aside.

mashed beans in a plate Nigerian Refried beans

In a frying pan over medium heat, add oil, when hot, add onions and fry until softened.

onions frying Nigerian Refried beans

Add garlic, salt, pepper and tomato paste. Stir and fry until fragrant.

onions and tomato frying Nigerian Refried beans

Pour in the mashed beans and fry for about 5 minutes.

Take off the heat and serve.


Serve Nigerian refried beans on its own or as a side for fried, boiled or roasted plantain, soaked garri, white rice with Nigerian tomato stew, jollof rice, bread, toast, East African chapati, vegetable chapati, yam etc. It can also be used to fill Ripe plantain dough empanada, green plantain empanada, burrito, tortilla etc.

tasty Nigerian Refried beans


  • If you have a pressure pot, use it to cook the beans and reduce the cooking time.
  • You can add nchuanwu (scent leaf), Uziza leaf or curry leaves (pathminger).
  • You can use canned beans if that is all you have, in which case use meat broth to cook or add extra seasoning cube to your Refried beans for additional flavour.
  • If using refried beans to fill empanadas, it should be thick, moist but not fluid.
  • If using refried beans to eat bread, it should be more fluid.
  • If you are serving it as a side for rice, plantain or on its own, add cubes of meat or dry fish, liver, mushroom or bacon.

If you enjoyed my Ripe Plantain Empanada, you will also enjoy my Adalu (Beans and Corn porridge), Pigeon pea in coconut milk, Beef Liver sauce and Fiofio, Pigeon pea.

Do you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please leave a comment below.

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