Plant-based vegan refried beans are one of the best delicious side-dishes so 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 as a dip, spread, pate or for enriching buddha, taco or salad bowls.
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Contrary to traditional refried beans these plant-based 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 (16g per portion) 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.
Recipe notes and FAQs
Store the beans in a covered container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Serve chilled or gently reheat in a pan, may need a little splash of liquid to avoid sticking to your pan.
These beans can also be frozen in a freezer-proof container for 4-6 months. Defrost at room temperature before storing in the fridge. Give the beans a good mix before using.
Serve alongside this delicious Mexican rice casserole (with a cheesy nacho topping).
Leftover refried beans can be reheated in a pan, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, until piping hot. Add a tablespoon or two of veggie stock if necessary to loosen up the sauce.
Alternatively refried beans are tasty chilled especially with crackers or no-oil cheesy Scottish oatcakes.
Yes. This recipe can easily be prepared gluten-free. Simply ensure that your liquid aminos or soya sauce is gluten-free as well as the veggie stock used. Tamari soya sauce is generally gluten-free.
Yes. Some suggestions:
* cooked sweetcorn
* diced, cooked bell peppers
* cooked onions and/or garlic
* top with sautéed or fried onions
* cooked fine chopped mushrooms
* chopped spring/green onions scattered over finished dish
* pieces of cooked vegan bacon/sausages
* mix through roasted cherry tomatoes just before serving
* tsp or two of liquid smoke for a smoky flavour
* few drops of hot sauce
* sprinkle of grated vegan cheese
* top with grated vegan cheese and place under a grill to melt (in a heat-proof bowl)
* a swirl of vegan sour cream
* toss over some crushed tortilla chips/crisps
* garnish with chopped coriander
* substitute the liquid aminos for soya sauce either regular or tamari soya sauce.
* any cooked bean or bean mix can be used for this recipe
* onion and/or garlic powder can be switched out for pre-cooked onion or garlic
* use regular paprika instead of smoky paprika
*switch out nutritional yeast for vegan grated cheese, although the flavour won’t be as strong
Very Simple And Quick Method
Plant-Based Refried Beans
- Sauté pan/skillet pan/frying pan.
- Potato masher or fork
- 720 grams mixed beans, cooked Use 2-3 400 gram (15oz) cans, drained which will provide around 600-720g (4 ½ cups) cooked beans. If cooking dried beans cook about 2 cups dried beans then proceed with the recipe.
- 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. Or use tamari soya sauce or regular soya sauce.
- ½ vegan stock cube or 1/2 tsp of vegan stock powder/paste
- 25 grams nutritional yeast flakes (about 6 tablespoons) add more or less to taste.
Optional addition (add after cooking finished)
- 2 tsp liquid smoke I do recommend this addition as it adds so much flavour.
- 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. Also 1 or 2 tsps of liquid smoke mixed through after cooking brings so much flavour.The refried beans generally don't need added salt but add some if liked, as well as some black pepper.
- Serve or cool and keep in the fridge for later.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not an exact calculation as ingredients vary. Data is analysed used computerized nutrition apps.
- For less sodium content use low-salt vegan stock.
- Refried beans can be prepared gluten-free is your liquid aminos or soya sauce is gluten-free and your vegan stock is gluten-free. Tamari soya sauce is usually gluten-free.
- 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.
- Use as a spread or bean pate for crackers, oatcakes, bread, tortilla wraps, pitta breads, etc.
- Refried beans are an amazingly tasty dip for salad sticks, tortilla chips, potato wedges, etc.
- Add a dollop to taco bowls, buddha bowls, filled tortillas, enchiladas, fajitas, etc.
- This recipe serves 4 as a side dish, but will provide more than 4 if used as a spread or dip.
More tasty vegan side-dishes to discover
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.