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top view of oil free refried beans in a dark blue bowl with oven baked tortilla chips, and chopped tomatoes, cilantro and jalapeno. lime wedges on the side

Refried Beans (GLUTEN-FREE)

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  • Author: Gigi & Sersie
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


These refried beans are gluten-free, low sodium, oil-free and vegan. They make the perfect dip with oven-baked tortilla chips, but can easily be used as a side dish, paired with rice and veggies for a delicious and satisfying entrée, or as a base for tacos and burritos! #refriedbeans #oilfree #nooil #vegan #healthyveganrecipes #danielfastrecipes #wfpb


Units Scale
  • 2 cups dried pinto beans
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • Salt to taste

Optional, but recommended toppings: fresh cilantro, diced tomato, sliced (or minced) jalapeno for heat, lime

Serve with Oven-Baked Tortilla Chips



Making dried beans is pretty hands-off but does require some preplanning because it can take more time than opening a can of cooked beans. This vegan refried beans recipe covers three methods: Instant Pot, stovetop, and slow cooker.

Instant Pot Method

This method is the fastest and takes less than one hour. Turn on the sauté setting on your Instant Pot pressure cooker. Give it 2 minutes to heat up. Dry sauté the chopped onion for 4 to 5 minutes until slightly brown.  Stir in seasonings and cook for another minute. Add dried beans and water and stir to incorporate. Secure the pressure cooker lid, and make sure the vent is in the cook position. Hit the beans button or set the timer for 30 minutes and let it naturally release for 15 to 20 minutes.

Stovetop Method

Soak dried beans in a large bowl of water for 8 hours or overnight. Ensure plenty of water covers the beans because the beans absorb some of the water during soaking. After 8 hours, drain and rinse the beans well in a large colander.

Preheat a large pot over medium heat. Dry sauté the chopped onion for 4 to 5 minutes until slightly brown. Stir in seasonings and cook for another minute. Add soaked beans and fresh water and stir to incorporate. Bring the beans to a boil, then reduce heat, partially cover, and cook over medium-low heat for 1 hour. Check the beans after 45 minutes and ensure enough water to complete the cooking. After one hour, check one or two of the beans to ensure they're cooked through. If not, continue cooking for another 15 minutes. 

Slow Cooker Method

Add all ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 1/2 hours. You

Want to learn more about cooking with dried beans? Check out this post.

How to make the cooked beans "refried"

When beans are done cooking, carefully drain off most of the excess liquid. Add some or all of the cooked beans to a large mixing bowl.  Using a potato masher, mash the beans to desired "refried" consistency. Salt to taste. Top with fresh cilantro, diced tomato, and sliced (or minced) jalapeno. Squeeze fresh lime juice on top and serve with Oven-Baked Tortilla Chips.

Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 4 months. To reheat, thaw frozen beans in the refrigerator or on countertop. Then reheat in a dry hot skillet or the microwave.



  1. Instant Pot (or large pot if cooking stovetop)
  2. Large bowl (for soaking beans if cooking stovetop and mashing beans after cooking)
  3. Potato masher
  4. Cutting board
  5. Knife
  6. Measuring spoons
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Instant Pot or Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Southwestern