Easy Refried Bean Dip

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.

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, which we’d highly recommend if you have an Instant Pot. But if you don’t, you can use canned refried beans as well. Keep reading for the recipe — and some tasty ways to serve it!

Refried bean dip

How to make refried bean dip

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. It uses dried pinto beans, mixed with onion, garlic, jalapeno pepper, cumin and chili powder. And it comes out so much more delicious than refried beans from a can! Now, there are some really great refried bean brands out there, but if you have an Instant Pot or pressure cooker: MAKE THESE REFRIED BEANS. You will not be disappointed.

However, if you don’t have an Instant Pot: you can make this refried bean dip without one! Simply 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 be just as good! 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!)

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 plant based. (Use the olive oil option on the Instant Pot refried beans for a full vegan recipe.)

Here’s how to make this refried bean dip:

  1. Make the Instant Pot 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.

A few days ago, we served this dip as part of a fun dinner party menu on the patio. 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

Looking for more party appetizers?

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

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.)



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

  • 1 recipe Instant Pot 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, 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

Keywords: Refried bean dip, Easy bean dip, Bean dip, bean dip recipe