Refried Beans in 2 Minutes Flat (Low Sodium/Fat Free!)

Refried Beans in 2 Minutes Flat

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE refried beans. The taste, the texture, even the pale pinkish-brown hue. This winter my passion for refried beans reached epic proportions, requiring weekly purchases of 3+ cans, which I’d mix with roasted veggies, cilantro-lime rice, and salsa. I finally came to the conclusion that, for me, refried beans are to winter what hummus is to summer: my go-to sandwich spread (though truth be told, I’m just as likely to eat either with a spoon).

Enter Mayim Bialik. Did you know that the famous actress and (yes) scientist is also a brand new cookbook author? It’s true! Several weeks ago, I got an email from her publisher asking whether I’d be interested in taking her new cookbook, Mayim’s Vegan Table, for a test drive. And how could I say no to BLOSSOM?! Well of course I couldn’t. And I’m so glad! Not only does Mayim make a mean quinoa burger, but she offers a Mexican Bean Dip I just KNEW would be my new low-sodium best friend.

Mayim's Vegan Table

Today’s recipe is a lazy gal’s adaptation of Mayim’s aforementioned recipe. Instead of chopping an onion, celery, and garlic, and spending the time (and fat) to saute, I simply substituted onion and garlic powders. I am classy like that. If you can find salt-free, low, or lower-sodium beans – amen! This recipe works great with not only kidney, but pinto, even black beans. If you can’t buy low-so canned beans and don’t have the time to cook your own, substitute the standard canned kind, but be sure to drain and rinse under cold water to eliminate as much sodium as possible.

Yields 3 (burrito-filling) servings or 1 1/4 cups total

SODIUM CONTENT: 39 mg per serving

Fat Free Refried Beans in 2 Minutes Flat


1 14-oz. can no salt added kidney, pinto, or black beans, drained (or 1 3/4 cups cooked beans)
1 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. low-sodium soy sauce or Braggs liquid aminos
freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Place ingredients into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Serve immediately. Warm if desired.

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13 Responses to Refried Beans in 2 Minutes Flat (Low Sodium/Fat Free!)

  1. Judith Vogelsang says:

    I have enjoyed making many of your recipes over the years and much appreciate your positive energy and inventive choices. I’m a Meniere’s sufferer too, so greatly sympathize with you. And I too am on a constant quest for low-salt and GOOD things to eat! Thanks for all your great work.

    • Christy says:

      Hi Judith! Thanks so much for your lovely comment. It always makes my day hearing that I’ve been a help to others. Thank you for taking the time to say so – and really hope you enjoy these beans. We love them! All the best, Christy

  2. coral tarracino says:


    Would you have any ideas on a low fat low sodium . type dip to use for dipping carrots instad of just hummus . for a change ? thank you. Coral

    • Christy says:

      Hi Coral! This recipe works very well as a bean dip. I also have a recipe for sour cream and onion dip here. Enjoy!

      • Tracy Tiernan says:

        This is beautiful! This is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Trying to be vegan, failing miserably. It’s so much easier when we have simplified recipes for vegan type staple foods. Bean burritos are my go to meal but I have to order them without chili sauce and cheese and it’s just so frustrating. They also always have so much sodium and fat in them. Thank you for this recipe!

  3. Judith Yount says:

    Just made this recipe for the family. Taste was good, and incredibly easy. Using one can of beans does make a very small amount. It was about a 1/2 cup serving for 3 adults. My main problem the recipe was that I rinsed the beans as suggested to help remove the sodium since they were not a reduced sodium product. However, doing that made the beans very dry when place in the food processor. I ended up adding back about a 1/4 C. water in order to get them to grind in the food processor, and still could have used more. My suggestion is do not rinse the beans. You will need almost all the water that the beans come in. Although that water may have sodium, it also has a great deal of flavor that is lost if drained as compared to using plain water. Just be sure to buy low sodium beans that won’t require rinsing or not. I will make this recipe again, I just won’t drain the beans.

    • Christy says:

      Hi Judith! Thanks so much for your comment. I’m thrilled you found the taste and ease spot-on. Great tip about the rinsing -or in this case, NOT rinsing. Because of the dryness I’d recommend using strictly salt-free beans so you can use the liquid, or conversely, as you did, adding in water or preferably even low-sodium vegetable broth for enhanced flavor. Thanks so much again for your feedback! It’s very much appreciated.

      Best wishes, Christy

  4. Doris says:

    I would like to know how long can you store your recipe made refried beans in the Fridge..? thank you

    • Christy says:

      Hi Doris!

      I go by the 3-day rule w most leftovers or pre-made stuff. As long as the container is sealed or covered well and refrigerated, the beans should be fine up to 3 days after – maybe even longer, but better safe than sorry! Hope this helps!

      Best wishes to you,

  5. sylvia says:

    I love your blog! I make my own beans with spices and freeze them in a qt. size zip lock bag. When Im ready to make my own I thaw out a qt and add your spices from this recipe. Love them!

  6. Tracey Mason says:

    Thanks for providing low salt alternatives. I cook for a stage 4 kidney disease patient, so always cutting salt, which involves a lot of home cooking. My new best friend for beans is my instant pot. I can get black beans with no-so pretty reliably, most others most definitely no. (Chick peas, I mean you! ) You can go from dry beans to as-from-a-can in under 30 minutes. Add some flavor with veggie or no salt chicken broth instead of water. I’m taking it one step further to refritos in the very near future!

  7. Pingback: Zero Salt Bean Recipe - Make Your Own No-Salt Beans - The Make Your Own Zone

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