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Creamy refried black beans topped with jalapeno slices and cilantro.

Homemade Refried Beans

  • Author: Catherine Perez
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 75 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings (1/2 cup serving) 1x
  • Category: Lunch
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegan


Better than canned Vegan Refried Black Beans. Easy to make from scratch with basic pantry staples and perfect for burritos, bowls or chips.


  • 1 cup dry black beans
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, cut in half and save 1/2 for the boiled beans and dice up the other half for the refried beans
  • 7 cloves of garlic, crush 1 clove for the refried beans
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeds removed if desired
  • 1/2 vegetable bouillon cube or 1/2 tsp Vegetable or Vegan Chicken Better than Bouillon
  • Salt to taste


If Cooking Beans From Scratch

  1. Measure your beans then spread out on a sheet pan and sort, removing any extra debris, rocks or shriveled or broken pieces. Rinse the beans well and place the beans in a large pot with enough water to reach 3 inches above the beans.
  2. Add in 1/2 your onion, 6 cloves of garlic and your bay leaf. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat, then simmer the beans and loosely cover the pot with a lid. Cook the beans for 2-3 hours or until the beans are tender. As the beans cook, stir occasionally and add additional hot water as needed, I often will add about 2 cups of extra hot water to the pot after an hour and a half. After cooking, add salt to taste.

Refried Beans

  1. Heat up a large skillet on the stove top, add your oil and when hot add in the onion with a pinch of salt and cook down until softened. Then, if using jalapeño, add to the pan and sauté until the jalapeno starts to sear, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add 3 cups of cooked beans with bean liquid OR 2, 15 oz cans of black beans with their liquid to the pan and mix in with the onion mixture. As the beans simmer, add in the bouillon base and use a potato masher to mash up the beans.
  3. Continue to cook the beans until a nice puree forms. You can leave it as chunky as you like.


To make your beans in the Instant Pot, place your sorted and rinsed beans into the pressure cooker chamber along with 4 cups water, 1/2 onion, 6 garlic cloves and 1-2 bay leaves. Seal the pressure cooker then set to manual pressure for 35 minutes and allow the pressure to release naturally. Make sure to use newer dry beans and avoid beans that have then sitting in your cabinet for longer than 9 months.

When cooking the refried beans, use a medium heat to avoid drying out your refried beans. They will continue to thicken when they sit and cool, so if they are slightly runny that is okay.

To store, allow beans to cool, place in an airtight container and place in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can freeze these beans as well for up to 3 months.

Keywords: vegan refried beans, refried black beans