Spicy Vegan Refried Beans Recipe


A basic refried bean recipe flavored with onion, garlic, jalapeño, and chipotle. 100% vegan.

Note: To make using canned beans, replace the dried pinto beans with 2 (15-ounce) cans of cooked pinto beans, drained and rinsed. Start with step 2. Dry beans can also be cooked in a pressure cooker. To cook in a pressure cooker, skip the soaking step. Place in pressure cooker with split onion, bay leaf, 3 quarts water, and 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Cook at high pressure for 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest for 20 minutes. Release pressure and allow to cool before attempting to open lid. Discard onion and bay leaf. Drain beans, reserving liquid, and continue from step 2.

Recipe Facts



Active: 15 mins
Total: 10 hrs
Serves: 8 to 10 servings

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  • 1 pound dried pinto beans (see note)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 medium onions, one split in half, one chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced on a microplane grater (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely minced (about 1 tablespoon, optional)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (optional)


  1. Place beans in a large bowl and add 1 gallon water. Stir in two tablespoons kosher salt. Set aside at room temperature and let rest overnight. The next day, drain and rinse beans. Transfer to a large Dutch oven. Add bay leaf, split onion, and 3 quarts water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a bare simmer, cover, and cook until beans are completely tender and skins are loose, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Discard onion and bay leaves. Drain beans, reserving liquid. (See note for pressure cooker or canned bean variations).

  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, garlic, and jalapeño (if using) and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add beans and chipotle (if using) and cook, folding with a wooden spoon until homogenous. Add 2 cups of reserved bean liquid. Mash beans with a potato masher until desired consistency is reached, adding extra cooking liquid as necessary to loosen to desired texture. If smoother texture is required, use a hand blender or a food processor to process beans to desired texture. Season with salt to taste. Serve. Uneaten beans can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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