These refried black beans can be made in just a few minutes by using canned beans! They’re a great vegan-friendly side dish for your next taco night.

Refried Black Beans
Save This Recipe Form

Want to save this recipe?

Share your email below & we'll send it to you! Plus, you'll get new recipes from us every week!

I love a side of refried beans with tacos or fajitas as they’re an easy way to add more protein and fiber to my dinner. While I often keep a few cans of refried beans in my pantry, I wanted to try making homemade refried black beans to see if I could create a better flavor. Refried beans are often made with pinto beans, but I wanted to use black beans since that’s what I typically have in my pantry.

I used canned black beans for this recipe to make it easy, but you’re welcome to use dried beans if you prefer. I recommend making my slow cooker black beans if you want to make them from scratch!

Are Refried Beans Vegetarian?

Traditional refried beans are made with lard, which is animal fat. Since this is not a traditional recipe, I’m using olive oil for the fat in these beans. If you’re buying canned refried beans, check the label. Look for “vegetarian” or “fat-free” refried beans on the label. But once you try these homemade refried black beans, you might not want to buy the canned version again!

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Black beans- I used canned black beans. I recommend using no salt or low-sodium black beans to control the final dish’s saltiness and sodium.
  • Olive oil- This helps bloom the spices for the best flavor.
  • Cumin– This adds a warm, earthy flavor to the beans.
  • Garlic powder- I love the taste of garlic and garlic powder is a quick and easy way to add savory flavor to these beans.
  • Onion powder- Similar to garlic, I love the taste of onions and adding onion powder infuses the beans with flavor, but doesn’t require chopping and cooking an onion.
  • Chili powder- Just a dash of chili powder adds a bit of heat, but I wouldn’t consider these beans spicy. If you want to add a spicy flavor, add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • Lime juice- A splash of lime juice enhances the overall flavor of the beans.
  • Cilantro- This is optional, but a little fresh cilantro adds a nice flavor and a pop of color.
Refried Black Beans


  • You can mash the beans as much as you like. I kept mine pretty chunky, but if you want a smooth texture, you can use a potato masher to mash them as much as you like.
  • I topped mine with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro, but queso fresco is another excellent topping for refried beans.

How to Make Refried Black Beans