Do Refried Beans Have Dairy? (Answered)

Refried beans were invented in Northern Mexico around 100 years ago and were first commercially available in the United States in the 1930s.

The beans have since become a popular component of many Mexican meals. Given their popularity, many people have questions about what ingredients are in their refried beans.

Below you will learn about the typical ingredients of refried beans including whether they commonly have dairy. Here is what you need to know about refried beans and dairy…

Store-Bought Refried Beans & Dairy

The table below shows 19 store-bought refried bean products along with their ingredients and whether they contain dairy. None of the 19 refried beans that we examined contained dairy. This is a pretty good indication that dairy is not a common ingredient in store-bought refried beans.

Refried BeansDairy (Yes or No)?Ingredients
Rosarita -TraditionalNoCooked Beans, Water, Contains Less Than 2% of the Following: Lard, Salt, Distilled Vinegar, Chili Pepper, Onion Powder, Spices, Natural Flavor, Garlic Powder.
Rosarita Spicy – JalapenoNoCooked Beans, Water, Less Than 2% of: Jalapeno Peppers, Lard, Salt, Distilled Vinegar, Tomato Paste, Chili Pepper, Spices, Onion Powder, Natural Flavor, Garlic Powder
Old El Paso – TraditionalNoCooked Pinto Beans, Water, Contains 2% or Less of: Lard, Salt, Tomato Paste, Cumin, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Chili Pepper, Hydrogenated Lard, Sugar.
Taco Bell – OriginalNoWater, Pinto Beans, Salt, Soybean Oil, Pink Beans, Natural Flavor, Soy Lecithin.
La Preferida – AuthenticNoWater, Pinto Beans, Lard, Salt.
La CostenaNoPrepared Pinto Beans, Water, Soybean Oil, Onion, Salt, Lard, Jalapeno Pepper, Garlic.
Sieta – Vegan Pinto RefriedNoPrepared Beans (Water, Organic Pinto Beans), Avocado Oil, Sea Salt, Organic Paprika, Organic Onion Powder.
Ortega – TraditionalNoCooked Pinto Beans (Water, Pinto Beans), Lard, Salt, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder.
IsadoraNoWater, Mayocoba Beans, Vegetable Oil (Canola Oil and/or Corn Oil), Salt, Natural Flavors and Spices.
Eden Organic – Refried Black BeansNoOrganic Black Beans , Water , Sea Salt.
Ducal – Refried Black BeansNoWater, Black Beans, Blend Of Vegetable Oil (May Contain Soybean, Cottonseed Or Sunflower Oil), Salt, Onion And Garlic.
Malher Refried Black BeansNoWater, Black Beans, Vegetable Oil (Refined Soy Oil), Salt, And Natural Flavors (Garlic And Onion).
San MarcosNoPrecooked Pinto Beans, Water, Salt And Canola Oil.
Goya – RancherosNoCooked Pinto Beans, Water, Tomato Paste, Jalapenos, Salt, Soybean Oil, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Chili Powder (Chili Peppers & Spices), Natural Flavor, Citric Acid and Calcium Chloride.
MadeWith – Vegetarian RefriedNoWater, Organic Pinto Beans, Organic Canola Oil, Sea Salt.
Kroger – TraditionalNoCooked Pinto Beans, Water, Lard and Hydrogenated Lard, Salt, Vinegar, Spices, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Chili Pepper.
365 By Whole Foods Organic Pinto Refried NoOrganic Prepared Pinto Beans, Water, Sea Salt, Organic Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Organic Onion Powder, Organic Chili Pepper, Organic Cumin Powder, Orhanic Oregano Powder, Organic Garlic Powder.
Great Value – TraditionalNoPrepared Pinto Beans, Water, Less Than 2% Of: Lard, Salt, Distilled Vinegar, Onion Powder, Chili Pepper, Cumin, Garlic Powder.

**The above is for informational purposes only. Reference the product labels for the most accurate nutrition, ingredient, and allergen information. Furthermore, we did not verify if any products were made in a facility where dairy cross-contamination might occur. Contact the manufacturer with questions related to dairy cross-contamination if it is a concern for you. **

Homemade Refried Beans & Dairy

We reviewed the ingredients of over 20 refried bean recipes. We found that most recipes contained no dairy. The common non-dairy ingredients used in many homemade refried bean recipes are pinto beans, oil, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and lime juice.

Of the the 20 recipes we reviewed, 3 recipes called for cheese (a dairy ingredients) to be added. However, cheese is an optional ingredient when it comes to refried beans and can easily be substituted out of most recipes. No other dairy products were included as an ingredient in the recipes we reviewed.

*Eden Foods – Frijoles Refritos. (n.d.). Retrieved January 26, 2023, from
*Baird, C. S. (2012, November 17). Why are refried beans cooked twice? Science Questions with Surprising Answers. Retrieved January 26, 2023, from,Taco%20USA%22%20by%20Gustavo%20Arellano.
*Image Credit – Mike Mozart/flickr