Vegan Refried Beans: Delicious and Protein-Rich Recipe

Are you looking for a delicious and easy vegan recipe that is packed with flavor and protein? Look no further than this vegan refried beans recipe! Refried beans are a staple in many Latin American cuisines and are traditionally made with lard, but fear not, this recipe replaces animal products with healthier alternatives without sacrificing any of the taste.

Whether you want to pair it with rice, pile on top of nachos, or make it into a burrito bowl, these vegan refried beans will be a hit at your next meal. This recipe uses simple ingredients like garlic, onion, and canned pinto beans to create a creamy and flavorful dish that can be customized to your liking.

Not only is this recipe delicious and easy to make, but it’s also a great way to sneak in some extra protein and fiber into your diet. By using canned beans, this recipe comes together quickly making it perfect for busy weeknight dinners or meal prep.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your olive oil and canned beans and let’s get cooking these delicious vegan refried beans!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vegan Refried Beans
Vegan Refried Beans

I am proud to present you with my vegan refried beans recipe, which never fails to satisfy both the health-conscious and foodies alike. This recipe is perfect for vegans and those who are lactose intolerant, as it doesn’t contain animal products or dairy.

What makes this recipe unique is its simplicity and convenience. You can use canned beans, which saves you the time spent soaking and boiling the dried pinto or black beans. With just a minimal effort and only fifteen ingredients, you can whip up a bowl of refried beans that tastes better than any store-bought versions.

But does simplicity come at the expense of taste? Absolutely not! In fact, vegan refried beans are just as delicious as their traditional counterparts since they maintain most of their original flavor. They are creamy, rich in texture, mildly spicy (if desired), and bursting with garlic aromas.

One of the best things about these vegan refried beans is that they make great substitutes for lard or other animal fats often used in traditional recipes. Instead of using unhealthy saturated fats, such as lard or bacon grease, you can opt for olive oil or avocado oil which will boost your omega 3 intake while keeping the flavor intact.

This recipe will become a staple in your diet because of its versatility. Use it as a dip for chips or veggies, make bean quesadillas, burritos or add it to your favorite Mexican dishes. The options are endless!

Overall, if you’re looking for an easy vegan refried beans recipe that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare and is guaranteed to be healthier than the traditional kind without sacrificing taste, then look no further!

Ingredient List

 A scoop of these vegan refried beans will make your heart happy!
A scoop of these vegan refried beans will make your heart happy!

Here is the complete list of ingredients needed to make vegan refried beans:
Ingredient Set 1:

  • 2 cans of pinto beans: Using canned beans is great as it saves time and makes this dish quick and easy to prepare.
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil: This light oil enhances the flavor profile without being too greasy.
  • 1 small yellow onion: This aromatic ingredient adds a slightly sweet, earthy flavor to the dish.
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced: Adding garlic to your recipe not only elevates the taste of the dish but also have some incredible health benefits.

Ingredient Set 2:

  • 1/4 cup of vegetable broth powder: If you want this recipe to be oil-free, you can substitute vegetable broth powder for olive oil.
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of chili powder: This smoky spice adds depth and complexity to the recipe.
  • 1 bay leaf: This herb adds a subtle layer of flavor that complements the other ingredients perfectly.

Ingredient Set 3:

  • 2 cups cooked pinto beans (see note)
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil

Note: if you prefer not to use canned beans or want to cook your own pinto beans from scratch, you will need approximately one pound of dried pinto beans.

The Recipe How-To

 No animals were harmed in the making of these delicious refried beans.
No animals were harmed in the making of these delicious refried beans.

Now that we have all the ingredients gathered and ready, it’s time to start cooking the Vegan Refried Beans. There are a few ways to make this recipe so I will give you different options.

Stovetop Method

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat.

  2. Once the oil is hot, add 1 small diced yellow onion and sauté until translucent.

  3. Add 4 cloves minced garlic to the onions and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.

  4. Pour in 2 15-ounce cans of pinto beans, with their liquid, into the pot and stir to combine.

  5. Add 1 bay leaf and season with 1 ½ teaspoons of salt and 1/4 cup of chili powder.

  6. Pour in 2 cups of vegetable broth or water.

  7. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer for 45 minutes.

  8. After 45 minutes, remove the bay leaf and blend the beans using an immersion blender or transfer them to a blender and pulse until desired consistency.

  9. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Instant Pot Method

  1. Rinse and drain 1 pound of dry pinto beans.

  2. Add rinsed beans to your instant pot along with 6 cups of water or vegetable broth, 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 2 teaspoons of cumin, one small diced white onion, and 4 cloves of minced garlic.

  3. Cover your instant pot with its lid according to instructions. Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes then use natural release method for another 15 minutes.

  4. Once done, discard bay leaf then transfer half (or amount preferred) of cooked beans roughly with slotted spoon to another dish while keeping some broth behind in instant pot making refried process easier.

  5. Add 1 tablespoon avocado oil in your instant pot over medium high heat once hot enough add remaining garlic cook for about 10-20 seconds.

  6. Put all cooked beans on your instapot again then proceed to mash them up with hand held immersion blender or submersion blender inside instant pot while slowly adding back some broth until it reaches preferred consistency like any signicant lumps broke down completely and has smoother texture around 3-5 mins stirring occasionally – note that they will thicken as they sit too!

  7. When finished you can add salt pepper any other seasoning as desired before serving or store for later use either way is delicious!

You can now use your freshly made Refried Beans on your favorite dishes such as bean burrito bowl, [bean quesadilla recipe](

Substitutions and Variations

 Win over any carnivore with this vegan twist on a classic dish.
Win over any carnivore with this vegan twist on a classic dish.

Are you looking to add a twist to your Vegan Refried Beans recipe? Look no further, as I have some substitutions and variations that will take your dish to the next level.

If you want to switch things up in terms of oils, feel free to use avocado oil instead of olive oil. It adds a nuttier flavor and is known for its health benefits, such as being full of monounsaturated fats that can benefit heart health.

In place of garlic cloves, you could also use garlic powder or minced garlic from a jar. These ingredients are already prepared and ready to use, making your cooking process quicker and easier.

For the beans, aside from using canned black beans or pinto beans, you can also experiment with other types of beans such as kidney beans or navy beans. Each bean variety comes with its unique texture and taste, so don’t be scared to try them out.

If you want to go oil-free or avoid using lard, vegetable broth is an excellent substitute that adds depth to the flavor without the fat. You can make your vegetable broth at home by simmering vegetables (such as carrots, celery, onions) with water and seasonings (garlic powder, bay leaves) for at least an hour.

If you’re looking to spice things up a bit and add some extra smoky flavors, try adding chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. They’re readily available in most grocery stores and can be used in countless Mexican dishes.

For serving suggestions or pairing inspiration, I recommend trying this dish as a dip with tortilla chips or a topping for baked sweet potatoes – it makes for an easy lunch option! You could also use the Vegan Refried Beans as a filling for a burrito or quesadilla together with other vegan ingredients like avocado or vegan cheese.

Overall, these substitutions and variations grant you flexibility in terms of what ingredients and flavors you can add to your Vegan Refried Beans recipe while still remaining true to its traditional tastes.

Serving and Pairing

 These refried beans are so good, you won't even miss the cheese!
These refried beans are so good, you won’t even miss the cheese!

Once your vegan refried beans are ready, you’ll need to decide what dish to pair them with. These versatile beans are a delicious addition to any plant-based meal and can be served in so many different ways.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy vegan refried beans is as a side dish to go alongside other Mexican-style dishes like tacos or enchiladas. The creamy texture and savory flavor of the refried beans provide a great complement to spicier dishes.

Another great way to enjoy these vegan refried beans is to use them as a filling for burritos or quesadillas. You can add some sautéed veggies, vegan cheese, and your favorite hot sauce for a super satisfying and flavorful dish.

If you’re looking for a lighter option, try adding vegan refried beans as a topping for a salad or using them as a dip with some tortilla chips. You can also make bean dip or a bean quesadilla by combining the vegan refried beans with some salsa, avocado and optionally sprinkle some chipotle for spice.

You can also serve these vegan refried beans as a main dish by adding some brown rice, vegan cheese, and diced veggies on top for an easy and protein-packed meal.

Overall, there are endless possibilities when it comes to serving and pairing vegan refried beans. Be creative and experiment with different combinations until you find your favorite!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Enjoy a plant-based twist on a traditional Mexican staple with these vegan refried beans.
Enjoy a plant-based twist on a traditional Mexican staple with these vegan refried beans.

One of the best things about this vegan refried beans recipe is that you can easily make a big batch ahead of time and store it for later use. When stored properly in an airtight container, the refried beans can last up to 5 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.

To reheat the beans, simply transfer them to a pan and heat over medium heat while stirring frequently. You can also add a splash of water or vegetable broth if the beans seem too thick. Alternatively, you can microwave them on high heat in 30-45 second intervals until heated through.

It’s also worth noting that since these vegan refried beans don’t contain any animal products or lard, they won’t solidify as they cool down like traditional refried beans would. This means that you won’t need to add any additional liquid when reheating them.

So go ahead and make a big batch of these delicious vegan refried beans and enjoy them throughout the week! They make a great addition to any burrito bowl, dip, or vegan quesadilla.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Give your next burrito bowl the ultimate upgrade with these mouthwatering beans.
Give your next burrito bowl the ultimate upgrade with these mouthwatering beans.

When it comes to making vegan refried beans, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you achieve perfection. Here are some of my tried and true methods to ensure your vegan refried beans turn out velvety and full of flavor every time.

Firstly, be sure to use high-quality ingredients. This means using the freshest garlic cloves, yellow onion, and cans of pinto beans. If you have the time, it’s always best to cook the beans from scratch as this will enhance the flavor and texture of your refried beans.

Next, consider using vegetable broth instead of water when cooking the beans. This will add extra depth of flavor to your dish. Additionally, if you’re aiming for an oil-free vegan refried beans recipe, you can use avocado oil instead of olive oil.

One important tip many people overlook is to avoid over-mashing the beans. While it’s tempting to mash them until they’re completely smooth, over-mashing can result in a gummy consistency. To avoid this, use a fork or potato masher instead of a blender or food processor.

If you’re looking for a hearty meal, consider serving your homemade vegan refried beans with white or brown rice, fresh avocado slices, and salsa. You can also try them in a bean burrito bowl, bean quesadilla recipe or even as a dip for chips at your next gathering.

Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations by adding in spices like chipotle powder or cumin. By incorporating these flavors into your dish, you’ll elevate the taste and make it uniquely yours.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to create the best substitute for traditional animal product-laden refried beans with ease every time.


Now that you have learned how to make these delicious Vegan Refried Beans, you might have wondered about some common questions on this recipe. I’ll be answering a few frequently asked questions about this dish in this section. Whether it’s substituting ingredients, making ahead and reheating, or serving suggestions, these FAQs will help you master this vegan refried beans recipe with ease.

What is the best substitute for lard in refried beans?

When substituting for lard in a recipe, butter is a great option to consider. If the recipe doesn’t specify, it’s best to use unsalted butter as a substitute. However, there are other alternatives you can use such as shortening or different types of oils like coconut, vegetable, or olive.

What makes refried beans not vegan?

It’s a common misconception that all refried beans are vegan, but unfortunately, that’s not the case. In fact, many brands and recipes include lard, which is an animal-based fat, making them unsuitable for both vegans and vegetarians alike.

What is the difference between refried beans and vegan refried beans?

When it comes to refried beans, it’s essential to ensure that the ingredients are vegan-friendly. In most cases, traditional brands rely on animal products such as lard to make a creamy and savory dish. However, we have an excellent vegetarian version that’s also vegan, so no need to worry! Our recipe uses soybean oil to maintain the same smooth texture and delicious taste you adore.

Which refried beans are vegan?

Looking for a scrumptious plant-based side dish that’s free from animal products and loaded with healthy benefits? Look no further than Amy’s Traditional Refried Beans. Filled with mild spices and a whopping 6 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein per serving, these vegan refried beans are a delicious and nutritious addition to any meal. You can get your hands on this savory dish right here.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, vegan refried beans are a versatile and flavorful dish that show how easy it can be to enjoy plant-based foods. This recipe is perfect for using leftover beans or canned beans that you have in your pantry. With some basic ingredients and a bit of know-how, you can whip up a delicious pot of vegan refried beans in no time. The best part is they are animal product-free, making them an ethical choice for anyone looking to reduce their carbon footprint.

So why not give this vegan refried beans recipe a try? You’ll be surprised at how delicious and satisfying it can be. Plus, with so many different ways to serve them, you can enjoy them as a dip or as an addition to your favorite meals. Whether it’s bean burrito bowls or vegan quesadillas, these vegan refried beans are sure to impress.

I hope this recipe has inspired you to try more plant-based meals and experiment with different ingredients in the kitchen. Every small step towards living a more sustainable lifestyle counts, and what better way than to start with food? Thank you for reading, and happy cooking!

Vegan Refried Beans

Vegan Refried Beans Recipe

I've never looked at a recipe for refried beans, and I've never attempted to make them before. So with this recipe, I was just wingin' it and they turned out rather tasty. Adjust flavors with some jalapenos, chili powder, or whatever you like. If the color throws you (it is rather dark), use kidney or pinto beans.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican/Vegan
Servings 3 cups
Calories 431.8 kcal


  • 2 (14 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  • Pour the beans in a food processor and pulse to blend.
  • Once most of the beans are mashed up, keep the processor running and slowly drizzle in the olive oil.
  • Add the garlic, salt and pepper and let the beans blend for at least 3 minutes, making sure it's nice and smooth.
  • Scrape the beans into a small saucepan and place over low heat, stirring often, until the beans are warmed through.
  • Taste to adjust for more salt or pepper.
  • Serve hot with tortialla chips or Spanish rice as a side, or smear into a tortilla with some veggies for a burrito -- or just eat them right out of the pot.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 606gCalories: 431.8kcalCarbohydrates: 63.4gProtein: 23.6gFat: 10.4gSaturated Fat: 1.6gSodium: 3.2mgFiber: 23.1g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Beans, Black Beans, Easy, Healthy, Inexpensive, Low Cholesterol, Mexican, Vegan
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