Easy Homemade Refried Beans

When you think of making homemade Refried Beans are you intimidated because the name makes it sound really complicated like there is deep frying involved? We’re going to let you in on a secret: making refried beans at home is so simple and well worth the (at most) 10 minutes it takes to make them. They are so much better than anything you can buy at a store pre-made! Our easy refried beans recipe makes a great addition to any Mexican inspired recipe, ranging from a spread in a layer dip, dolloped right on your taco or just dig in with tortilla chips! Oh, and it’s also gluten-free and vegan. Trust us, you need to make this ASAP!

bowl of healthy refried beans

Easy Homemade Refried Beans Recipe

The name refried beans is a little misleading as it makes you think that there is some sort of special deep frying happening twice with beans. But really refried beans means beans cooked twice! Homemade refried beans, with quality ingredients you control, is so much more flavorful and delicious than anything you can get store bought and it’s simply WORTH it to make. Plus, it takes less then 10 minutes! That’s so quick! And most of the ingredients are likely already in your pantry.

What do you need to make it

vegan refried beans in dip

Why we use canned beans

In our refried bean recipe, we start with canned beans. There are a lot of good options for purchasing canned beans that don’t containing additives, so using this option makes homemade refried beans super quick. If you have homemade cooked beans and wanted to use them in this recipe, that is fine. Just make sure that if they have seasoning in them already you may need to adjust the seasoning called for in this recipe. Use about 1-1/3 cup beans (or 15 ounces if you have a scale).

Ways to use this healthy refried beans recipe

casserole that uses healthy refried beans

If you like this Mexican inspired recipe, check out these others:

5.0 rating
2 reviews

Easy Homemade Refried Beans Recipe

Making refried beans at home is so simple and they are so much better than anything you can get store bought! Our easy refried beans recipe makes a great addition to any Mexican inspired recipe, ranging from a spread in a layer dip, dolloped right on your taco or just dig in with a tortilla! Oh, and it's also gluten-free and vegan. Trust us, you need to make this ASAP!

Yields 1 cup

Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Recipe Type: side dish, condiment
Cuisine gluten-free, vegan

Author: Lexi's Clean Kitchen
Scale This Recipe


  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 14.5-ounce can organic kidney beans or black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup water or stock
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • cilantro, for garnish (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cheddar or cotija cheese, for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. When hot add garlic and spices and let cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  2. Add the beans to the saucepan and ¼ cup water. Cover and let cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Take off heat and add lime juice. Mash to desired consistency using a potato masher or fork.
  4. Set aside until ready to use in recipe, or serve as a dip and top with cilantro and cheese.

Recipe Notes

  1. You can easily double this recipe to make a bigger batch! 


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Easy Homemade Refried Beans

This Chicken Enchilada Spaghetti Squash Casserole is comfort food lightened up! All the classic flavors of your favorite chicken enchiladas, including refried beans, made healthier with spaghetti squash as its base. This gluten-free and dairy-free meal is the ultimate family favorite meal that is great for meal prep, too. Made in partnership with Tuttorosso Tomatoes!

Spaghetti Squash Enchilada Casserole close upChicken Enchilada Spaghetti Squash Casserole

This Enchilada casserole is the ultimate gluten-free casserole! This healthy and hearty enchilada casserole made with spaghetti squash has all the Mexican flavor you love that is a definite crowd favorite. This recipe has loads of veggies, shredded chicken, homemade refried beans, spaghetti squash and is so comforting.

Here’s what you need to make it:

Spaghetti Squash Enchilada Casserole

This recipe is made in partnership with my friends at Tuttorosso Tomatoes, my favorite tomatoes that I trust time and time again in my kitchen. Other Tuttorosso favorites include my Lasagna SoupInstant Pot Chicken CacciatorePizza Stuffed Peppers, and One Pan Indian Spiced Chicken and Cauliflower!

Ingredients for enchilada casserole

How to Make this Enchilada Casserole

  1. Roast or cook the squash in an Instant Pot. Check out this article for more info.
  2. Pre-cook and veggies that go with it.
  3. Make the refried beans and sauce.
  4. Assemble and bake!

Cheesy top of casserole with avocado slices

Watch the video:

If you like this recipe, try these other Spaghetti Squash Recipes:

Scoop of enchilada casserole from the oven

5.0 rating
8 reviews

Spaghetti Squash Enchilada Casserole (with Chicken)


Yield 6
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes

Author: Lexi
Scale This Recipe


  • 5 cups spaghetti squash, cooked
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 14.5 ounce can black beans
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cups spinach, loosely packed
  • 5 ounces refried beans, about 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • Chopped scallions, for garnish
  • Optional: 1/4 cup Mexican blend cheese, more for topping

1 batch Enchilada Sauce from page XXX in My Cookbook (Makes about 2 cups)

Refried Beans (makes 8 ounces)


  1. Cook The Spaghetti Squash:  Preheat oven to 375ºF and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Cut spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out seeds. Brush inside with oil. Place facedown on baking sheet and add 1 tablespoon or so of water to the baking sheet. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until you can pierce with a fork. Once done, scrape out squash into spaghetti stands and set aside. 
  2. While cooking, sauté the veggies: 
  3. Make the enchilada sauce: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the arrowroot flour and stir constantly for 1 minute.  Stir in the chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and salt. Then add the tomato sauce and gradually add the chicken broth, whisking to remove any clumps. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce is reduced by about half and can coat the back of a spoon. 
  4. Make the Refried Beans: Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add in garlic and spices and let cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Drain the liquid from the beans and rinse well, then add the beans to the saucepan. Turn down heat and stir well. Add in lime juice and water. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Take off heat and mash well using a potato masher or fork. Set aside until ready to serve.
  5. Assemble and bake:

Recipe Notes



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This post is sponsored by Tuttorosso Tomatoes. All thoughts and opinions are always 100% my own! I love the integrity of their products and think you’ll love them too. Thank you for continuing to support LCK and the brands I work with!

Chicken Enchilada Spaghetti Squash Casserole

This is hands down one of my go-to salads lately. The fajita seasoning that covers the chicken and covers the veggies has the perfect flavor, and a simple dressing of salsa {homemade or store-bought}, is the perfect healthy topping.

Chicken Fajita SaladsChicken Fajita Salads

Cinco de Mayo is 8 days away. This is my excuse to get super festive (by now you’ll find I’m pretty much down to get festive for any occasion) with my food. I’m all about Mexican dinners, which you can see from my variations post here or through my occasional Instagram posts about it, here. They are generally one of those meals that is super simple to throw together, healthy, and packs a ton of flavor. Sign me up!

On Cinco de Mayo you may think of authentic flavors such as flan, mole, and tres leches. Today we’re going to keep it in the Mexican family but go with a healthy salad option, yet not at all shy of some fabulous bold flavors.

Chicken Fajita Salads

Watch the video:

Chicken Fajita Salads

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