If you thought refried beans were no longer an option for you due to IBS - think again! These homemade low FODMAP refried beans are easy to make and go splendidly as a side dish or component of a variety of Mexican dishes. Made with chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans), which Monash University lists as low FODMAP in quantities of up to ¼ cup or 42 grams per serving, this low FODMAP refried bean recipe will allow you to no longer miss out on this much-loved Mexican side dish.
Are Beans Low FODMAP?
According to Monash University's Low FODMAP Diet App, some types of beans, like black beans and pinto beans, are only low FODMAP in small quantities. These quantities sometimes increase slightly for the canned version of these beans. This is because FODMAPs leach out of the beans during the canning process. We can further remove FODMAPs from canned beans by rinsing them before use.
Other types of beans, like kidney beans and navy beans, are not recommended for consumption for people with IBS at any quantity. See the "Pulses, Tofu, Nuts" section in Monash's app to see information specific to each type of legume that they've tested.
Beans / Legumes that are low FODMAP in more Substantial Quantities
Thankfully, there are a few exceptions. Beans / legumes that are low FODMAP in more substantial quantities include:
- Chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans), canned - low FODMAP in quantities of up to ¼ cup or 42 grams per serving
- Butter beans, canned - low FODMAP in quantities of up to ¼ cup or 35 grams per serving
- Green beans - low FODMAP in quantities of up to 15 beans or 75 grams per serving
- Lima beans, boiled - low FODMAP in quantities of up to ¼ cup or 39 grams per serving. See my Low FODMAP Buffalo Chicken Chili recipe for more information specific to lima beans.
- Lentils, canned, drained - low FODMAP in quantities of up to ¼ cup or 46 grams per serving
- Lentils, red and green, boiled - low FODMAP in quantities of up to ¼ cup or 23 grams per serving
- Mung beans, boiled - low FODMAP in quantities of up to ¼ cup or 53 grams per serving
- Mung beans, sprouted - low FODMAP in quantities of up to ⅔ cup or 95 grams per serving
This list may not be all-inclusive and the information may change over time, so be sure to check the Monash App to get the most current information on legumes. Canned beans should be drained and rinsed before use so to wash off any FODMAPs leached out during the canning process.
A ¼ cup of beans may not seem like much; however, it's just enough to enjoy some beans / legumes in certain dishes, like low FODMAP hummus, soups, stews, and these refried beans.
Refried beans, traditionally made with pinto beans, have been tested by Monash University. They list them as low FODMAP in quantities of ⅙ cup or 45 grams per serving. This is about 2.5 heaping tablespoons. I believe (but am looking into it to be sure) that this would only include homemade refried beans and not commercially produced refried beans, which commonly have high FODMAP ingredients, like onion and garlic, added to them.
Using Chickpeas for Low FODMAP Refried Beans
I actually developed this refried beans recipe by happy accident when I was developing a low FODMAP hummus recipe. In one of my initial tests, the seasonings I used made the hummus taste way more like refried beans than hummus. I turned my hummus into refried beans and altered my hummus recipe seasonings so it would taste more like hummus, and two delicious recipes using chickpeas were born.
While they don't taste exactly the same as pinto beans, using canned chickpeas for our refried beans instead of pinto beans allows us to have up to ¼ cup of refried beans per serving, which is a way more satisfying amount.
The equipment I use to make these low FODMAP refried beans includes:
- Fine mesh sieve / strainer
- Small saucepan (mine is 1.5 quarts)
- Wooden spoon (or stirring spoon of choice)
- Potato masher or fork
Low FODMAP Refried Beans: Ingredients & Success Tips
As mentioned above, I use canned chickpeas instead of traditional pinto beans for these refried beans as they are low FODMAP in quantities of up to ¼ cup per serving. I use a 14 ounce (398 ml) can of ready-to-go chickpeas. These should be in the canned bean isle of most grocery stores in North America.
To start, I pour my can of chickpeas into a fine mesh sieve or colander / strainer and rinse them under a gentle stream of cold water. Rinsing the chickpeas will wash off the FODMAPs that were leached out during the canning process.
Then, I set them in the sink or over a bowl to drain.
To add garlicy flavor without using actual garlic, I add 2 tablespoons of garlic-infused olive oil to a small saucepan. Then, I add 1 tablespoon of lard, ghee, butter, or avocado oil to the saucepan. I put the saucepan over medium heat on the stovetop.
Lard, which is fat separated from meat (typically pork) and sometimes referred to as shortening, is traditionally used to make refried beans. It's also great to make flaky pie crusts. It gets a bad rap as people think its unhealthy. However, lard actually contains less saturated fat than butter. At any rate, nutritionists say saturated fats from any source - lard, butter or otherwise - shouldn't be regularly consumed. For me, using butter or lard in recipes is okay every once-in-awhile. Plus, lard makes these refried beans taste amazing and more authentic.
If you prefer a healthier and/or vegetarian/vegan option, use avocado oil instead of lard, ghee, or butter.
Once the fat has melted (or I've waited about a minute when using avocado oil), I add the rinsed and drained chickpeas and the following seasonings to the pot:
- Chili powder - while listed as low FODMAP by Monash University, it contains capsaicin which can be bothersome to some people with IBS. Reduce or omit if your body responds poorly to spicy food.
- Ground cumin
- Sea salt
I stir the chickpeas with a wooden spoon until they are thoroughly coated in oil and spices. Then, I allow them to cook for 5-6 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Once heated, I remove the pot from the heat. Then, I mash the chickpeas with a potato masher or fork until about halfway washed. I prefer chunkier refried beans (as pictured). If you prefer them smoother, keep mashing until they are your desired consistency.
Lime Juice & Water
To add some acidity to the refried beans, I stir in some lime juice. Then, I add 2 tablespoons of water to the pot and stir. If the refried beans aren't smooth enough, I add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until they're at my desired consistency. The refried beans in the pictures only have 2 tablespoons of water, but you can add more water to smooth them out more.
What can I eat these low FODMAP refried beans with/in?
- Low FODMAP Wet Burrito Bowls
- Low FODMAP Taco Salad
- Nachos or as a tortilla chip dip appetizer
- Tacos, enchiladas, burritos, tostadas
- Huevos rancheros, a Mexican breakfast dish
These low FODMAP refried beans are easy to make and go splendidly as a side dish or component of a variety of Mexican dishes. Low FODMAP and gluten-free with a vegan option.
- Pour the can of chickpeas in a fine mesh sieve / strainer and gently rinse with cold water until thoroughly rinsed. Set in the sink or over a bowl to drain.
- Place a small saucepan (mine is 1.5 quarts) on medium heat on the stovetop and add garlic-infused olive oil and lard, ghee, butter, or avocado oil.
- Once the lard or butter is melted (or allow the avocado oil to heat up for about 1 minute if using it), add chickpeas, chili powder, cumin, and sea salt and stir to coat the chickpeas in seasonings and oil. Cook on medium heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently, until the chickpeas are thoroughly heated. Remove saucepan from heat.
- Using a potato masher or fork, mash the chickpeas until about halfway mashed or to your desired consistency. Stir in lime juice and 2 tablespoons of water, adding additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until your desired smoothness is reached, and mashing more if needed.
- Serve as a side dish with or component to your favorite Mexican dishes, such as my Low FODMAP Wet Burrito Bowls, Low FODMAP Taco Salad, huevos rancheros, nachos, burritos, tacos, tostadas, and more.
- Canned chickpeas: Monash University’s Low FODMAP Diet App lists canned chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans), rinsed, as low FODMAP in servings of up to ¼ cup or 42 grams per serving. These refried beans are low FODMAP in ¼ cup servings.
- Lard, ghee, or butter: As lard, ghee, butter, and avocado oil are fats and do not contain carbs, they are FODMAP free; however, fat can be a gut irritant for some people with IBS.
- Chili powder: contains capsaicin which can be bothersome to some people with IBS. Reduce or omit if your body responds poorly to spicy food.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Mexican
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