Light Bites & Snacks Main Meals Recipes Sides

Cheats Refried Beans

Refried beans are a party food staple in my house. I always make them whenever I’m having a gathering, but I have to be prepared and start the day before. However, this is the cheats version. I say cheat because I’m using already cooked beans from the tin. No need for soaking over night, or boiling for hours. You can decide to make these an hour before serving, without compromising on the taste.

This is a really versatile dip, something I always make in large batches as it sits well in the fridge for a week, ready to be lovingly transformed into the next meal. I love using this as a spread in a wrap for a burrito, quesadillas with melted cheese, enchiladas or even tostadas if you’re feeling fancy!

In addition, you can easily make these vegan. The recipe below is vegetarian, but if you replace the butter with rapeseed oil in the base mix, you’ll be all set for Veganuary. Then you can either use them as is, or use a vegan sour cream and cheese alternative to make the full on refried beans experience.

All that’s left to say is Happy New Year and enjoy whatever you’re doing (and eating)!

Serves 4


  • 1 tin of black beans
  • 3-4 large cloves of garlic, sliced in half
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 small bunch of coriander, stalks separated from leaves, leaves chopped
  • 3 fresh bayleaves, crushed
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 20g butter (or rapeseed oil if making vegan)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced

To serve (optional)

  • Soured cream
  • Cheese e.g. Cheddar, Cheshire or Wensleydale
  • Coriander leaves
  • Tortilla chips


  • Pour the tin of black beans with their water into a pan. Fill the can with water and add to the beans.
  • Add the half onion, halved garlic, bayleaves and coriander stalks. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. If your beans were unsalted, add in salt to your taste.
  • Meanwhile, gently fry the red onion in your choice of fat till softened. Add the garlic and continue cooking for a further 2 minutes.
  • Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid. Discard the garlic, bayleaf, onion and coriander stalks.
  • Blend the beans with a little of the cooking water till the desired thickened of dipping. I like to keep mine quite chunky.
  • Add the fried onion and garlic and half the chopped coriander leaves.
  • Top with soured cream, cheese and more coriander leaves and serve with tortilla chips.

Per Serving of Beans 96kcal/ 2.6g fat/ 1.5g saturated fat/ 11.2g carbohydrates/ 4.7 fibre/ 4.9g protein

Refried beans
Refried beans

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