Refried Beans (Easy + Vegan)

April 30, 2019

Appetizers and Sides

By: Chris Petrellese 

Today we are keeping it simple and showing you how to cook up refried beans at home. They’re easy and take less than 10 minutes to make. Plus, they require just 5 simple ingredients. After trying these, chances are you’ll say goodbye to canned refried beans forever.

Simple refried beans in a bowl topped with cheese and cilantro by Sweet Simple Vegan

An ingredient that we always have in our pantry is refried beans. We love using it for quick and easy meals, such as buddha bowls, burritos, nachos and even in homemade quesadillas. It seems like the options are endless and it is the perfect way to pack flavor into a meal when we don’t know have much to cook up.

We thought that it was finally time that we made our own refried beans for the blog, especially because they are so easy to make. Let’s dive in!

Ingredients for refried beans: pinto beans, oil, chipotle, onion powder, garlic and lime.

To make this recipe, all that you need is pinto beans, olive oil, garlic, onion powder (or fresh onions), and lime juice. We added chipotle chili powder to ours as well because we had it on hand, but it is totally optional!

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make these perfect refried beans!

Cooking garlic in a pan with olive oil to made refried beans by Sweet Simple Vegan

In a medium skillet over medium heat, add in the olive oil. Once warmed, add in the minced garlic and sauté until softened, about 2 t0 3 minutes.

Pinto Beans in a pan with spices and garlic to make refried beans by Sweet Simple Vegan

Add in the pinto beans, water, lime juice, onion powder, and chipotle chili powder.

Squeezing lime into a pan of refried beans by Sweet Simple Vegan

Use 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of lime, as desired to taste.

Using a potato masher to make refried beans in a pan by Sweet Simple Vegan

Using a fork or a potato masher, mash the mixture together until it reaches your desired consistency.

Using a potato masher to make refried beans in a pan by Sweet Simple VeganSmooth Refried Beans; Using a potato masher to make refried beans in a pan by Sweet Simple Vegan

Add more water if needed. We did not need any more than the 2 tablespoons called for in the recipe but we know that some people like runnier refried beans so just add more based on your judgement. Vegetable broth also works well in place of the water and will bring additional flavor to the dish.

Taste the refried beans add salt and additional seasonings as desired.

Close up of Simple refried beans in a bowl topped with cheese and cilantro by Sweet Simple Vegan

A few notes:

  • The amount of salt that you will need to add will depend on whether or not your beans are salted. We suggest tasting the refried beans before salting it to be sure.
  • If you would like for these beans to be creamier, add in an additional tablespoon or two of olive oil in step 1.
  • Fresh onions work in this recipe as well! Instead of 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder, use 1/2 cup finely minced onions and sauté them with the garlic in step 1 until translucent.
  • Vegetable broth also works well in place of the water and will bring additional flavor to the dish.

Side angle of Simple refried beans in a bowl topped with cheese and cilantro by Sweet Simple Vegan

If you’re looking for more dishes to serve alongside these refried beans, we’ve got you covered!

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you recreate any of our recipes, we love to see your photos!

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Side angle of Simple refried beans in a bowl topped with cheese and cilantro by Sweet Simple Vegan

Refried Beans (Easy + Vegan)


  • Author: Chris @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 3 servings

Description

Learn how to make refried beans at home with 5 ingredients and less than 10 minutes! After trying these, chances are you’ll say goodbye to canned refried beans forever.


Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or cooking oil of choice)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans
  • 2 tablespoons water (or as needed)
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder* (see notes)
  • Salt, to taste *(see notes)

Optional Add Ins

  • 2 tablespoons salsa of choice
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cumin (or to taste)
  • Fresh black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, add in the olive oil. Once warmed, add in the minced garlic and sauté until softened, about 2 t0 3 minutes.
  2. Add in the pinto beans, water, lime juice, onion powder, and chipotle chili powder, Mix through and then using a fork or a potato masher, mash the mixture together until it reaches your desired consistency. Add more water if needed to reach your desired consistency.
  3. Taste the refried beans add salt and additional seasonings as desired. Enjoy!

Notes

  • The amount of salt that you will need to add will depend on whether or not your beans are salted. We suggest tasting the refried beans before salting it to be sure.
  • If you would like for these beans to be creamier, add in an additional tablespoon or two of olive oil in step 1.
  • Fresh onions work in this recipe as well! Instead of 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder, use 1/2 cup finely minced onions and sauté them with the garlic in step 1 until translucent.
  • Vegetable broth works well in place of the water and will bring additional flavor to the dish.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 minutes
  • Category: Sides
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican, Vegan

Keywords: Mexican, Vegan, Gluten-free, Pinto Beans, Sides

Nutrition facts label provided by Nutri Fox.

Disclaimer: The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional’s advice. This page may contain affiliate links, which simply means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!

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Recipe rating

  1. […] eat a ridiculous number of breakfast tacos. I think Jasmine and Chris’ vegan refried beans may need to become a new staple […]

  2. […] eat a ridiculous number of breakfast tacos. I think Jasmine and Chris’ vegan refried beans may need to become a new staple […]

  3. […] Vegan Refried Beans, Guacamole, and/or Salsa […]

  4. I really enjoyed it! I put the refried home cooked pintos on a Cassava tortilla with some green salsa from Trader Joe’s & quacamole. A little gluten free beer…..Best Taco Tuesday I have had in I don’t know when! Thanks you!

  5. Mary says:

    Easy and delicious. My new go-to refried bean recipe.

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