Easy Refried Beans (Frijoles Refritos)

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Easy refried beans (frijoles refritos) are a flavorful classic, and a healthy addition to your burritos, chimichangas, and other Tex Mex meals. It consists of mashed pinto beans, seasoned with onion, garlic, cumin, red bell pepper, and cilantro.

Easy Refried Beans (Frijoles Refritos)

This homemade refried beans recipe is the perfect addition to burritos, chimichangas, tostadas, and as a side for Latin inspired meals. It will be perfect to serve for Cinco De Mayo or other events as a party dip, along with Guacamole, Vegan Olive Dip, Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce, Vegan Cheeseburger Dip, salsa, and chips. 

Easy Refried Beans (Frijoles Refritos)

Cinco De Mayo is coming and this quick and easy dip will surely be a huge hit. Learn to make Refried Beans (Frijoles Refritos) that tastes just like Mexican refried beans and is made with only 7 ingredients. 

Overlay Easy vegan fried rice in a white bowl, garnished with vegan sour cream, vegan cheese, chopped tomatoes, cilantro with a white plate with avocado and tomatoes and a white plate with tostada on a white background

Are Refried Beans Vegan?

Traditional refried beans are usually prepared with lard, but with this refried beans recipe, making your own vegan refried beans is easy.

Are Refried Beans Gluten Free?

There's no need to add any flour or other ingredient containing wheat to refried beans, and beans are naturally gluten-free, making this a perfect dish for those with a gluten-free diet.

Are Refried Beans Healthy?

Refried beans nutrition is downright amazing, and making refried beans from scratch only helps it even more. So what makes refried pinto beans so amazing for you? Loads of protein, fiber, and vitamins and minerals that you need, and it is *naturally* low fat.

In fact, pinto beans contain substantial amounts of over 15 necessary vitamins and minerals, including but not limited to calcium, folate, manganese, potassium, and iron. Read here about how healthy pinto beans are. In conclusion, vegetarian refried beans will be a great addition to your diet that your body will thank you for.

What Ingredients Are In Refried Beans?

  • Olive Oil
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Cumin
  • Pinto Beans
  • Salt
  • Jalapeno 

How To Make Refried Beans?

Cooked and drained beans are mashed up, and then baked or fried with onion, garlic, and other spices, additional liquid if necessary, and traditionally this is when lard, bacon fat, or butter is added, but I use olive oil instead.

I also chose to do this recipe in a slightly different order, by sautéing my vegetables and spices and adding them to the beans, therefore allowing the beans to soak in the flavor, then mashing.

pinto beans for making refried beans

What Kind of Beans Are In Refried Beans?

Traditionally, in the northern parts of Mexico, and in Tex-Mex cuisine, which is what we are used to, pinto beans are used. These are what I used in this recipe, but in other parts of Mexico and Latin America, black beans, kidney beans, and other options are used.

As such, if you happen to not have pinto beans on hand or don't prefer them, this recipe will taste just fine. In the US, the most common substitution is refried black beans.

  • If you choose to use canned beans, use 2 (15 ounces) cans, and drain only one.
  • You can also use 3 cups of cooked beans.

More Amazing Bean Recipes:

vegan refried beans on tostada garnished with vegan sour cream, tomatoes, vegan cheese with slices of avocados and tomatoes on a white background


Categories: ,


121 kcal / 506 kJ
4 g
5 g
16 g
Per serving

Cooking Time

10 min
10 min
Ready in:
20 min
8 Servings




  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and jalapeno pepper, bell peppers, and cumin, and cook for a minute.
  2. Add the pinto beans along with the liquid from one can add salt to taste, and stir. Cook beans for about 2 minutes. Using a potato mash, mash beans to form a chunky paste or process in food processor.

Michelle Blackwood, RN

Hi, I’m Michelle, I’m the voice, content creator and photographer behind Healthier Steps. I share vegan and gluten-free recipes because of past health issues. My goal is to help you make healthier choices and show you how healthy eating is easy and delicious.

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