Easy Refried Black Beans

Make your own homemade refried black beans with only 5 ingredients and ten minutes. Dairy free & vegan, they make a perfect Mexican side dish. Makes 6 – 8 servings.

closeup on refried black beans topped with cilantro and a lime wedge in a white bowl with a metal spoon with wooden handle

Easy, 5 ingredient refried black beans

Do you love the beans that come with your food at a Mexican restaurant? I don’t normally pay extra to get them, but if they’re already on my plate, I think they’re such a treat. I especially like when there’s still a bit of whole bean in there. On Valentine’s Day, we were supposed to go out with friends for dinner, but since Marc ended up working pretty late, I decide to make these honey chipotle chicken tacos at home instead. Of course, I was still craving those beans, so I tried making a quick batch on the stove while the taco meat was cooking. I normally prefer black beans anyway, so that’s what I used, and everything else was already in my pantry.

collage of a picture of can of black beans and a skillet with chiles and garlic


Are refried black beans healthy?

Traditional refried beans are made with lard and a decent amount of fats. That what makes them so flavorful and thick. I love making my own refried beans because I can control the ingredients that are in them. I normally use a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, which makes this recipe very low in fat. The type of fat you use doesn’t really make a difference. You can use any cooking oil you have, including coconut oil or canola oil. You could even use lard or butter (not dairy free). Use what you have and I promise it will work.

Aerial view of a skillet with refried black beans topped with fresh cilantro, black and white towel under the handle and a small bowl of cilantro on the side.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:

overhead shot of a white bowl with refried black beans topped with cilantro and a lime wedge with a black and white towel to the left, a small bowl of pico de gallo above and a spoon with wooden handle on the side

How do you make Mexican black beans?

First of all, do not drain your black beans completely. The little bit of aquafaba is is key to getting thick, creamy beans. I like to drain the extra liquid on the top, but I stop pouring the liquid out while there is still some left. Do not rinse your beans.

You don’t need much to make this recipe, just black beans, olive oil, diced green chiles, garlic and cumin. If you don’t have diced green chiles, you could substitute a little chopped chipotle pepper, jalapeño or even some crushed red pepper flakes. The green chiles do add a little flavor, but they most just contribute to the spiciness of the dish.

To make refried black beans, heat a large skillet *affiliate link or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil (or your fat of choice), garlic and green chiles to the pan and sauté for about a minute. Stir frequently while they cook so you don’t burn your garlic. Then dump in your beans, cumin and a big pinch of salt. Stir it all up, and then mash you beans until they’re smooth(ish).

More great Mexican inspired sides: Mexican Quinoa / Mexican Street Corn & Cucumber Salad / Mango Cucumber Salsa

spoon of refried black beans with a bowl of refried black beans, pico de gallo and fresh cilantro in the background

Tips for making homemade refried beans

  • Do not drain your beans completely. The little bit of aquafaba is is key to getting thick, creamy beans.
  • To get the beans the right consistency, you want to use a good old-fashioned potato masher *affiliate link. If you don’t have one, you can probably make due with the back of a ladle or maybe even a hand mixer *affiliate link. But, they’re really a great tool to have on hand anyway, so you should probably get one.
  • You can mash your beans completely or leave them a bit chunky, which is why I like. Either way, the beans are done in under 5 minutes, and they’re just as good, if not better, than the beans from your favorite Mexican restaurant.
  • If you didn’t drain enough liquid from your can, and your black beans are too soupy, just simmer them for a little longer on the stove, stirring occasionally until they thicken up.


Easy Refried Black Beans

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 - 8 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 – 4 tablespoons diced green chilies
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, mostly drained* (not rinsed)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (optional, for garnish)


  1. In a large saucepan *affiliate link, heat olive oil to medium-high and add garlic and diced green chilies. Sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add beans, cumin and salt & pepper. As the beans cook, mash beans with a potato masher *affiliate link to desired consistency and stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  3. Remove from heat when beans have thickened and excess liquid has evaporated.
  4. Top with fresh cilantro before serving (optional).


When draining black beans, only drain the excess liquid from the top of the can. Leave the rest that’s hiding between all the beans. It’s needed to get the beans to the right consistency.


  • Calories: 83
  • Sugar: 0.8 g
  • Sodium: 82 mg
  • Fat: 4.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9.2 g
  • Fiber: 2.9 g
  • Protein: 3.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
5 Ingredient Refried Black Beans | @simplywhisked
  • Reply
    Wilhelmina Wessel
    October 29, 2018 at 7:59 am

    I love this method for refried beans! So yummy!

  • Reply
    October 29, 2018 at 8:12 am

    These are a must in our home! We use refried beans in recipes at least once a week -thanks for the awesome recipe!

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