Homemade refried beans are so easy to make at home! This easy Refried Bean recipe works with canned beans or dried beans and takes just 15 minutes of hands-on time. You’ll find many uses for this delicious, healthy vegan side dish! Watch the Video.

How to make delicious, healthy, vegan Refried Beans from scratch using dry beans on the stove top or in your instant pot. #refriedbeans

Ohhhhhhhh my goodness, I’m so in love with these! Creamy and luscious, these easy Refried Beans are so comforting! I know for many of you, the thought of making your own refried beans from scratch is probably the last thing you want to think about- and I get it; why make your own when you can so easily open up a can?

Because…this Refried Beans recipe is so simple and easy and tastes WAY better than storebought. You’ll wonder why you’ve never made them before!

What are Refried Beans?

Refried beans, known as “frijoles refritos” in Spanish, is a side dish commonly made with cooked, mashed pinto beans. A staple in Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisines, the beans are typically cooked until very soft, then mashed and fried, often with onions, spices, and fat such as lard, bacon fat or olive oil to develop a rich, creamy texture. Despite the name “refried,” the beans are not fried twice. Refried beans are commonly served as a side dish along with eggs, burritos, tacos, and enchiladas.

How to make Homemade Refried Beans from scratch- a simple delicious recipe that is vegan and gluten-free! | www.feastingathome.com

Why This Recipe Works

  • Fast and Easy. With just 15 minutes of hands-on time, these refried beans practically make themselves! And what you end up with is a luxurious pot of goodness that you can feel truly and utterly proud of.  Plus they are vegan.
  • Adaptable Recipe.  Use dried beans, or use canned beans. Use pinto beans, or try other beans like black beans.  Make it on the stovetop, or use your instant pot. There are lots of options here!
  • Healthy and delicious!  They can be adapted to your own taste and heat tolerance. I love the hint of smoke from Smoked paprika and a little heat from chipotle powder – but leave these out if this is not your preference.

What you’ll need (ingredients)

  • Pinto Beans – You’ll need 1 pound of dried, soaked pinto beans (6 cups cooked beans) or 4 cans (14 ounces) of beans. Feel free to halve the recipe or substitute black beans. Soaking the dry beans ensures even cooking and softer beans,
  • Spices  chili powder,  garlic powder, cumin,  bay leaves,  garlic powder,  chipotle powder (optional) or cayenne pepper, and smoked paprika (optional),
  • Olive oil ( we sub olive oil for the traditional lard or bacon fat)
  • Salt and pepper
How to make Homemade Refried Beans from scratch- a simple delicious recipe that is vegan and gluten-free! | www.feastingathome.com

Types of Beans to Use in Refried Beans

Most dried beans will work here, so feel free to experiment – pinto, kidney, black beans, or specialty beans as you see here from my favorite bean company- Rancho Gordo.

  • Pinto Beans
  • Black Beans
  • Kidney Beans
  • Heirloom Beans
How to make Homemade Refried Beans from scratch- a simple delicious recipe that is vegan and gluten-free! | www.feastingathome.com

How to Make Refried Beans (instructions)

  1. Cook dry beans on the stovetop in a large pot with a lid, or place them in an Instant Pot pressure cooker ( high pressure) until tender. ( See notes if using canned beans).
  2. Drain the beans,  saving 1 cup of the bean cooking liquid.
  3. Puree the beans in a food processor, or mash the beans with a potato masher. Add some of the bean cooking liquid to loosen to the desired consistency, with a little olive oil, leaving a little texture. 
  4. Season with salt, pepper and the spices.
  5. Warm gently and serve.
How to make Homemade Refried Beans from scratch- a simple delicious recipe that is vegan and gluten-free! | www.feastingathome.com

Place them back in the pot or instant pot and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

How to make Homemade Refried Beans from scratch- a simple delicious recipe that is vegan and gluten-free! | www.feastingathome.com

How to Serve Refried Beans

Before serving, drizzle with olive oil or sprinkle with queso fresco cheese and fresh cilantro. Add jalapeno slices and lime wedges if you like!

A delicious Refried Beans recipe that can be made on Stove top or in an Instant Pot! A delicious healthy recipe that is vegan and gluten-free! | www.feastingathome.com #refriedbeans #instantpot #vegan #refriedbeansrecipe

Storage and Meal Prep

Refried beans will keep up to 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator or placed in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Ways to use Refried Beans

  • Serve as a side dish with warm corn tortillas.
  • Serve warm with tortilla chips as a bean dip.
  • Use in tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, quesadillas, nachos or tostadas.
  • Try them in our baked Tacos, or in Tlayudas!
How to make Homemade Refried Beans in an Instant Pot or on the stove top. A simple recipe that is vegan and gluten-free! | www.feastingathome.com

Make a Refried Bean Bowl!

Make a hearty Bean Bowl with warm refried beans as the base. Top with Mexican Rice, Mexican Slaw, avocado or crumbled queso fresco, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickled red onions or pickled jalapeños, cilantro, drizzled with olive oil

More FaVaorite Pinto Bean recipes!

Enjoy the refried beans! xo-Sylvia

Watch How to Make Refried Beans  | video

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How to make delicious, healthy, vegan Refried Beans from scratch using dry beans on the stove top or in your instant pot. #refriedbeans

Easy Homemade Refried Beans Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 11 reviews
  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home Blog
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 mins
  • Yield: 6 cups 1x
  • Category: vegan side dish
  • Method: instant pot, stove top
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegan


How to make delicious, healthy, Refried Beans from scratch using dry beans or canned beans on the stovetop or in your instant pot. Allow 8-24 hours soaking time for dried beans.


Units Scale
  • 1 lb pinto beans, 2 1/4 cups (dried), or sub 6 cups cooked beans, or canned beans (4 x 14-ounce cans), drained.
  • 5 cups water ( 7 cups if using Instant pot)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 bay leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried oregano)
  • ——–
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/41 teaspoon chipotle powder (optional)
  • 1/21 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • 23 tablespoons olive oil (optional)

Optional Garnishes: cilantro, lime wedges, queso fresco.


  1. STOVE TOP: Place dry beans in a bowl or pot and pour 6 cups of water over the top. Let them sit on the counter overnight or for 8 hours, until they swell and double in size. Drain. If using canned or cooked beans see notes.
  2. Place soaked beans in a large pot with 5 cups of fresh water. Add salt, spices and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and turn heat to low, then simmer gently until tender, about 1 1/2- 2 hours.
  3. Drain the beans,  reserving the cooking liquid, and remove the bay leaves.
  4. Either mash in the pot with a potato masher, or place them in the food processor with the additional salt and spices. Add 1- 1 ½ cups of the cooking liquid ( to desired consistency) mashing or pureeing until almost smooth. A little texture is good.
  5. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the puree for extra richness and delicious flavor.
  6. Keep warm in the pot until ready to serve, or divide and freeze, or simply refrigerate for the week. They will keep for 4 days, or can be frozen.


Instant Pot: If making in an Instant Pot, place all ingredeints in the Instant pot with 7 cups water and salt, chili powder, cumin, bay leaves, pressure cook on high for 35 minutes. Let pressure naturally release. Continue following directions starting with draining the beans (save the liquid).

Cooked or Canned Beans: Heat 6 cups of beans with just enough water to cover them along with the spices, simmer 10-15 minutes. Drain, saving the water. Continue with recipe.


  • Serving Size: 1 cup
  • Calories: 174
  • Sugar: 1.1 g
  • Sodium: 477.9 mg
  • Fat: 0.9 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 31.3 g
  • Fiber: 8 g
  • Protein: 10.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg





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  1. This recipe worked well with Rancho Gordo Mayocoba beans in my Instant pot. The only change I made was adding some dried hot peppers that I removed before mashing the beans. Will definitely make again!

  2. Such an easy recipe for such big flavor!! I’ll never buy canned refried beans again:)

  3. This is very good! Unfortunately, I only had canned pinto beans so they lost flesh when I cooked them for two hours. I also added too much liquid into the blender with the bean mix. Ooops! Still, this refried beans was so much better than what you’d get in a can! Despite being too liquify, the refried beans were yummy!

    1. Oh, shoot Pam! You don’t need to cook canned beans that long. I added some notes to the recipe card. 🙂

  4. I followed the instructions for the Instant Pot using flor de mayo beans. I love the Instant Pot for cooking beans – so easy and perfectly creamy! The end result was so good! Creamy with excellent flavor. I added some EVOO for richness and that really completed the dish. I will be returning to this recipe again and again.

  5. Fabulous recipe! Made me fall in love with my Instant Pot. Made the most delicious bean bowl in less than an hour, including cooking quinoa for the base… Wow! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes…

  6. Hello Sylvia: Do you think sprouted beans would work here? I’d cook them first, probably for less time than the dried ones. But I hope they wouldn’t spoil the flavor? Thank you.

  7. I made this recipe today exactly as written, with all the optional ingredients, and it is very flavorful! Thank you.

  8. Hi Sylvia! I just found your blog and am so happy I did 🙂 These are indeed the BEST EVER refried beans!

    I used some dried pinto beans that have been in my pantry for probably 5 years (yikes!) but nonetheless they turned out amazing and are so, so simple with the Instant Pot and food processor. I was planning to add the oil but ended up forgetting it, and they were still so rich in flavor (I used 1t of all of the optional spices listed).

    Thank you for this awesome recipe!

  9. These really are the BEST EVER refried beans! They are full of flavor and super easy to make – especially in the instant pot. We’ve been making them every week for the last 6 months and they just never get old. We leave out the oil and just mash them up with a potato masher. No more bland refried beans. So delicious!

  10. Delicious! Many thanks for the recipe and the method. Canned refried beans are hard to find and expensive where we live, so I’m using thepandemic as a perfect time to learn how to cook more things from scratch. You made my day!

  11. My hubby loves black beans and beans of all kinds – we cook a lot of them – but as much as he also enjoys Mexican food he just has never been able to become a fan of refried beans. Until we made this pureed bean recipe (using Rancho Gordo beans and the stovetop method). These are great with your tleyuda (sp) recipe too. Thanks for taking the time to create and post this.

  12. Hi Sylvia, Thank you in advance for posting your recipes! My family and I are enjoying them very much! I love the sheet pan recipes and the vegan tofu ricotta. It saved me during the holidays since I am plant-based but my family isn’t 100% there yet.
    I was hoping if you had any advice on preparing refried beans with beans that are already cooked. I make mine from scratch and freeze them. Love your blog!

    Thank you again

  13. I had over cooked some adzuki beans and they were mush. I was looking for a recipe to use them and tried this. I added some cumin since I hadn’t cooked them in spices and only used water to mix them. It is delicious, and so easy! Thank you!

  14. Yum! Easy recipe to add to the Taco Tuesday rotation. Using the reserved cooking liquid is a must to whip up creamy beans. I use the same method for making hummus. Cooking liquid is also a great way to store any cooked beans in the refrigerator or freezer and a tasty liquid for making soups and chili. (PS, cooking liquid DOES NOT equal the liquid in the canned beans from the store ?.)

  15. Made a pot of theses last week and my…so delicious! I had pinto beans on hand and also added the optional smoked paprika and chipotle. The food processor method for mashing the beans was a revelation. Why didn’t I think of that? Thanks Sylvia, I now have a great recipe and new technique and couldn’t be happier.

    1. Oh Im so glad you gave these a try. Aren’t they so velvety and amazing? And EASY?? A great way to use up beans in the pantry. I seriously could just eat a bowlful with tomato, cilantro, a little cheese and hot sauce…so good!

  16. Can’t wait to try this recipe! I love Rancho Gordo’s beans and have been using them almost exclusively for several years.

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