These healthier refried bean burritos are an easy vegetarian Mexican Burrito recipe made with homemade pinto beans and shredded Monterrey Jack cheese. You can also freeze these bean and cheese burritos for a quick meal on-the-go. You're going to love this simple recipe for burritos with refried beans from scratch!
I love to have these vegetarian freezer burritos on hand for a quick lunch. This is also a very inexpensive meal to feed a large family, packed with fiber and protein.
Serve them with fresh salsa, sliced avocado and you have a nutritious well-rounded meal, too. Ditch the tortilla and the beans make a great side dish for your next Mexican-themed meal.
- Dried pinto beans- soaked in water overnight
- Olive oil- a good extra-virgin olive oil is recommended.
- Green onions-chopped, you can also use 1 teaspoon onion powder instead
- White onion- finely chopped
- Fresh garlic- minced
- Coarse salt
- Monterey jack cheese- freshly shredded from a block
- Vegetarian broth- optional, for adding extra flavor when cooking the dried beans.
How To Make Homemade Refried Pinto Beans For Burritos
Allow 1 lb of dried pinto beans to soak in a pot of water overnight. Rinse them, place them back in the pot and cover with 8 cups of water (you can also use half vegetarian broth and half water for a flavor boost). Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 8 green onions, chopped. Bring to a boil, add salt and simmer for 2-3 hours.
*Another great cooking method is to cook beans on high in a crockpot for 8 hours, using the same ingredients above. I usually double the recipe and love this method for convenience and extra meals.
In a large pan, add olive oil, onion, and garlic. Sauté until soft, but do not brown.
Add the cooked beans with a slotted spoon to the onion mixture and mash or puree with an emulsion blender.
I like to cream half the beans and leave some whole for more texture. You can also add some of the liquid from the pot of beans to adjust the texture to your personal preference.
Optional: You can add 8 oz shredded Monterey jack cheese to the beans and stir until melted. Season with salt to taste (1 used 1 tbsp). This is a great method if you are filling and rolling your burritos to freeze for later.
Assemble burritos with all of your favorite toppings.
How To Freeze Premade Bean Burritos
Measure about ½ cup bean mixture for each tortilla, fold the sides in, and roll-up. I love whole wheat, high protein, and/or low-carb tortillas for this recipe. There a lot of tasty options that you'd never know are low-carb and high in fiber.
This recipe makes about 10-12 burritos. I wrap them individually in plastic wrap, place them in a freezer bag, and freeze them for a quick lunch or dinner. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then microwave on low-medium heat so they don't dry out. I wrap them in a lightly damp paper towel before reheating.
Topping Ideas for Burritos
If serving right away, assemble burritos with your favorite toppings. Cooked rice, tomatoes, shredded cheese, fresh cilantro, avocado, and salsa are all tasty ways to top this burrito recipe. I also love adding freshly sautéed yellow, green, and red peppers.
Authentic refried bean recipes typically call for lard, but this recipe uses olive oil as a substitute making this a much healthier refried bean variation, yet still incredibly delicious.
Absolutely! The refried beans are vegan-friendly. Just swap the Monterey Jack cheese for your favorite vegan cheese substitute.
This recipe (without the tortilla) has 26 grams of carbs per serving.
This post has been updated on Sept. 6, 2019, from the original version posted on March 24, 2011.
Easy Homemade Refried Bean Burritos
- 1 lb of dried pinto beans soaked in water overnight
- 8 cups water you can use half vegetarian broth and half water for added flavor
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 green onions chopped *you can also use 1 teaspoon onion powder instead
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 cup chopped white onion
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- 8 oz shredded Monterey jack cheese
- 12 soft flour tortillas *not included in nutrition info
- Drain and rinse pinto beans and place them into a pot with 8 cups of water. Add olive oil and chopped green onion.
- Bring to a boil, add salt and simmer 2-3 hours, until beans are fork tender. *
- In a large pan over medium heat, add oil, onion and garlic. Sauté until soft, but do not brown.
- Add cooked beans with a slotted spoon to the onion mixture and mash using a potato masher, or puree with an immersion blender, leaving some beans partially mashed for additional texture, if desired.
- Add shredded cheese, if using in the beans, to the beans and stir until melted. Season with sea salt to taste.
- Build your own bean burritos or freeze them for later