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These crispy pan-fried tortillas are stuffed with melty cheese and refried beans for totally perfect refried bean tacos. Made with only four ingredients you probably already have on hand, these vegetarian tacos are so easy to throw together, and the whole family will love them. Get creative with your favorite toppings and throw this easy Mexican recipe into the rotation!

Overhead view of crispy cheesy refried bean tacos on parchment paper covering a wooden table with pico and cilantro.

What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • The textures in these refried bean tacos are EVERYTHING. Delightfully crisp and crunchy taco shells, with a creamy and flavorful refried bean filling. Perfect for Meatless Mondays AND Taco Tuesdays alike!
  • They’re super easy to make. Seriously. There’s only a handful of ingredients, and the most complicated part is frying the shells. If you can put food in a hot skillet, though, you can totally handle this!
  • One of the best things about any type of tacos is their potential! The flavor options are endless because you can literally put anything at all in them. Use my cheese & bean taco recipe as a base and add spicy mayo, crisp lettuce, refreshing pico, tangy onions, or anything else you like.

Key Ingredients

Refried Beans – Canned refried beans make this recipe even easier, but you can absolutely use homemade refried beans instead. I’ve got a perfect recipe for Instant Pot Refried Beans on the blog. Refried black beans will also work here!

Corn Tortillas – The key to really, really crispy tacos is to use corn tortillas, not flour. You can use flour tortillas if you prefer them, of course, but fried corn tortillas give you that incredible crunch that pairs so well with the creamy refried beans.

Chef’s Tips

  • Don’t skip the seasonings. Canned refried beans are good, but the spices make them next-level, much more like what you’d get in a restaurant instead of the grocery store. All you need is a little salt and a little cumin – so simple!
  • These refried bean tacos are best when they’re fresh, so I don’t really recommend making them ahead of time. If you do have leftovers, refrigerate them in an airtight container without any toppings, then bake them or air fry them to reheat. They won’t be quite as crispy but they’ll still taste good!
  • For really crispy taco shells, lay them on a wire cooling rack to drain the oil after pan-frying them. A plate lined with a paper towel will totally work, but the tacos will be laying in that hot oil that drains off, which can sometimes make them a little soggy on that side. If they’re on a cooling rack, the oil drips off and away from the tacos.

More Mexican-Inspired Recipes You’ll Love

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik
5 from 10 votes

Crispy Cheesy Refried Bean Tacos

Prep 15 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 30 minutes
These crispy pan-fried tortillas are stuffed with melty cheese and refried beans. Made with only four ingredients you probably already have on hand, these vegetarian tacos are so easy to throw together, and the whole family will love them. Get creative with your favorite toppings and throw this easy Mexican recipe into the rotation!
12 tacos


  • Medium bowl
  • Silicone spatula
  • Large skillet
  • Tongs or spatula
  • Plate lined with paper towels or wire cooling rack over paper towels


  • 1 16-ounce can refried beans or make your own
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • neutral oil like avocado oil, for frying
  • 2 cups freshly shredded cheese Mexican-style or cheddar


  • Empty can of refried beans into medium bowl. Add ¼ teaspoon cumin and ½ teaspoon salt, then stir well until mixture is very smooth.
  • Place 2 tablespoons bean mixture in center of 1 corn tortilla and flatten to fill tortilla, then add shredded cheese. Fold tortilla in half and set aside. Repeat until all tacos have been formed.
  • Add thin layer of neutral oil to large skillet and heat over medium heat.
  • Once oil is hot, gently placed folded tacos in skillet in one flat layer. Cook tacos 3 minutes or until crisped and golden brown on bottom. Press down on tacos if needed to hold shell closed.
  • Use tongs or spatula to flip tacos over. Cook another 2 to 3 minutes or until crisped and golden brown.
  • Transfer tacos to plate lined with paper towels or to wire cooling rack over paper towels. Let oil drain while cooking any remaining tacos. Once drained, add desired toppings and serve.
  • Refried Beans: You can also use refried black beans if you prefer.
  • Suggested Toppings: Guacamole, spicy mayonnaise, sour cream, lettuce, jalapeños, bell peppers, pico de gallo, taco sauce, onions, cilantro.
  • Make it Vegan/Dairy Free: Use vegan cheese.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1tacoCalories: 149calProtein: 7gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 456mgPotassium: 65mgTotal Carbs: 16gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gNet Carbs: 13gVitamin A: 155IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 157mgIron: 1mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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  1. The only thing I did different was I added cheese to the beans while cooking and about a tablespoon or 2 of the juice from the jar or can of pickled jalapeños5 stars

  2. These were great! I saw some ask about air frying and tortillas cracking so I’ll share what worked for me. I cooked them in the air fryer instead. I cooked them at 400 degrees for 8 minutes, flipping halfway. I sprayed them with a little oil before cooking them. Came out great! As for the tortillas breaking, I wrapped them all in damp paper towels and put them in the microwave for 60 seconds. None of mine cracked after that. Hope that info helps!5 stars

  3. Oh my gosh these were so good, I am going to try my beef tacos like that next time.. my husband said they taste just like our favorite taco place we usually go to..5 stars

    1. Hi, Kenzie! Are you using soft corn tortillas? You can try steaming them in the microwave (layered between damp paper towels) to soften them a little.

  4. I shredded cooked chicken in my chopper. Reduced beans to 1 tbs, added chicken and cheese. I used avocado oil and white corn shells. We are in love. Very delicious!5 stars

    1. I have a feeling they’d be great in the air fryer! We didn’t test that method so I can’t recommend a time or temperature, unfortunately. Please let us know if you give it a try!

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