Refried Bean Dip Recipe

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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

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!

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.


For the refried bean dip

  • 1 recipe Instant Pot refried beans or Homemade Refried Beans, or 2 15-ounce cans best quality refried beans
  • 4-ounce can mild green chilis
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Tortilla chips, for serving

For the salsa fresca topping

  • 1/2 ripe tomato (1/2 cup diced)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 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.

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