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Refried Beans (unfried-beanless)

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~ raw, vegan, gluten-free ~

I am a true lover of refried beans, but I had to stop eating them several years ago as my body struggled to digest them properly. Not to mention, eating them raw just isn’t going to cut it, nor is it recommended. Not ALL things are safe to eat in their raw state.

Whenever we go out to a Mexican restaurant, I always sit and stare longingly at them as I gaze upon everybody else’s plates  …ooooh those were the days. Note to self; drooling on the keyboard is not advisable. :)

So as you might have guessed, having a raw and healthy version of refried beans got me pretty darn excited!  I had a large group of taste testers sample this dish, all from different styles of eating;  SAD eaters, vegan, vegetarian, foodies, and so on.  And every single person loved them, including me!


In place of the typical beans used when making refried beans, I used sunflower seeds. It might seem like a stretch but trust me, it works. It takes a symphony of flavors to pull this recipe off and the end result will leave you wanting seconds.


For this recipe, you will be using your food processor. The batter is much too thick for the blender so put the blender carafe down and back away slowly.  Refried beans can be smooth or lumpy  (never crunchy) so, in order to achieve that texture, you will want to be sure to soak the sunflower seeds as well as the sun-dried tomatoes.  This will make them much easier to process into a smoother texture.

I hope you give this recipe a try and please let me know what you think.  Many blessings, amie sue


Yields 3 1/4 cups

  • 2 cups (226 g) raw sunflower seeds, soaked
  • 1 cup (90 g) sun-dried tomatoes, soaked
  • 1 cup (205 g) water, soak water, see #2 below
  • 2 Tbsp (21 g) olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp (8 g) paprika
  • 1 Tbsp (7 g) ground cumin
  • 1 tsp (4 g) onion powder
  • 1 tsp (4 g) garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2 g) cayenne powder
  • 1/2 tsp (4 g) Himalayan pink salt


  1. Sunflower seeds – soak in 4 cups of water for 4+ hours.  Rinse and drain.
  2. Sun-dried tomatoes – soak in 2 cups water for 30+ minutes.  Drain and keep the soak water to add in later.
  3. After soaking the sunflower seeds and sun-dried tomatoes, drain them and place in the food processor, fitted with the “S” blade.  Process till they start to break down.
  4. Add water, olive oil, paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, and salt.  Process until it is almost smooth but with a little texture, much like refried beans.
  5. Store in airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days.

32 thoughts on “Refried Beans (unfried-beanless)

  1. Mario R says:

    This is a fantastic recipe I´ll try maybe tomorrow.
    Can you create something with pumpkin seeds? I´ve tried many times, but the taste is not very pleasant…and I don´t know how to improve it!
    Thanks Amie Sue
    Mario R

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Mario… thank you for your kind words. As far as pumpkin seeds go… create what? What have you tried to make with them to were they didn’t taste good? I use pumpkin seeds throughout many recipes on my site here. Let me know so we can narrow this down so I can better help you. Have a great day, amie sue

  2. elana says:

    thank you for this recipe. looks awesome. do you think it can be frozen in small portions for later use?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Elana… I would think it would freeze ok, I haven’t tried personally. Just make sure it is well sealed in a freezer proof container. :) Have a blessed day amie sue

  3. Barb Powers says:

    Hands down. U rock! So thrilled to get all these creative, well thought out perfected AND taste tested recipes. You are one in a million !

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Barb… far to kind… but thank you. :) I hope you give this recipe and try and keep me posted how it goes. Have a wonderful and glorious day, amie sue

  4. Blanca says:

    delicioso, gracias ,felicidades .Bendiciones

  5. Mario R. says:

    Many, many thanks Amie Sue! Sometimes I try to make a soup with pumpkin seeds and a litle avocado, but always seems missing something…
    Your blog has a beautiful french look wich I love.
    All the best,
    Mario R.

  6. ben says:

    This looks astonishing, Amie Sue. We’ll be having raw tortillas in a few weeks, & I’m going to make this to go with it.

    On beans: although I eat mainly raw, I still do some bean dishes occasionally (especially in winter). To digest beans better, soak dry beans overnight, then cook them with water, turmeric powder and lots of fresh ginger. This is how they do it in the Hindus’ Ayurveda. It makes the beans extremely digestible.

    • amie-sue says:

      Ah thank you Ben for that info. I guess I just gave up on beans so long ago that I never explored ways of preparing them so they didn’t upset my apple cart. haha Good to hear from you. :) You will have to keep me posted how the family like the “beans” if you try them. Have a wonderful weekend, amie sue

  7. Carol says:

    Hi Amie-Sue
    Just found your website and am having such fun with just reading thru your recipes!…such a yummy read !
    Like you my body doesn’t digest legumes well and I love them too. I decided to try an experiment after learning about the benefits of sprouting.
    Have you ever tried sprouting legumes and eating them? I have found them far more digestible this way. I have just tried chick peas to make chick pea salad which we love in summer. When the chick peas are sprouted and made into a salad, the flavor changes into something incredibly fresh tasting. It is amazing! The longer it marinated in the salad dressing the better the flavor became.
    I am going to try making hummus that way. The chick peas remain crunchier than if they were cooked, but I think working with the recipe I will come up with a solution.
    This recipe you have come up with using sunflower seeds is wonderful. I have used sunflower seeds to make pesto too. Really great if there are no pine nuts in my cupboard.
    Love’s blessings to you ♥ and thank you for sharing your passion. Carol

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Carol,

      Gosh sorry that it took so long to respond. I lost your comment, then the wash machine started shaking down the house, the door bell rang, my cell phone died and the dog ate my computer… Really, I just got side tracked and accidentally missed it. Forgiven? :)

      I am so glad that you found my site too! To be honest, I haven’t tried legumes for quite some time now. They sort of just fell off the radar if that makes sense. But I am going to try your suggestion and see how I respond to them now. Our bodies change over time so who knows. I do love hummus and have just gotten into the habit of using zucchini as the base which has been perfect for us.

      Off to bed I go, again sorry that I didn’t back to you sooner. I hope you enjoy the site and find some fun recipes to try. Keep in touch, amie sue

  8. Debbie says:

    Ok Girl this is the best lunch I have had ever!!! well next to the chili but any way the other day I made the taco meat then this morning I made the re-fried beans and then I cut up some lettuce and a big organic juicy tomato, some sweet onion and mixed it in a bowl put in some avocado, and a scoop of re-fried beans and a healthy scoop of the taco meat! and Voila what a meal! Thank You so Much Amie-sue your recipes are what is helping me transition into this new raw food diet style of life! Your tried and true and diligent work makes all the world difference in sticking with the program of being creative and not losing the tastes of long ago when I ate cooked food! I love you girl! wish I could give you a big hug! blessings to your house from my heart! PS And for desert I am having a chocolate chip cookie!!!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Debbie,

      Darn you… you are making me hungry. lol You are welcome and I am glad that you are enjoying the recipes. That makes my day! I have fooled many people with these recipes thinking that they were real cooked foods. Love it when that happens because it is usually those that wrinkle their noses at eating healthy foods. :)

      Stay inspired and keep in touch. I am here if you need me. :) amie sue

  9. Misty says:

    Delicious!! I am soy, dairy, gluten, legume, and sugar free so your recipes have truly been a blessing. Thank you SO much for all the time and energy you put into them. :-)

    • amie-sue says:

      Oh that is wonderful Misty. Thank you for sharing. :) You should be able to find a lot of recipes to try here, since all are just what you need. FREE hehe Have a great weekend, amie sue

  10. Daasya says:

    Dear Amie Sue,
    Thanks for giving us this recipe. I love refried bean burritos so I cannot wait to make up a batch of this. My question is: the 2 cups of sunflower seeds called for in the recipe, is that the presoaking measurement? After soaking the 2 cups, it of course expanded to more than 2 cups when I measured them again. Thanks so much and I do apologize in advance for asking this question because you probably made it clear that it should be 2 cups of sunflower seeds, soaked and drained.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Daasya,

      With all of my recipes, the measurement is always for unsoaked nuts or seeds. I can’t speak for other recipes writers but you might find recipes like the following:

      This writing style is for a dry measurement because soaked is after the ingredient:

      2 cups raw sunflower seeds, soaked

      OR you might see it this way. This measurement is for a soaked measurement.

      2 cups soaked sunflower seeds

      It’s all about the placement of the word. But to be honest, it isn’t a good idea to give you a soaked measurement because you wouldn’t know how much to start with since they do indeed swell in size. So, speaking only for my recipes, just remember all nuts and seeds are a dry measurement.

      I hope this helps. Have a blessed weekend and let me know how the recipe turns out for you. amie sue :)

  11. Daasya says:

    Hi Amie Sue,
    I finally made this recipe. I soaked the sunflower seeds, drained them and put them aside for three days before I finally got around to making this recipe. By that time, they had sprouted a one inch tail, which surprised me because I did not rinse them twice a day. Would the fact that they had sprouted make a difference in the taste? Also, I made raw corn tortillas using psyllium husk powder (recipe I found on internet) and they came out very tough and chewy. I may have left them too long in the dehydrator. Thanks so much for all your help.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Daasya,

      I haven’t made this recipe with sprouted sunflower seeds. Main question is… does it taste good?

      Hard for me to comment on the tortillas since it wasn’t my recipe and I don’t know what you used or what you did.

      Blessings, amie sue

  12. Daasya says:

    Thanks. It tasted a bit bitter and strong. As for the corn tortillas, the recipe called for fresh corn, but I used e cups thawed frozen corn; 2 cups chopped bell pepper, 3/4 cup psyllium husk powder, 1 lime, juice & zest, 2 tsp. cumin powder, and 1-2 tsp. salt.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Daasya,

      I can see that. If the tails get too long when sprouting (just about on anything), I find them a bit more bitter. As far as the wraps go… it might have been the psyllium husks, maybe try a smaller amount. It is a pretty powerful ingredient. But without trying the recipe myself, I am not sure. amie sue

  13. Crystal says:

    If I were to use this in a casserole and bake it, would that affect taste? Should I add the refried beans to the casserole after it has been baked? What do you suggest doing?

    • amie-sue says:

      To be honest Crystal, I am not sure. I haven’t “Baked” this recipe so I am not sure how it would turn out. You will have to experiment :) amie sue

  14. Alex says:

    Hi Amie Sue,

    I made your refried beans this weekend as I had friends coming over- I actually incorporated it into a 7 layer mexican dip and served it with BBQ chips (raw, of course). Turned out to be a great hit, luckily had some left for thew next day so that I too could enjoy. I always turn to your recipes beacause I know they are fail proof. So,
    thanks again!

    • amie-sue says:

      Gosh, thanks Alex… your words really mean a lot to me. :) I too love this recipe and always “tricks” people into thinking that they are really eating beans. It’s so great to have alternatives, isn’t it?! I am not sure if you have seen this recipe for my Five Layer Mexican Fiesta Dip – https://nouveauraw.com/raw-recipies/main-dishes/five-layer-mexican-fiesta-dip/. Same idea as you but served in individual cups. Fun way to serve a layered dip like that, plus left-overs are so simple.. reach in the fridge and grab a cup to go. :) Thank you for sharing. I always love hearing from those who try the recipes. Blessings, amie sue

  15. Joy Sisto says:

    This looks JUST like beans! Wow! I am saving this recipe for another time and putting it in my bookmarks right away! Thanks for this lovely recipe inspiration. **When I make it, I will adjust the recipe without the nightshades like tomatoes, chili pepper, and paprika, however. I will definitely keep the cumin!**

    • amie-sue says:

      It looks and tastes just like refried beans. I have fooled many with them. hehe Enjoy and let me know how it turns out! Have a great weekend, amie sue

  16. gracefulheather says:

    I must admit, I gave up on trying raw refried bean recipes years ago. They never really came out like anything special. I’m glad I gave yours a go because it is the real deal! Very good balance of flavor and texture…just like the cooked version. We had some delicious raw burritos the other night! Thanks again for another winner, Amie Sue!

    • amie-sue says:

      Well I am honored that you trusted me enough to try the recipe. :) I am so happy that you enjoyed it. I absolutely love this dish myself. But then anything Mexican, I love. I actually will be sharing a wonderful line of Mexican foods that I have been creating… very soon. Thank you for commenting and have a wonderful day. amie sue

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