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 These Refried Black Beans Are 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 Make Refried Black Beans
The ingredients you’ll need:
Start by heating your oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot. I love using my cast-iron skillet for this recipe.
Add your onion and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until onions are softening. Be careful, the garlic can burn, so keep stirring and don’t cook too long!
Add in half the cooked beans, about 1 1/2 cups. Stir to incorporate into the cooked onion-garlic mixture then mash completely, using a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon.
Add in the remaining black beans and mash until the desired texture; I like mine pretty mashed. You can leave some whole for more texture.
Cook, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes or until the bean’s starches begin to stick to or coat the bottom of the pan and become more golden in color. Don’t worry if you can’t identify this, just keep stirring and cooking for about 3 minutes.
Stir in all of the bean-soaking liquid and plenty of salt. Cook about 2 minutes or until uniform in texture and liquid is totally incorporated.
Remove from heat and let cool slightly then serve.
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
- 3 Ingredient Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken
- Crockpot Chicken Tacos
- Mexican Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
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Refried Black Beans
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil or refined coconut oil or other neutral vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
- 2-3 medium garlic cloves minced
- 1 1/2-2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 cups cooked black beans drained. Canned is fine.
- 3/4 cup bean liquid or water from the cans of black beans
- Heat oil or shortening in medium frying pan over medium heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes. Add onion, garlic, and salt and cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables are soft and just beginning to brown, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add half of the beans (1 1/2 cups) and mash completely with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups beans and mash, leaving about half of the beans intact, or whatever strikes your personal texture fancy.
- Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the bean starches begin to coat the bottom of the pan and turn golden brown, about 3 minutes.
- Add bean-cooking liquid or water, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate the water and heat the beans through, about 2 minutes. .The beans may initially look soupy, but they’ll thicken as they cool, so be sure to add all of the water or bean-cooking liquid.
Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.