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Plant-Based Refried Beans (Vegan)

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Plant-based vegan refried beans are one of the best side-dishes around.

Quick, easy and super flavourful. And incredibly good-for-you. No oil or additional fat is required to prepare this recipe.

Refried beans are also great for use as a dip, spread, pate as well as enriching buddha and taco bowls.

Plant-based vegan refried beans

Contrary to traditional refried beans my plant-based vegan refried beans are low in cholesterol and saturated fats, and have no added salt, oil or fats.

Vegan refried beans are a savoury umami delicious bowl of plant-based goodness.

This recipe is so good that my son literally eats the beans by the bowlful. Which I am more than happy about as a serving of these beans provide an estimated 4mg iron and 18g protein. And as these beans have lots of fibre they can help keep us full up for longer, something which is difficult to achieve with a teenage boy!

What are refried beans?

Refried beans originate in Mexico and have been around for about 100 years. They are also a traditional dish in many Latin American countries. As well as being a popular Tex-Mex dish.

Tex-Mex is a blend of Texan, from the Tejanos people of Texas who are descended from Hispanic settlers, and Mexico cuisine.

The ingredients for refried beans are slightly different depending on the region. But the basic preparation remains similar.

Contrary to the name refried beans are not actually fried twice. Which is what I always presumed.

Instead beans, commonly pinto, black or kidney beans, are cooked until soft then mashed, seasoned and fried in lard or oil.

For my vegan refried bean recipe I use whatever beans I have to hand such as kidney, pinto, black, chickpeas, haricot, cannellini, borlotti, etc.

Sometimes I use a single bean or a mix. I have even used a can of bean salad which had pieces of chopped pepper and sweetcorn and the result was delicious.

plant-based vegan refried beans

Recipe notes and FAQs

Vegan refried bean serving ideas

  1. Use refried beans as a base or spread for enchiladas, burritos, wraps, pitta breads, sandwiches, romaine lettuce wraps, etc.
  2. Spread some refried beans on to whole-wheat crackers or use as a topping for my easy Scottish oatcakes. I have Oil-free oatcake recipes to!
  3. Salads and buddha/taco bowls are delicious with a dollop of refried beans.
  4. Top a veggie burger with some refried beans.
  5. Prepare my fat-free easy delicious carrot-dogs and use refried beans as a topping.
  6. Create a Tex-Mex inspired pizza! Sub out the tomato sauce base and use vegan refried beans instead.
  7. Prepare some refried bean quesadillas which is essentially a tortilla toastie. Add veggies and some plant-based cheese and cook on a non-stick pan until toasted. Delicious.
  8. Use refried beans as a dip for veggie sticks, bread sticks, homemade crispy tortilla chips, etc.
  9. Refried beans can be the starter for a special meal. Use refried beans to replace pate. Serve the refried beans in little pots or tiny jars.
  10. Add a scoop of refried beans to your favourite veggie chilli recipe for a flavour and nutrition boost.

Very Simple And Quick Method

Plant-based vegan refried beans

Plant-Based Refried Beans (Vegan)

The easiest, tastiest side-dish, dip, snack or spread!
Plant-based vegan refried beans are amazingly good-for-you and bursting with flavour.
This recipe is sure to become a new favourite.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Side Dish, Snack, Starter
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 253kcal
Author: Jacq


  • Sauté pan/skillet pan/frying pan.
  • Potato masher or fork


  • 600 grams mixed beans About 2-3 400 gram (14oz) cans, drained. Or the equivalent of cooked beans. Use a single bean or a mixture.
  • 375 ml bean water Use the canned bean water or cooking liquid from pre-cooked beans. Although if the canned water has added salt you may prefer to use plain water.
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp smoky paprika or 1 tsp + of chilli powder for an extra spicy refried beans.
  • 1 tbsp liquid aminos try 2 tsp at first and add an extra if desired.
  • ½ vegan stock cube
  • 25 grams nutritional yeast flakes More if preferred.


  • Add everything to a pan.
    Mix well.
    Bring to a simmer.
  • Lower the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
    Stir frequently.
  • Mash the refried beans. I like to keep some beans semi-mashed for texture.
    Cook while stirring frequently for a few more minutes.
    Add a tiny bit more liquid if required.
  • Taste the seasoning.
    Add more nutritional yeast or aminos to taste.
    Add cracked black pepper if liked.
    The refried beans generally don't need added salt.
  • Serve or cool and keep in the fridge for later.


Recipe notes:
  1.  Store refried beans in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Serve chilled or warmed through. Place in a pan, add a tiny splash of liquid if needed, and gently heat through.
  2. Use as a spread or bean pate for crackers, oatcakes, bread, tortilla wraps, pitta breads, etc. 
  3. Refried beans are an amazingly tasty dip for salad sticks, tortilla chips, potato wedges, etc.
  4. Add a dollop to taco bowls, buddha bowls, filled tortillas, enchiladas, fajitas, etc.
  5. This recipe serves 4 as a side dish, but will provide more than 4 if used as a spread or dip.


Calories: 253kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 329mg | Potassium: 830mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 493IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 76mg | Iron: 4mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

More tasty vegan side-dishes

 World War 2 Vegan Champ A tasty economical British traditional mash of potatoes, carrots and cabbage. So yummy.

Vegan Traditional Scottish Skirlie A skillet/fry-pan dish prepared with pinhead oatmeal, onions, nutritional yeast, herbs and stock. No additional fat necessary for this recipe.

Vegan Rice-A-Roni A classic rice and pasta dish that has been enriched with kidney beans and bell peppers. One of our all-time family favourites.

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20 thoughts on “Plant-Based Refried Beans (Vegan)”

  1. 5 stars
    LOVE refried beans and eat them all the time, but had never thought of making my own – thanks for a great recipe!

    1. Your welcome! Making your own is so much more enjoyable and tastier. And if you use already cooked beans it is so quick to prepare a batch 🙂

    1. Awesome! So glad you enjoyed the refried beans. They are certainly a flavour bomb and super quick and easy. Great for a side-dish if your a little stuck on what to make and don’t have much fresh ingredients in 🙂

    1. Glad you loved the refried beans. This recipe is my sons favourite he literally eats several bowlfuls in the one sitting! 🙂

    1. Yummy! So do I. And my son loves these refried beans spread on a tortilla wrap with salad and veggies added for school pack lunch. So good!

  2. Marie-Charlotte Chatelain

    5 stars
    Vegan refried beans? This sounds amazing! What an amazing idea – love how savory it sounds

    1. Thanks! These re-fried beans are amazingly savoury with deep umami flavours. This recipe even wins over those who are not that keen on beans 🙂

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