Refried Black Beans – Connoisseurus Veg

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These refried black beans are thick and creamy and perfectly spiced! They’re super easy to make and perfect for everything from stuffing tacos and burritos to dipping.

Hand dipping a tortilla chip into a skillet of Refried Black Beans.

Keep a supply of refried beans in stock and you’ve always got the start of an amazing meal on hand. Refried beans are so delicious and satisfying all by themselves. You pretty much can’t go wrong!

There was a time when I used canned refried beans, but those days are over. Homemade is so much better and almost as easy as cracking open a can.

A few years ago I shared my go-to vegan refried beans recipe, using pinto beans. But sometimes I like to switch things up a bit. That’s why I created this refried black bean recipe. It uses the same basic method as my old recipe, but I modified the seasonings a bit to suit the richly savory flavor of black beans.

Whip up a batch of these babies and you’re never far from a delicious dinner of tacos, burritos or tostadas.

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Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Olive oil. You can substitute your favorite high-heat oil if you’d like. Coconut oil, canola oil, corn oil and avocado oil are all good options.
  • Onion.
  • Garlic.
  • Spices. All you need is ground cumin and chili powder.
  • Black beans. We’re using canned black beans in order to make life easy. You can cook your beans from scratch if you prefer though. You’ll need about 3 ½ cups.
  • Water.
  • Lime juice. Use freshly squeezed lime juice. The bottled stuff just doesn’t have the same flavor!
  • Salt.

Tip: You can absolutely adjust the spice profile to suit your personal preference. For example, if you’d like a smoky batch of refried black beans, add some smoked paprika. For extra heat, add a little cayenne pepper.

How They’re Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

Onions cooking in oil in a skillet.

Heat your oil in a skillet, then add diced onion. Cook the onion for a few minutes, until it begins to soften up and turn translucent.

Onions and spices cooking in a skillet.

Add your garlic and spices to the skillet. Cook them with the onion for about a minute. Make sure to stir the mixture constantly so nothing burns.

Black beans cooking in a skillet.

Add beans and water to the skillet, raise the heat a bit and bring the water to a boil. Lower the heat and let your beans simmer for a few minutes.

Hand with potato masher mashing beans in a skillet.

Once your beans have cooked long enough to soften up, start mashing them with a fork or potato masher.

Tip: It’s up to you how creamy or chunky you make your refried black beans. Mash them lightly for chunky beans, or more for creamier beans. You can even stick them in a blender to make them super smooth and creamy.

White wooden surface set with skillet of Refried Black Beans, lime slices and bunch of cilantro.

Season your beans with some lime juice and salt to taste when they’re done. I like to sprinkle mine with some fresh cilantro as well!

Leftovers & Storage

Refried black beans will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 days, or in the freezer for about 3 months.

Hand with spoon scooping refried black beans from a skillet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are refried black beans gluten-free?

They are!

Can I make this recipe oil-free?

You can! Simply substitute water for the oil when sautéing your onion, garlic and spices.

How are refried beans served?

Refried beans make a great appetizer, served with tortilla chips for dipping. You can serve then as a side dish with rice or your favorite Mexican dishes. They’re also excellent for topping nachos or tostadas or stuffing in tacos or black bean burritos.

More Black Bean Recipes

Like this recipe? If so, please stop back and leave me a review and rating below if you try it! Also be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, or subscribe to my newsletter for more recipes like this one!

Hand dipping tortilla chip in a skillet of refried black beans.

Refried Black Beans

These refried black beans are thick and creamy and perfectly spiced! They’re super easy to make and perfect for everything from stuffing tacos and burritos to dipping.


  • 2
    olive oil
  • 3
    garlic cloves,
  • 1
    medium onion,
  • 1
    ground cumin
  • 1
    mild chili powder
  • 2
    (14 oz or 400 gram) cans
    black beans
    drained and rinsed
  • 1
    or as needed
  • 1
    lime juice
  • ½
    plus more to taste


  1. Coat the bottom of a medium skillet with the oil and place it over medium heat.

  2. Once the oil is hot, add the onion. Sweat the onion for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until it becomes soft and transclucent.

  3. Stir in the garlic, cumin and chili powder. Sauté the mixture for about 1 minute, until it becomes very fragrant. Stir constantly to avoid burning the spices.

  4. Add the beans and ½ cup of water. Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a boil.

  5. Lower the heat and simmer the beans for about 10 minutes, until they soften a bit, adding more water as needed.

  6. Remove the skillet from heat and mash the beans using a fork or potato masher. You can mash most (or all) of the beans if you like them smooth and creamy, or just some of them if you prefer your refried beans chunky.

  7. Stir in the lime juice and salt. Add extra salt to taste, if desired. You can also thin the beans with additional water if you’d like.

Nutrition Facts

Refried Black Beans

Amount Per Serving (0.5 cup)

Calories 187
Calories from Fat 49

% Daily Value*

Fat 5.4g8%

Saturated Fat 0.8g4%

Sodium 438mg18%

Potassium 412mg12%

Carbohydrates 27g9%

Fiber 9.4g38%

Sugar 1g1%

Protein 9.3g19%

Calcium 40mg4%

Iron 2mg11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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