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Homemade Vegetarian Refried Beans

Creamy, satisfying refried beans are a cinch to make at home using canned pinto beans and a few pantry seasonings. Spoon onto crispy tostadas, tacos, or nachos, or serve as a side dish.

Serves 6
Ready in 25 mins
Prep time 5 mins
Cooking time 20 mins
119 calories per serving


> 2 tbsp canola oil
> 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
> 1 tbsp minced garlic
> 1/2 tsp ground cumin
> 2 (15.5 oz) cans reduced - sodium pinto beans, drained and rinsed


In a large heavy-duty skillet, heat the oil on medium-high. Add the onion and cook 5 min., stirring often. Add the garlic and cumin. Cook until golden, 30 sec.–1 min., stirring often.
To skillet, add the pinto beans and ⅔ cup water. Heat mixture to a boil on high. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 5 min., stirring occasionally.
With a potato masher, mash the beans until almost smooth. Cook another 5 min., stirring often. Season with salt to taste.


Refried beans can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost, reheat, and serve as a side, in tacos, or over nachos garnished with cilantro.

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