How to Sex Up Your Canned Refried Beans

I am a lazy vegetarian. That means I try to be as vegetarian as possible for environmental reasons, but when I’m at my dad’s house or a barbecue restaurant whose only veg option is Caesar salad, I’ll get the damn meat.

That being said, I also am not in love with a lot of vegetarian foods like tofu and black beans. But, refried beans are something that I loved as a carnivore and love to this day. They’re also pretty healthy while leaving you reminiscent of the good old greasy Mexican food days. So, here is my recipe for sexing-up that can of grocery-store-brand vegetarian refried beans that was 69 cents.

this one
This can of beans is from Trader Joe’s, which means it was the most expensive can of beans I have ever bought, which is why I have not eaten it yet. But the packaging was pretty.


½ can vegetarian refried beans

2 tsps chili powder (when I say 2 tsps, I mean however much you want. I am not the boss of you.)

2 tsps garlic powder (see above)

Sprinkle of crushed red pepper  (or if you’re me, 9,000 sprinkles)

Sprinkle of black pepper

2 slices Ezekiel bread (my fave is the sesame)

Chicken bouillon powder? (I do every time, but I understand this is not something everyone has in their kitchen, and while I highly recommend buying some to add that sweet bloodthirsty flavor to your sad meatless dishes, it’s really not paramount to this dish.)

Shredded cheese of your choice if you want (I usually only have cheddar in my fridge due to getting it in bulk for free from a work thing one time)

Step 1: Put exactly half of your can’o’beans in a bowl. Spread it out a little bit in the bowl. Pop that bowl in the microwave until it gets warm and easy to stir. Leave the other half in the can, pop some wrap on it for storage. I am pretty sure that won’t cause botulism in 2017, but don’t quote me on that.

Step 2: Put your Ezekiel bread in the toaster. The crunchier the better. Yum.

Step 3: Stir your now warm beans. Add all the spices. Stir again. Put the bowl back in the microwave for 1-2 minutes depending on your machine’s strength.

Optional and Problematic Step 4: If you have a toaster over, it’s lovely to melt some cheese on top of that toast. If not, you’re not missing much, and you’re not supporting Big Dairy. You can also sprinkle cheese on top of your beans and pop them back in the microwave. (you’re so bad!)

Step 5: Close your eyes and pretend the toast is tortilla chips. It will not work. Open your eyes and remember how much you like toast and how silly you are to have never thought of making tacos with it. Take the beans out of the microwave and your bread out of the toaster. What, were you just gonna leave them in there?

Step 6: Eat and dip to your heart’s desire.


  • Only dishes: plate for toast, fork, bowl for beans
  • No animals died in the making of this dish
  • Cook time is approx. four minutes which is perfect for filling up those commercials for other dumb shows that HBOGo still needs to put in front of your cool shows. One day when I’m rich, I’ll give all my readers my HBOGo password. Please click on the ads.
  • Congratulations, you spent like $2 on this meal total. You can donate your savings to a good cause, like… Coachella tickets? Is that a fun thing people do?

Take care. Make safe choices. Dress in layers.