Homemade Refried Beans Recipe | Vegan, Gluten Free

Categories Dinner, Featured, Recipes

Hi guys, I feel a bit off posting today’s recipe. Now, I don’t know about you, but here in the UK I’ve noticed a serious shift in the last week or so. Weather, mood, everything. While I’m totally here for autumn (I’m sorry guys, I really hate summer), I feel slightly premature posting this recipe in August. Today I’m making refried beans, with a slight twist.  

As you may have heard me say approximately 500 times in the last few weeks, my appetite disappears when it gets warmer. And in the last week or 10 days, I’ve felt like starting to embrace cooked food again. I mean, I have a soup on my menu this week. So, I’m ready for this. I apologise if it’s a little early for you.  

Traditionally refried beans are made from pinto beans, which is all well and good, but I find them a little boring. To mix things up, I made mine from a mixture of kidney beans and black beans. The recipe itself in terms of spices is very traditional, so you could also use pinto beans if you wanted to keep it 100% traditional.  

There are lots of refried beans recipes that compete to be the quickest, 10 minutes or less… 

This isn’t one of those. While this recipe isn’t that time consuming, I believe you get the best out of recipes like this if you give it slightly longer to cook. You end up with more flavour, and I think that’s what we all want. 

This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, soy free, nut free and vegan.  

Cook time: 25-30 minutes  

Serves 4


  • A can each of kidney and black beans, drained and rinsed (use pinto beans for traditional recipe) 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil  
  • ½ red onion roughly chopped  
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1tsp chilli powder  
  • ½ tsp cumin 
  • 1 tbsp lime juice (optional) 
  • ½ cup water 


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil until simmering. Add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and are turning translucent, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Add the garlic, chilli powder and cumin. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in the drained beans and water. Stir, cover and cook for 5 minutes. 
  3. Reduce the heat to low and remove the lid. Now it’s time to ‘mash’ the beans. You can do this manually, or use a food processor. Use a potato masher or the back of a fork to mash up about at least half of the beans, until you reach your desired consistency. I was lazy and used my food processor with the creaming blade to leave some texture. Use the regular blade if you’d like them completely smooth.  
  4.  Continue to cook the beans, uncovered, stirring often, for 3 more minutes. 
  5. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in lime juice (if using). If the beans seem dry, add a very small splash of water and stir to combine. Cover until you’re ready to serve. 


Does this sound like something you’d enjoy? Or are refried beans something you’d rather use from a tin? 

Until next time,  


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20 thoughts on “Homemade Refried Beans Recipe | Vegan, Gluten Free

  1. I think this recipe sounds fab! I also struggle to eat proper cooked meals in the summer – I just have to stick to light bites & cold dishes!! However, I am definitely ready for the autumn food and this sounds delicious right now… and healthy too xxx

  2. I’m the same, this past week has been a bit of a mixed week food wise. I’ve had a few salads but also a few cooked meals too. I like that these beans are so quick and easy to make. They sound really flavoursome and a great source of protein too. Thank you for the idea Sophie! <3 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    1. Thank you! Yes, they’re a great source of protein. I’m the same with my meal plan this week. I have a few salads and a couple of warm dishes and a soup. I an’t wait for my kitchen to be fully autumnal again. Thanks for stopping by x

  3. Thanks for sharing this recipe, Sophie! I’m not really a fan of pinto beans either so I think you put a nice little twist to this recipe. I also love that this recipe doesn’t require too much ingredients to make.

    cabin twenty-four

    1. Yess!! I was looking in my pantry the other say and saw things that I can’t even remember the last time I used them. I can’t wait for warm hearty meal weather x

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