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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


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.


  • 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


  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!


  • 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