This refried black beans recipe is lightyears better than canned. They’re flavorful and tender, the perfect texture, and they’re naturally vegan. Made in about 15 minutes with canned black beans, they’re perfect as a quick side dish for any Mexican or TexMex recipe.
There’s only one right answer when asked if you want whole or refried beans. Only one.
I sometimes wish I were the type of person that ordered whole beans–the type of person who (on purpose!) opts for water instead of wine, fruit instead of cake, a light vinaigrette in lieu of a rich, creamy salad dressing.
But I’m not. No, it’s refried beans all the way for me (and wine and cake and rich, creamy salad dressing). Rich, often spiced, and full of flavor, they’re perfect–not just alongside your veggie enchiladas–but smeared inside a burrito, scooped onto a chip, providing a bed for a layered dip.
Yet the options are usually limited for vegans. You can get “vegetarian” refried pinto beans from a can, if you’re lucky, but most of the time, taqueria-refried beans are loaded with lard, a pretty clear no-no for the vegans in the house.
Why This Recipe Is So Good
- They’re absolutely crammed full of flavor.
- This recipe is super quick and easy, made in about 10 minutes.
- These refried black beans are totally vegan.
- They’re a perfect side dish for those Latin flavors that seem to always accompany warmer weather.
- This recipe is super versatile; you can add cumin, cilantro, and any other spices or flavors you might like.
Try these refried black beans stuffed into burritos, layered on top of tortilla chips for delish nachos, or as a side dish for just about any Mexican or TexMex dish. We also love them spooned onto my Tofu Sofritas Bowls or Chipotle Beef and Avocado Bowls.
How to Cook Dried Black Beans
If you only have dried black beans on hand, use this method to cook them. For an added bonus (and digestive comfort), soak them first. There’s more info on soaking beans in the same link in this section.
Do make sure that if you cook your beans from dried that you give yourself plenty of time to simmer them. If you try to speed up the process by cooking them above a simmer, the outsides will become tough, which is all-around not the best!
Well, now I’m hungry.
Other Recipes You’ll Love
- Best Restaurant Style Salsa
- Avocado Salsa
- Instant Pot Refried Beans
- Shredded Beef Tacos
- Texas Caviar (aka Cowboy Caviar)
- Avocado Dressing
- 3 Ingredient Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken
- Ranch Style Beans
- Crockpot Chicken Tacos
- Pickled Beet Tacos
- Mexican Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil avocado, refined coconut, or other neutral oil
- ½ cup finely chopped white onion
- 2-3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 ½ – 2 teaspoons kosher salt see Notes
- 3 cups cooked black beans canned or homemade, drained, divided
- ¾ cup liquid from can of black beans or ¾ cup water
- Medium skillet
- Wooden spoon
- Potato masher optional
- Heat medium skillet over medium heat. When hot, add neutral oil and swirl to coat bottom of skillet entirely.
- When oil is hot and shimmering, add chopped onion, minced garlic, and kosher salt. Stir well and cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables are soft and begin to brown, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add 1 ½ cups black beans to skillet. Use back of wooden spoon or potato masher to mash beans completely, until no whole or partial beans remain. Add remaining 1 ½ cups black beans and mash to preferred consistency.
- Cook mashed beans, stirring constantly, until starches begin to coat bottom of skillet and turn golden brown, approximately 3 minutes.
- Slowly pour in bean liquid or water and stir to incorporate. Bring mixture to simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring and scraping bottom of skillet, until liquid is fully incorporated and beans are heated-through, approximately 2 minutes. Note: beans may look soupy but will thicken as they cool. Be sure to use the entire ¾ cup of liquid to prevent beans from drying out.
- Serve as desired with chips, tacos, or other entrée.
- Beans: You’ll need roughly two 15-ounce cans of black beans to yield 3 cups of cooked beans. I recommend using a low sodium version or quickly rinsing the black beans after draining.
- Salt: It’s important that you use kosher salt in this recipe. If using table salt instead, use only ¾-1 teaspoon total.
- Leftovers: Refrigerate in an airtight container up to 7 days.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.