These creamy, smoky beans are perfect for everything from enchiladas to bean dip. I could just sit there with a spoon and mindlessly eat too many beans.Jump to Recipe
I have a soft spot in my heart for canned refried beans. I love them so much. They are creamy, salty, fatty, and delicious, right out of the can. I don’t even heat them up sometimes. It’s one of my many favorite comfort foods.
But homemade refried beans are even better. The first time I made my own refried beans I was blown away. I didn’t know refried beans could get tastier!
For these beans, I wanted the smoky, fatty flavor that is often associated with refried beans. Usually this comes from some part of a pig, and vegan canned refried beans often try to emulate that fattiness with palm oil or soybean oil. I wanted to go a step further by incorporating the smoky onion bacon I put on my BLTs. I’m pretty excited about my resulting pot of beans.
For this recipe, I used canned black beans to save time (also purple-y black refried beans are beautiful) but I’ve also tried it with pinto and cranberry beans. I think it would also be tasty with kidney beans or a blend of beans. You’ll need 5 cups of cooked beans, which is about 3 13 oz cans of beans. (You’ll need about one and a half cups of dried beans, and an extra few hours, if cooking them from scratch.)
The smoky rich flavor comes from onions, garlic, liquid smoke, gluten free soy sauce (or liquid aminos), and whatever neutral oil you decide to use. I prefer safflower or avocado oil, but many neutral oils are so similar that you don’t really notice the difference. I wouldn’t use a strong flavored oil, such as olive or coconut. Usually I would have only added yellow onion, but I used half yellow and half red onion in this recipe because the bacon-y onions I put on a BLT are made from red onions. If you only have yellow or sweet onions, the flavor will be similar.
In a medium or large pot, begin heating ¼ cup neutral oil over medium heat. Chop ½ of one yellow and ½ of one red onion and add them both to the pot. Add 4 cloves of garlic – you don’t need to chop them; they’ll be blended in later. Sauté until the onions are browning.
Now it’s time to add the cooked beans. Give those a stir, and then add ¼ tsp of liquid smoke (be careful, this stuff is potent!) and ½ tsp of gluten free soy sauce or liquid aminos. Once the beans are soft and warm, it’s time to blend. You can use a blender, food processor, or potato masher, but I used an immersion blender.
I needed to add 1 tsp of kosher salt to my beans, but you might need to add more or less depending on if your beans were salted and what kind of soy sauce you used. I would start with ½ tsp of kosher salt and then add more to taste.
These are perfect beans for tostadas, tacos, burritos, bean dip, enchiladas, or just eating with a spoon. We accidentally ate the entire pot in a day. Whoopsies.
Smoky Refried Beans
- 5 cups cooked black beans
- ½ red onion, diced
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 jalapeno without seeds
- ¼ tsp liquid smoke
- ½ tsp soy sauce
- ¼ cup neutral oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Heat the neutral oil in a medium sized pot over medium.
- Add the minced red and white onions and the garlic to the pot and saute until translucent.
- Add beans, liquid smoke, and soy sauce and continuing heating.
- Using an immersion blender (or standing blender) blend the beans until smooth.
- Stir in the diced jalapeno and 1 tsp salt, or salt to taste.
- Use as a bean dip, or filling for tacos, tostadas, or enchiladas!