Flavourful refried beans with NO oil required! This fat free version of refried beans is JUST as delicious as your classic version but healthier than ever. Ready in just 25 minutes!
Oil free refried beans may sound like a conundrum but in the interest of enjoying delicious food that’s low in calories and low fat, I’m making this happen!
While most refried beans recipes call for lard, oil, or some other kind of fat, these ones are perfectly wholesome! Woohoo! 🥳
Ingredients + Substitutions
Here’s what you’ll need to make these oil free refried beans:
- Beans: Classic refried beans use pinto beans which work beautifully because of their naturally creamy and buttery texture. However, you may also use black beans for this refried bean recipe, if that is your preference. You may use dried beans that have been cooked, or you may use canned beans in a pinch.
- Broth: Use a flavourful and salty broth since there’s no other salt in this recipe. I like this homemade bouillon for the ultimate flavour.
- Onion: Dice your onion into small cubes, or finely chop. I like white onion in this dish, but whatever you have on hand will work just fine.
- Lime: Adds a slightly citrus and tangy flavour to the refried beans. Adjust to your taste.
- Cilantro: Adds freshness to the spread, but if you’re a cilantro hater, you may skip it. 🙂
- Garlic + spices: Here’s where a lot of the flavour comes in, so don’t skip these unless absolutely necessary. And as always, adjust to your taste.
(This is a summary with step by step photos, full recipe measurements and instructions are in the recipe card below.)
Add the diced onion with 4 tablespoons of broth to a skillet and sauté until softened. (photo 1)
Next, add the garlic and the spices to the pan, plus a little extra water or broth if needed. (photo 2)
Cook for another 30 seconds, until fragrant, and stir often to prevent sticking. (photo 3)
Add the beans and remaining broth. Boil until the broth is mostly reduced. (photo 4)
Now mash to desired consistency using a potato masher. (photo 5)
Then add the lime juice and cilantro and give it a good mix. (photo 6)
NOTE: Remember to taste it at the end and adjust the seasoning if necessary. For example, if using no salt beans or low sodium broth, you might need to add some salt.
What to eat with your refried beans
- Serve it as a dip with homemade tortilla chips, and serve with guacamole, pico de gallo, and/or salsa.
- Use it as a topping in your burritos, fajitas, tacos, or load some onto nachos!
- Add some as a topping on your burgers or vegan hot dogs.
- Spread into veggie sandwiches to amp up the protein.
Leftover refried beans will keep in an airtight container in your refrigerator for 3-4 days.
If you have a lot of leftovers that you don’t think you’ll finish, freeze some in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to 6 months.
- Use a good quality, flavourful/salty broth for the best flavour. I use this homemade bouillon mix.
- If using a low sodium broth, you may need to add a little salt to the final product. Taste and adjust as needed.
- For smoother refried beans, mash longer or use a food processor, immersion blender or blend in your stand blender if you don’t want any texture at all.
More oil free Mexican recipes
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- Potato Masher
- Add the four tablespoons of broth to a large skillet with the diced onion. Sauté until soft, approx. 4-5 minutes, adding more broth or water, if needed to prevent sticking.
- Then add the garlic and the spices, mix well and cook another 30 seconds.
- Next, add the pinto beans and the remaining ¾ cup of broth to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes, until the liquid is mostly reduced. Turn off the heat and use a potato masher to mash most of the beans.
- Now add the cilantro, and lime juice, and mix well. Taste for salt and add if needed. (This will depend on the saltiness of your broth.)