Easy Creamy Refried Beans

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Simple ingredients and a delicious spice blend make for Easy Creamy Refried Beans! Serve them as a side dish next to your favorite Mexican food or dress them up with toppings for the main event…you can’t go wrong here. As a bonus: kids love them too!

Easy Creamy Refried Beans

Anyone else obsessed with Mexican food?! My whole family loves a taco Tuesday or, well…tacos any night of the week. These Easy Creamy Refried Beans are my go-to side dish that everyone loves. They’re also delicious with a bowl of rice or wrapped up in a gluten-free tortilla with some vegan cheese for a nostalgic bean and cheese burrito. Comfort food! This recipe only needs a bit of time on the stovetop to be just perfect. They’re also absolutely perfect in my Vegan Baked Taquitos!

Vegan Refried Beans
Refried Beans Ingredients

Using Canned Pinto Beans for Refried Beans

I used easy and affordable canned pinto beans to create these refried beans! This is a no-fuss way to make a nutritious and flavorful dish. I love keeping a couple cans of pinto beans on hand so I can make this whenever we’re craving it! Pinto beans are a great source of fiber and plant-based protein, so they’re a great addition to your diet.

Canned Pinto Refried Beans

How to Season Refried Beans

Rather than a premade taco seasoning, I love to make my own blend of spices for these beans! I find that mixing my own seasonings allows me to really customize the flavors so they’re just right. Spicy, salty, zesty…it’s all determined by how you season! Here’s the blend I rely on for perfect Easy Creamy Refried Beans:

  • Fine salt
  • Ground cumin
  • Chili powder (you can leave this out for a more kid-friendly recipe!)
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Black pepper
  • Minced garlic cloves

What Makes Refried Beans Creamy?

I use an immersion blender to smooth the beans right in the pot they cook in. This makes for minimal dishes and a quick process. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have an immersion blender, though–you can also make these beans in a traditional blender! Just be careful as you scoop them into the blender since the beans will be very hot. Blend until they reach your desired consistency, and you’re ready for a fiesta!

Easiest Refried Beans

Garnishes for Pinto Beans

A couple garnishes make these refried beans feel extra special! For your dish to stand out on the table, consider adding:

The Best Refried Beans

I always make recipes that are allergy-friendly! That means these Easy Creamy Refried Beans are gluten-free, vegan (no dairy, eggs, or animal products!), nut-free, and soy-free. They’re also made without any refined sugar. If you follow along on Instagram I hope you’ll tag me when you make these beans! You can also leave a review below to help other home chefs.

Vegan Refried Beans

More Southwestern Favorites

Vegan Walnut Taco Meat
Easy Vegan Baked Taquitos
Jalapeno Chimichurri Sauce
Brown Rice Black Bean Salad with Mango & Avocado
Sheet Pan Vegan Nachos
Creamy Vegan Mexican Casserole
Spanish Rice & Beans
Copycat Chipotle Guacamole
Mexican Veggie Burrito Bowls
Easy Vegan Mexican Quinoa Salad
Vegan Enchilada Stuffed Bell Peppers

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Vegan Refried Beans

Easy Creamy Refried Beans

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Simple ingredients and a delicious spice blend make for Easy Creamy Refried Beans! Serve them with your favorite Mexican food.


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red or white onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt (or more to taste)
  • 1.5 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (omit for kid-friendly version)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 large jalapeno, stem and seed removed, diced (optional)
  • 2, 15-ounce cans low sodium pinto beans, drained and rinsed [you can sub black beans if desired but pinto beans are more traditional]
  • 3/4 cup filtered water
  • 1 lime zested and juiced
  • 1 handful of fresh cilantro leaves

Optional Garnish Ideas

  • diced red onion
  • cilantro
  • lime wedges
  • dollop of vegan sour cream
  • pico de gallo
  • diced or sliced jalapeno


  1. Preheat a small dutch oven over medium heat.  Add olive oil, onion and salt.  Saute over low heat for 10 minutes. Add spices and minced garlic, jalapeno and saute for another 2 minutes.  If you have time continue to saute over low heat for even longer to slightly caramelize the onions which gives the dish incredible flavor.   
  2. Add the two cans of pinto beans and water. Turn the heat to medium to high heat and stir until well incorporated.  Cook until liquid is slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. 
  3. Add cilantro, lime zest and lime juice.
  4. Use an immersion blender to blend the beans until smooth and creamy.  Continue to simmer to reduce the liquid until the refried beans are desired thickness.  The refried beans will continue to thicken as it cools.  
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.  
  6. Serve immediately while hot or warm with desired garnishes.  My favorite garnishes are red onions, fresh cilantro and lime zest. 
  7. For storing, allow to fully cool to room temperature and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.  Add 1/4 cup filtered water to rehydrate if needed before serving leftovers.


When I am in a rush I skip the onions and jalapeno and it is still delicious!  You can definitely make this with just the beans and spices if you are short on time or ingredients.  

For an extra smooth texture, transfer the mixture to a blender and blend starting on the lowest speed and gradually increase to the highest speed.  Blend on the highest speed for 30 seconds or until perfectly smooth and creamy.

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Appetizer or Side
  • Method: stovetop

Keywords: creamy refried beans

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