Beans may not have the best reputation, but let's face it, they're delicious. They're also a great source of fiber, folate, potassium, and, of course, lean, meatless protein. However, like too many processed products, store-bought refried beans tend to be unnecessarily high in sodium, which contributes to hypertension, heart disease, and other health issues.

Fortunately, it turns out that refried beans are extremely easy to DIY in a healthy way. This healthy refried beans recipe, inspired by the Food Network's Ellie Krieger, relies on onion, garlic, and spices for flavor, rather than copious amounts of salt. Use these beans to fill enchiladas, bind veggie burgers, or just enjoy with chips as a hearty dip.

Healthier Refried Beans

  • Prep Time:10 mins
  • Cook Time:5 mins
  • Total Time:15 mins
  • Servings:4
  • Easy


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 25 oz. low-sodium pinto beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable stock
  • Step 1

    Warm oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then cook onion until tender, about 3 minutes.

    vegetable, cereal, risotto, rice
    Eva Reynolds
  • Step 2

    Add garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Cook for about 1 minute.

    rice, cereal, vegetable, corn, meat
    Eva Reynolds
  • Step 3

    Add beans and steadily pour in stock. Stir until beans are thoroughly warmed, 3-5 minutes.

    baked beans, moth bean, lentil, vegetable, legume, cereal
    Eva Reynolds
  • Step 4

    Use a ladle or wooden spoon to smush the beans. You're already done!

    legume, vegetable, wheat, lentil, cereal
    Eva Reynolds