Recipe: Amazing (Vegan) Refried Beans

I love refried beans and had always considered them a mystery. Why are they called “refried”? Still don’t know. The beans in this recipe aren’t fried at all, but they sure are good.

While I do eat refried beans in restaurants, the only other way that I know of to get them is in a can, and I’ve long since given up food in cans. I was very excited that this recipe turned out so well!

The beans will take a while (mostly soaking), so this isn’t a “let’s have these for dinner tonight” recipe. We soaked them for a super-long time to reduce cooking time. You could soak them just during the day (8 hours or so) but it will roughly double the cooking time. As we finished doing the dinner dishes, we just set the beans out to soak for the next night’s meal.

The original recipe called for three times as much of everything, and thankfully mentioned that it would make the equivalent of approximately ten 16-ounce cans of beans! I don’t want that much of an untested recipe (I’d make that much now and freeze it!), and my food processor certainly won’t hold that much. Cutting it by 2/3 was easy math/measuring, and it still made plenty!

I forgot to take a picture, but when we make these again (very soon!), I will take a picture and add it and probably re-share 😉

Amazing (Vegan) Refried Beans


  • 2 cups dry pinto beans
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder


Rinse dry beans, put in a large pot and add enough water to cover the beans by a few inches. Soak 20-24 hours.

Drain water. Return the beans to the pot, and add onions and garlic. Add fresh water to cover beans by about three inches. Cover the pot, but allow air to escape. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 45 minutes, until beans are tender.

Reserving the cooking water, remove the cooked beans, onions, and garlic. (Strain over a pot or use a slotted spoon.) Put all three in a food processor until beans are a creamy consistency. If the beans are too thick, add some of the cooking liquid until you’re happy with the consistency.

Stir in remaining ingredients.



2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Becca on 5 October 2012 at 17:44

    These sound delicious and I want to pin this recipe for future use… any possibility you made them again and snapped a shot???

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