How to Fry Canned Beans

Canned beans are high in fiber, vitamins and antioxidants and are also an easy-to-store and convenient staple for any pantry. Frying canned beans is a quick and simple way to heat them through without adding a lot of fat or calories. Cooking canned beans in a whisper of olive oil keeps them from sticking to the pan while adding some heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. You can cook canned beans with almost any combination of spices, herbs, vegetables and maybe a little meat for flavoring and come out with a surprisingly pleasing result.

Red beans in a skillet on top of a turquoise work surface. (Image: AlexeyBorodin/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Open the bean cans and pour the beans into a mesh strainer. Canned beans are often packed with a lot of sodium and oil, so draining them helps cut down on their sodium and fat content.

Step 2

Rinse the beans well in cool water and let them sit in the mesh strainer for three to five minutes to drain.

Step 3

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat for 30 to 45 seconds.

Step 4

Add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. Let it heat just until you can smell the oil's scent.

Step 5

Put the drained and rinsed canned beans into the hot oil.

Step 6

Fry the beans for five to seven minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are heated through. Mash the beans with a fork or potato masher if you're making refried beans.

Things You'll Need

  • Mesh strainer

  • Skillet

  • Olive oil

  • Wooden spoon


Add chopped onions, garlic, chopped chili peppers and herbs to your fried beans for a spicier result.


Never try to cook beans in a can because it could explode.

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