This is a variation of our non-refried beans base recipe. Do you love refried beans? We do too, but we don’t love that they’re usually packed with lard and salt. With this mashed white beans recipe, you don’t have to sacrifice delicious flavor and texture! Loaded with veggies and spices, these (not) refried white beans are just as tasty as refried beans, but offer way more nutrition. Plus, they come together in minutes for an easy, budget-friendly, and plant-forward snack or side!
Three Must Know Cooking Skills
For recipe success, learn how to:
Culinary Tips for Refried White Beans from Scratch
When making refried beans from canned beans, we recommend low-sodium beans so that you can control the salt to your taste. If you don’t have low-sodium canned beans, drain and rinse your beans to remove excess salt.
The flavor of the “refried beans” is dependent on the salsa, so buy one that you enjoy and is appropriately mild or spicy for your taste.
When heating the beans with the salsa, stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
If you want to make creamy refried beans, use an immersion blender or a regular stand blender. Be careful of splashes with the hot mixture!
Don’t want to turn the stovetop on? No problem! Place the beans and salsa in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each. Heat through until easy to mash, then mash to desired consistency.
Although warm beans mash and blend easier, if you prefer a cold dip or spread and want to save time, feel free to skip the heating step and simply blend. (Cold beans don’t mash as effectively.)
This is a great recipe for kids to help make. They love mashing and mixing!
- White Beans: use any kind of white bean – cannellini, great northern, kidney, or white. You can also substitute black beans, pinto beans, or use a combination. Other beans will still work, but we think that black, white, and pinto beans have the best flavor and texture.
- Salsa Verde: substitute any red or green salsa you like! Chipotle and fire-roasted salsas are our favorites.
Once you know how to make refried beans (without the refry), there are lots of ways to customize the recipe to your taste!
Feel free to add your own spices. Cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, Mexican oregano, onion powder, or paprika are all great additions.
If you want to make spicy refried cannellini beans, add a pinch of crushed red pepper, a dash of cayenne, or your favorite hot sauce to taste.
Need some recipe inspiration?
Use our non-refried beans base recipe as a guide or try out these other variations!
Health Benefits of Easy Refried Beans without the Refry
Because our white bean refried beans don’t have any added lard, this is a very healthy plant-forward recipe! Both beans and salsa are packed with nutrients that promote health.
Beans of all varieties contain plant-based protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients promote gut health, decrease risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, and promote a healthy weight. All of the world’s longest lived populations consume beans daily.
Green salsa is made from tomatillos, peppers, onions, spices, and herbs. All of these ingredients contain health-promoting vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Salsa can also add lots of flavor without contributing excess calories, salt, sugar, or fat.
What to Serve with Mashed Beans and Salsa
Serve smashed white beans on our baked tostadas. Use our base recipe as a guide then adjust flavors to your taste, or make any of our delicious variations!
For an easy and healthy snack, serve vegan non-refried beans as a dip for veggies, tortilla chips, or whole wheat crackers!
Mashed Cannellini Beans Storage Tips
Allow leftover beans to cool, then store in an airtight container for up to one week. Leftover beans also keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months.
If using the spread for tostadas, store baked tostada shells and beans separately; otherwise, the tortillas will get soggy!
Want more healthy bean-based recipes?
Try out these favorites!
Mashed White Beans with Salsa Verde
- 15-ounce can low-sodium white beans, drained (~1 ½ cups)
- ½ cup salsa verde
- Place drained beans and salsa in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to simmer and beans are heated through, stirring occasionally.
- Turn off heat and use a fork or potato masher to mash beans to almost the consistency of refried beans. For a smoother texture, blend. Enjoy!