These vegetarian refried beans are incredibly easy to prepare and so delicious! Flavoured with lots of seasonings (like chili, chipotle powder, cumin and oregano) and green chiles, they make for such a hearty, budget-friendly meal.
Remember those pinto bean fritters I shared a little while ago?
Well, today I have another easy pinto bean recipe that is a favourite in our home: vegetarian refried beans!
Ditch the canned stuff and make your own homemade refried beans (super quickly, may I add).
Once you do, there’s no going back. You’ll always want to have a batch of these on hand because they’re so versatile and so tasty.
Hubby even sneaks into the fridge and grabs a spoonful right out of the bowl and enjoys as is!
Why These Vegetarian Refried Beans Are So Great!
- They come together in about 20 minutes
- Pretty inexpensive to make
- They’re vegetarian and gluten free
- You can customize to your taste with optional add-ins
- Of course, they taste delicious!
How To Make It
Full details on how to make refried beans are in the recipe card below, but here are the basics:
- Cook your minced onion in a little oil and butter until softened.
- Add minced garlic and give that a little cook.
- Stir in cooked pinto beans and seasonings. Cook for a minute or so to get those spices goin’.
- Pour in broth and green chiles.
- Cook for a little until everything is heated through.
- Turn off heat and add butter.
- Squeeze in some fresh lime juice.
- Give everything a little mash until you’ve reached the consistency that you enjoy best.
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What Type of Bean Should I Use?
Pinto beans are the bean of choice for refried beans.
I used dried pinto beans and prepared them per package instructions before using them. Alternatively, you can use canned pinto beans (just rinse and drain before use).
Can I Use Another Bean?
Absolutely! Try refried black beans or use white kidney beans or red kidney beans.
More Flavour Add-Ins
Customize your vegetarian refried beans to how you like ’em! Some delicious add-in options are:
- Bell pepper
- Jalapeno pepper
- Shredded cheese for yummy cheesy refried beans (talk about good!)
- Chopped green onion
- Minced cilantro
What Are Refried Beans Used For?
- Build your own bowl! I love having a base of rice, a big scoop of refried beans and all the garnish, like avocado (or homemade guacamole), corn and pretty much whatever you like.
- Layered dip
- Sandwich (use as a spread)
- Simply use as a dip as is with your fave tortilla chips
- For breakfast with eggs and toast
Stay tuned for an upcoming recipe using refried beans!
Can I Make These Vegan?
Yep! Replace the butter with oil or simply use vegan butter instead of regular.
More Tips & Variations
I used dried pinto beans (which I cooked). There was no salt added to them until they were used to make the refried bean recipe. If you opt for canned pinto beans, you may want to reduce the salt added. Plus, everyone has a different preference for seasoning. Salt to taste.
Change up the spices to how you like ’em! Like more cumin? Add more! Prefer a little less? Reduce it.
If you don’t need these to be vegetarian refried beans, you can cook everything in a little bacon grease.
Hope you enjoy this vegetarian refried bean recipe as much as we do!
If you make these refried beans, be sure to leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed!
Vegetarian Refried Beans Recipe
- 4 cups cooked (or canned) pinto beans , drained and rinsed (about 2 (19-ounce) cans)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter , divided
- 1 yellow onion , peeled and minced
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 1.5 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder (or smoked paprika)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste. See 'Notes' below)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ⅔ cup unsalted vegetable broth
- 4.5 ounce can chopped green chiles (or 127 gram can)
- 1 lime , juiced
- In a 12-inch pan (I used a non-stick pan) over medium heat, add olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter.
- Once butter has melted, add minced onion and cook 5 minutes.
- Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute.
- Add cooked (or drained and rinsed canned) pinto beans, chili powder, chipotle powder, cumin, oregano, salt (see 'Notes' below) and pepper. Stir and cook for a minute or so to get those spices going.
- Add broth and chopped green chilies. Bring to a medium-ish simmer and cook 5 to 8 minutes to heat through.
- Turn off heat and add remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and juice of one lime. Mash until you've reached your desired consistency. Taste for seasoning. Enjoy! Yields about 4 cups of refried beans.Note: If you want a super smooth consistency you can place mixture in a food processor and blend.Note: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use within 3 to 4 days. Reheat when ready to enjoy.
- I used dried pinto beans (which I cooked). There was no salt added to them until they were used to make the refried bean recipe. If you opt for canned pinto beans, you may want to reduce the salt added. Plus, everyone has a different preference for seasoning. Salt to taste.
- You can reheat refried beans in a pan on the stovetop over medium heat. Add a splash of water or broth (to loosen or thin them). The amount of liquid added may vary, depending on the quantity of refried beans you are reheating and the consistency you like best. Cook until they’re heated through.
- Change up the spices to how you like ’em! Like more cumin? Add more! Prefer a little less? Reduce it.
- If you don’t need these to be vegetarian, you can cook everything in a little bacon grease.
Nutrition (ESTIMATE ONLY)
Nutrition estimate (if provided) is based on 1 serving.
Nutrition information (if provided) is provided as a courtesy and should be considered an estimate only. Ingredients can vary and Girl Heart Food makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are guidelines only.