Fat Free “Refried” Beans


These Fat Free “Refried” Beans are healthy, flavorful and super easy to prepare! You only need a can of pinto beans and a handful of spices and in under 20 minutes you have creamy, delicious and better-for-you refried beans. Yields about 1-1/4 cups.

Easy ✔️

Healthy ✔️

Delicious ✔️

I created this recipe back in 2019 when wanting creamy refried beans but without the added calories of fat. Since then I have made these hundreds of times. We use the as the glue in our double decker tacos, on nachos, and they’re also great sprinkled with cheese and ate as a dip!


To Make These Fat Free Refried Beans You Will Need:

  • pinto beans (canned) – Reserving 1/3 cup of the bean liquids.
  • ground cuminLends earthiness and warmth, with an edge of citrus.
  • garlic powderAdds flavor that’s sweeter yet milder than fresh garlic.
  • onion powderLends bold oniony flavor.
  • coriander (ground) – Lends a citrusy flavor with a slight sweetness and subtle hint of earthiness.
  • kosher saltEnhances all the flavors in the recipe.


In a small saucepan or skillet, add in the drained beans and 1/3 cup reserved bean liquid.Then measure and add 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon both ground coriander and kosher salt.


Stir to combine. Bring this to a low boil, reduce to low and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.


Mash by hand using a potato masher or allow the beans to cool slightly before transferring to a mini food processor.


Pulse until smooth or desired consistency. Taste and add more salt if desired. Transfer back to pan to keep warm over low heat.

How To Store Homemade Refried Beans:

Allow any leftover refried beans to cool completely before transferring to a container that has an air-tight lid and refrigerate.

How Long Will Homemade Refried Beans Last?

If stored properly, they should last 3 to 4 days.


Refried Bean Recipe Variations:

  • mildly spicyFor mild heat add some (canned) diced green chiles.
  • spicyFor more heat, sauté a small diced jalapeño (seeds and ribs as well) in the pan before adding the beans and spices.
  • smoky and spicyStir in 1 small diced chipotle pepper or 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground chipotle powder.
  • cheesyOnce pureed, transfer back into saucepan and stir in 1/4 to 1/3 cup of cheddar jack, monterey jack or pepper jack cheese. Really any cheese you prefer!
  • cilantro limeStir 2 to 3 tablespoons of finely minced cilantro and some lime zest and juice once pureed.