Authentic Vegan Refried Beans

You know the type of refried beans you get when you go to an authentic Mexican taqueria? All of that smooth, creamy, deliciousness? Those are truly the gold standard of refried beans in my book and what all beans should aspire to be.

Ever since I first had them, I knew I had to find a way to replicate them for myself. When I got my own recipe perfected, I decided I had to recreate my go to order of the, “veggie burrito” from my favorite local taqueria. So, I stuffed a big burrito with refried beans, mexican rice, avocado, cilantro, onion, tomato, and lettuce. You should’ve seen how quickly I gobbled it down! I was ecstatic over how much it tasted exactly like their version. This has been my staple refried bean recipe ever since.


  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
  • 1/3 C Non-Dairy Milk (I use Soy)
  • 1/4 C Vegan Cheese (Optional)
  • Water to thin


  1. First you’ll want to soak your beans either overnight in about 6 -7 cups of water, or follow the quick-soak method. With this method simply rinse the beans, put them in a pot of water, bring up to a boil. Let them boil for 2-3 minutes, turn the heat off. Cover with lid and let them sit for 1 hour. Then drain.
  2. Once your beans have been soaked, put them in a big pot with (they will swell up in size) plenty of water. Bring the whole thing to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and let cook until beans are just soft. This can take anywhere form 45mins – 2hrs depending on the age of your beans. When I make them the average is about 1 hour.
  3. It is key to add your salt right before the beans are done cooking. This is when they will soak up the most flavor. If you add them at the very end, the result just won’t be the same. I usually put the salt in about 15-20 minutes before I think the beans will be finished cooking.
  4. Drain the beans, but reserve at least 1-2 cups of the water you cooked them in.
  5. In a heavy bottomed pot or saucepan, heat your oil until it is nearly at smoking point. Once there, put your drained beans in. Add some of your cooking water, enough that it covers the beans 2/3 of the way, and simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until the beans start to look more creamy and less solid. At this point make sure to taste and see if you need to add any more salt.
  6. Now you’ll want to turn the heat down and start mashing. You can definitely use a potato masher or even a spatula to mash these, but because I like my refried beans super smooth and creamy, so I actually always use my immersion blender. I would highly recommend it.
  7. When you have the beans pretty smooth, add the milk and cheese (if using) and stir in.
  8. At this point, depending on how thick the beans are, I may add a little more water to thin them out slightly. It’s totally up to you and your preference. I tend to prefer my beans slightly on the thinner side.
  9. Voila! Now go enjoy them on some Nachos, Tacos, Burritos, or whatever application your heart desires. Enjoy!


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