Get ready to fiesta because these Oil-Free Refried Beans have all the flavor of your favorite store-bought brand but without the oil and tons of added salt!
Let’s face it, nutritarians are bean people.
And we should be because they are hands down the most nutrient-dense form of carbohydrate.
Beans are packed with insoluble fiber (which means not all their carbohydrates even get absorbed) and they stabilize your blood sugar (even during the 2 or 3 meals after you enjoy a meal containing beans). Yup, beans are magic like that.
And I’m so excited to be sharing a new way to love on beans with you! Let’s do this…
In an ideal world I would always pre-soak fresh pinto beans and cook them at home myself.
If you’ve ever done this (and I have when I’m feeling extra) you’ll know they taste absolutely amazing home cooked like that!
But our world is far from ideal. Hectic schedules = sometimes packaged beans happen. Okay, okay it’s most of the time.
Well, what I really love about this recipe is that you can infuse some fresh produce to the mix and it really perks up those packaged beans into something special!
Un-Fried Refried Beans
If your scratching your head right about now wondering how in the world we’re going to get that “traditional refried beans” consistency without, you know, frying–I gotcha…
Nutritarian 101 for cooking without oil is to sauté your veggies in low-sodium veggie broth instead. You can do this with all the things, even Un-Fried Rice!
The other secret to getting rich savory flavor sans the oil is to blend up some of the beans with fresh garlic and spices and then cook them up with those sautéed veggies.
How to Love on These Refried Beans
- spread on Romaine lettuce leaves and top with No-Added-Salt Pico de Gallo
- spread on a corn tortilla and top with No-Soak Nutritarian Cheese Sauce for a Mexican pizza
- as part of this Eat to Live Mexican Salad recipe
Oil-Free Refried Beans
Get ready to clean up this traditional Mexican classic! These Oil-Free Refried Beans have no added salt but are high on fresh flavor!
- 1/2 cup low-sodium veggie broth
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 1/2 cup diced tomato
- 2 tbsp. diced jalapeno pepper
- 2 13.4 oz packages no salt added pinto beans
- 1/2 cup aquafaba (reserved from the packages of beans)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tbsp. lime juice
Sauté the veggies:
Add the veggie broth to a medium-sized sauce pan over medium-high heat. One the broth starts to bubble and steam add the diced onion, tomato and jalapeno peppers.
Sauté and mix the veggies well for 2 minutes, then reduce heat to medium low.
Blend the beans:
Drain the packages of pinto beans over a bowl to reserve the aquafaba (bean juice), you'll need 1/2 aquafaba cup for this recipe. Also, reserve 1/2 cup of the pinto beans and set aside (these will be left whole).
Combine the rest of the drained pinto beans, the 1/2 cup aquafaba, the 2 garlic cloves, cumin, onion powder and lime juice to your blender bowl.
Blend on high for about 20 seconds or until just starting to smooth (you want to keep a bit of texture to the mixture).
By now the sautéed veggies will be softened and done cooking. Add the blended bean mixture and combine well. Reduce to low heat and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.
Finally, add the reserved whole pinto beans and stir to combine. Remove beans from heat.
Makes 2 1/4 cups.
Stores for up to 10 days in the fridge in a glass food container.
I can’t wait to hear what you think of this Oil-Free Refried Beans recipe! Please leave a rating and comment below!
Wondering what I can use to replace aquafaba…until I make another batch I have some frozen.
I think you could replace it with 1/4 cup veggie broth or stock and the texture would be okay. Of course you can add more if you need to, but that would be my best guess!
Let me know if you try it out that way!
Brilliant! I should’ve doubled the recipe. Personal preference for next time, I would add the garlic to the veggies for the last couple of minutes, but that’s maybe just for this household!
I also cooked my own pinto beans in a pressure cooker so added the extra 1/4 cup of veggie broth as you suggested. Texture & flavours are excellent. I stumbled upon this recipe & will now have to check out the rest of your site & all that you offer. Great job on the refried beans!
I’m so happy to hear that you loved the refried beans recipe! Thank you for sharing all the tweaks you made–so helpful!
HI, I just found your website after making refried black beans in olive oil. I’ve been trying to eat healthier and I thought that it would be possible to make them without the oil. After reading this article, I’m all set to try, though I do not have access to vegetable broth unless I make it. It’s hard to come by in the stores here in India. Next time I do this, I’m going try cooking the garlic and chili in the aquafaba with a pinch of salt and then add my other ingredients including onion, tomato, oregano, and cumin with the beans. Thank you for confirming my idea about no oil refried beans!
So happy that you’ve found inspiration from this recipe and I think your method sounds like it will be very tasty, Martin!
This was SO good! I’ve been struggling to make good tasting refried beans for awhile now, even resorting to oil. These are delicious and flavorful and amazing! I made it as is except I didn’t have any pinto beans so I used black beans. I held back just a tad on the cumin ’cause I’m not a big fan of it, and I used a no-chicken broth for the broth. and it was perfect! Thanks for the recipe! This will be my go-to from now on.
Hi Melissa, I’m so thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the refried beans and thank you for taking the time to leave a recipe review and rating–much appreciated!
I have 3 questions. I. If I make my own beans from dry beans, from where do I get the aquafaba? 2. Do you have a recipe for this using an instant pot? 3. In the picture you show Sprouts Organic Pinto beans. Does that mean you recommend them? Do you think there is a difference between brands? If so, can you recommend a brand of dry pinto beans? Sorry, more than three questions.
I’ve been experimenting with non fried, non oil refried pintos for years and truthfully, none have been very good. Any help you can provide, I’d appreciate. Thanks very much.
Hi Larry, I don’t make homemade beans so I don’t really have an answer for you there. I have seen other commenters on my hummus recipe who just use the bean cooking water in place of the aquafaba. As far as the Sprouts brand I think I used them because I liked how the can looked, lol! I don’t have any prejudices for or against any canned bean brands so use whatever you like.
These beans have become a staple in our house for me and for my family who does not follow a WFPB diet. Everyone agrees they are incredible even without the oil, which is how we make them.
SO happy to hear that Brenda! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a recipe rating and review–much appreciated!