Delicious, smoky vegan refried beans with a hint of chipotle chili peppers, to scoop into your burritos and tacos or serve atop Mexican red rice or Mexican green rice. A gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free recipe.
This is my tried, trusted and well loved recipe for vegan refried beans, and it is one I make all the time. It's so delicious, so easy, so quick, so nutritious and needs just a few ingredients. If you try it, I wager you'll be making it over and over.
The great thing about refried beans is that everyone seems to love them. You can scoop them up with a tortilla chip, scoop them into a taco, scoop them on a bowl of Mexican rice...the possibilites are endless. And all this with a recipe that takes one pot and five ingredients to make. In 15 minutes.
Table of Contents
What we love about these refried beans
- They are super delicious
- They are super healthy
- They need just five ingredients
- They take all of 15 minutes to make
- They are so versatile, you can use them as a dip to scoop up with tortilla chips, roll them into a burrito, serve them on rice or even as a side to a thick, juicy tofu steak. Vary the soupiness of these beans to make them fit in just about any meal.
How to make the best vegan refried beans
- Refried beans are usually made with pinto beans, but you can make them with red kidney beans or black beans as well. I like using a mix of beans just because the colors make a dish that otherwise is not as great looking (albeit great tasting) look beautiful. If you eat with your eyes first, use a mix. Otherwise go with one or the other. It won't really make a big difference to the taste.
- There are just a few flavorings here, but they pack a wallop. Start out with aromatics--onions and garlic--and then spoon in chipotle chili with some of the adobo sauce it comes packed in. A dash of roasted cumin and you're done.
- Refried beans typically contain a meat component, like pork fat or chicken broth or bacon. For our vegan version you don't need any of these, and your refried beans will be just as delicious.
- Add vegetable stock to your refried beans, if you have it, but water will do as well. Turn off your stove while your beans are still slightly soupy and not very dry. They will continue to thicken. You might want to leave more of the stock in if you plan to serve the beans with rice (I made them soupier this time as I was serving them with my Mexican Green Rice.) Or you can make them drier if you plan to serve them in a burrito.
- Mash your beans, but not too much. Again this is more cosmetic, but I find that leaving about half the beans unmashed gives nice texture and looks far more appetizing on the plate than a mushy, shapeless pile of refried beans. But that's entirely up to you.
Make these refried beans your own
- Add some herbs to give your beans a nice kick. I sometimes sprinkle on a half a teaspoon of dry sage when I add the beans to the pot and let them simmer together.
- Smoked paprika can make a nice substitute for the chipotle and add more smoky flavor. Use it judiciously though and start out with just a quarter of a teaspoon as it can be strong. Add more if you want to.
- Or you can use jalapenos and throw in a dash of adobo seasoning. Habaneros are also great in refried beans, adding a unique and amazing flavor. If you use it, be careful because habaneros are incredibly hot. A quarter of a pepper, deseeded and finely chopped, goes a long way in making this perfectly delicious for me.
- You can add in veggies here. Finely chopped zucchini or roasted red bell peppers are great choices. Roasted, mashed eggplant, albeit an unconventional choice, is superb.
Refried Beans with Chipotle recipe
- 28 oz pinto beans (or black beans. You can use one can of each as I did. If you cook your own beans use about 3 cups in total)
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion (finely diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 canned chipotle chili (with 1 teaspoon of the adobo sauce it comes with. It's spicy so use less or more if you like yours milder or spicier)
- ½ teaspoon roasted cumin
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- Salt to taste
- Heat the oil in a saucepan.
- Add the onions and garlic. Season with salt and ground black pepper (optional) and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until they are translucent and soft.
- Add the chipotle chili with adobo sauce and cumin. Stir them in, then add the beans and the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil.
- Let the beans simmer about 10 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated, but don't let them dry out completely as they will thicken further as they cool. Use the ladle or a potato masher to mash some of the beans. I don't mash mine completely because I like the texture.
- Turn off the heat. Serve.
This is a lovely dip with the chips...does it work well with regular chili too?
Vaishali, this post really made me smile, and yes, say a silent thanks for the comfort of piped gas. Those pictures are precious! A colorful photo that says so much about day to day life in those remote hilly places.
Dip looks delicious!! Gracias!!:-D
Loved those pics, yeah and wasn't getting a cylinder a hassle until they started allowing 2 cylinders per family. I had a cute Clix shiny red gas stove when I first started working
I too like gas ranges better, haven't had to use an electric one here ever
I live in Malaysia and we use the gas cylinders, too, though it's easy to get your hands on one. Not quite as easy when you need a replacement, though, as you have to wait for the "gas man" to come along your street and catch him. So we have two cylinders so that we don't have to wait for our backup.
Love reading this post...yea u r rite we r living a comfortable life in abroads..
Refried beans looks superb, prefect entry!!
Im with you on this,I totally agree!There is nothing like cooking and baking with real fire!Sometimes I wish I could learn and experiment with even earlier methods of cooking on(and under!) the ground!I hope I still will!At a certain point in my life I also had a gas stove and oven and it was pure heaven!Even In Ayurveda it is said that the Life-force(Prana)that is transferred to the food once cooked with real fire is very important,and it sounds so right to me.Unfortunately,it is not always possible today and sometimes dangerous...
The beans look lovely and I really feel like digging in..yum!
Completely nostalgic, what a post!!! We must realize the luxuries we have and thank God for it. Love the color of the tortilla chips.
Yeah i loved this post, when i tell aobut the culinder in India to my friends here they are like my itis like dark ages ....... i remember my mom having two cylinder, and still it was like winning a lottery.
Thanks for the very interesting account and pictures from India! Yes, we ARE spoiled, aren't we?
The new buildings here do supply piped gas ... but cylinder delivery does exist too. And yes ... the booking part is always an experience that I can happily do without. Love the sound of the beans with chips. 🙂
You write so well that I went back to India for a while. We used to have electric stove at our old apartment, but now I am used to the gas stove. Didn't experience much difference between those! 🙂
Refried beans look so gorgeous with those yummy tortilla chips.
Lolz...and we are still using the same old red cylinders,the only thing changed(and a drastic one) is that now we can subscribe to 2 cylinders per Ration card(hope u still remember how much use this card is of,in all the govt. related procedures)So now after one cylinder is exhausted,we book for another one.
But it was nice to know tht u prefer stove top to that electric range....
And hey the recipe sounds super delicious,i simply love beans,and this one looks so creamy ..and hey never tasted those PURPLE chips...are they better than usual ones??
We are sending in something soon! 🙂 Lovely chips and I love refried beans 😀
Its one of those things that absolutely follows Murphy's law. The gas will always run out on a busy school day morning. I wouldn't dare to go near my mom at that moment 😉
yes Vaishali i agree, In US we all enjoy the comfort life.Last week when i read in a newspaper that India is still facing chronic under nutrition i was hurt.We have to be happy about what comforts we are enjoying and try not to overuse the same.
Creamy and yummy dish..yes i have gas stove here and i love it.Yeah it will take longtime to bake though 🙂
yummy and simple recipe... I love the colour of the tortilla chips... very vibrant 🙂
Agree with you about the electric stove. Gas stove cooks more fast and with even heating..Miss those..
Love those refried beans and blue corn tortilla..
U re absolutely right about the comfort we have here. But about electric stove, past 10 years I only had eletric, in my home we couldn't install gas, well that is another story (old house - 20 years old and no gas pipeline) But I replaced with new electic range, all my cooking to baking is simply perfect and amazingly fast. (i guess it is depend how old the range is)
Love the refried beans and Blue corn tortilla in the background.
My dear lady...u look young..ur post sounded ancient..u write pretty chick..and ur tag line..."I dont mix the 2"..is very "in"..
Im kinda confused bout u as a person. Though quite clear bout how u think and write.. absolutely neat. 10 on 10. 🙂
I'd like to include u in my 'small but building up' list of rocking bloggers. Wud u like to go ahead with that ?? Lemme know. Id be glad to. It's free ofcourse.
Check out the site I'm talkin bout.
I'll visit u more.
Compared to India living in US is so easy and all the comforts are taken for granted by our children who are born and raised here! I remember red gas tanks too! 🙂
Lovely chip and dip, love the blue Tortilla chips. I made something for you too, will post next week at Foodie's Hope! 🙂