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Refried black beans in cast iron skillet with peppers and cilantro.
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5 from 3 votes

Refried black beans (Vegan & gluten-free)

Why should pintos get all the love? Refried black beans are a delicious alternative.
They're loaded with onions, garlic, and spices. And even though "refried" is in the name, very little oil is involved.
Finish with optional toppings like diced onions, cilantro, pickled jalapeños, non-dairy cheese, or hot sauce.
Makes about 1 ¼ cups refried black beans (enough for 3-4 burritos).
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican, Vegan
Keyword: comfort food, meatless
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 105kcal
Author: Cadry Nelson


  • 1 teaspoon organic canola oil or your preferred neutral flavored oil
  • ½ cup chopped onions yellow or red
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 can (15 ounce) black beans drained and rinsed (1 ½ cups)
  • ¾ cup water plus a few Tablespoons more if necessary
  • ½ teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Bring a large skillet to a medium heat. Add oil to the skillet and sauté onions and garlic a few minutes, until fragrant and translucent.
  • Add drained black beans to the skillet along with ¾ cup water, ancho chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt.
  • When the water begins to simmer, lower the heat and continue cooking for about 15 minutes until most of the water has been absorbed, except for a couple of tablespoons.
  • Using a fork, potato masher, or immersion blender mash the beans until smooth. If they are too dry, add 1 or 2 Tablespoons of water until they are soft and smooth like mashed potatoes, but not too watery. If they are too liquidy, keep cooking until they reach your preferred texture.
  • Taste for salt and add more if necessary.
    If desired, serve with optional toppings like diced onions, cilantro, jalapeno slices, non-dairy cheese, and/or hot sauce.


I like to use canned beans for this recipe. It's really convenient. But if you'd prefer to make your own beans from scratch & use those, that works too.
This recipe can easily be made without oil. Instead of using oil in the skillet to sauté the onions & garlic, use a Tablespoon of water in the warm skillet. (Then later in the recipe, add the additional water with spices as written.)


Calories: 105kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 154mg | Potassium: 258mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1.6mg