This post may include affiliate links; for details, see our disclosure policy.

This refried bean dip is a healthy spin on the traditional cheese dip: it’s plant based using refried beans, spices, and a salsa fresca topping.

Refried Bean Dip
Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!

Who loves dip? The other night, some friends brought over some delicious refried bean and queso dip from a local Mexican restaurant. It was so, so good: but it made us think: could you make it with just the beans, for a healthy spin? Enter this refried bean dip. It’s seriously delicious but has no cheese. (Right?!) Somehow it’s just as satisfying as a cheesy Mexican dip, without the extra calories. This one uses our Instant Pot refried beans or easy stovetop refried beans, which we’d highly recommend. But if you don’t, you can use canned refried beans as well. Keep reading for this healthy appetizer — and some tasty ways to serve it!

Refried bean dip

Start with refried beans: stovetop, Instant Pot, or canned.

This refried bean dip is very easy to make: whether you have an Instant Pot or not! For the very best flavor, we’d recommend making your own refried beans using our Instant Pot refried beans method or our homemade stovetop refried beans.

  • Instant Pot Method: It uses dried pinto beans, mixed with onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper, cumin and chili powder.
  • Stovetop Method: Can use either canned or cooked pinto beans, mixed with garlic, cumin and chili powder.

Both methods come out so much more delicious than refried beans from a can! Now, there are some really great refried bean brands out there. So we highly recommend: MAKE HOMEMADE REFRIED BEANS. You will not be disappointed.

However! For a quick and simple refried bean dip: use canned refried beans instead. You may need to thin out the consistency using a little broth or water, and you may need to add a bit more seasoning than the recipe calls for. But it will still taste great! If you can, use the best quality refried beans you can find. (You may need to experiment with brands from the grocery: which gives you a reason to make it often!)

How to make refried bean dip

This recipe was born out of a challenge to create a delicious Mexican-style dip: without the cheese. Now, we eat cheese: and we love it! But and many times we’re looking for plant based spins on recipes. So this one is a healthy spin on this skillet Mexican cheese dip: instead of the cheese, this one is just refried beans, a few seasonings, and a salsa fresca topping. The topping is not only beautiful, but adds a tangy freshness of the dip that’s incredibly delicious. Of course, you could add cheese to the top of this one if you’d like! But we love that this dip is fully vegan and plant based.

Here’s how to make this refried bean dip:

  1. Make the Instant Pot refried beans or stovetop refried beans, or warm the canned refried beans.
  2. Stir in the green chilis, lime juice, cumin, smoked paprika, and hot sauce.
  3. Pour into a shallow serving dish and top with salsa fresca topping. Serve with tortilla chips.
Easy refried bean dip

How to serve this refried bean dip

Naturally, you can serve this refried bean dip with your favorite tortilla chips. If you have time, we have a Homemade Tortilla Chips recipe that’s a fun DIY. They’re baked and come out perfectly crispy and salty. It’s also great as a side to go with tacos.

A few days ago, we served this dip as part of a fun dinner party menu on the patio. One of our very favorite Mexican recipes, it had the perfect vibe for dinner al fresco. So many people love fall, but for me: eating a dinner like this one on our patio in the summer is pretty darn perfect. Here was our menu:

Let us know if you try this refried bean dip, and what you think in the comments below!

Mexican dip

This refried bean dip recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free. (For vegan, use the olive oil option for the refried beans.)

Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Refried Bean Dip

Easy Refried Bean Dip

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 1 review

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 to 8 1x


This refried bean dip is a healthy spin on the traditional cheese dip: it’s plant based using refried beans, spices, and a salsa fresca topping.



For the refried bean dip

For the salsa fresca topping

  • 1/2 ripe tomato (½ cup diced)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (optional)


  1. Make the Instant Pot refried beans or Homemade Refried Beans, making sure they are warm before serving. If using canned beans, warm them on the stovetop in a saucepan and stir until creamy, adding a little water or broth if they are too thick. (If you make the refried beans in advance, reheat them on the stovetop.)
  2. Stir in the green chilis, lime juice, ground cumin, smoked paprika, and hot sauce. Taste and add additional kosher salt if necessary. (If you’re using canned refried beans, you may want to add additional cumin or lime
  3. For the salsa fresca topping, dice the tomato. Finely chop the red onion. Chop the cilantro. In a small bowl, mix the tomato, red onion and cilantro with the lime juice, cumin, and kosher salt. If using, thinly slice the jalapeno pepper into rounds.
  4. To serve, place the dip into a shallow dish. Top with the salsa topping and thinly sliced jalapeno pepper. Serve with tortilla chips.


Note: Prep time includes only the prep time for the refried bean dip, not the Instant Pot refried beans.

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mexican inspired

Looking for more party appetizers?

Outside of this refried bean dip, here are some of our favorite party appetizers and dip recipes:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. Jill Lynch says:

    Do you have any heart healthy recipes?

  2. Leslie Cotton says:

    This was absolutely delicious – we used canned refried beans and it was perfect. We used it as beans for a table buffet for people to make their our tostadas, taco salad and fajitas – everybody loved it!

    1. Sonja Overhiser says:

      Wonderful! So glad you enjoyed it: it’s a favorite here too. Thanks for letting us know!

  3. VERONICA says:

    This is the best refried bean dip I have ever had. And you are right, it does taste like it has cheese!!!! Well done!!