Sunday, August 7, 2016

Slow-Cooker Refried Beans - insanely delicious

These are absolutely the best homemade refried beans I have ever made! It took a few tries, but this recipe is a keeper!

What do I love even more about this recipe? It makes the best slow cooked pinto beans I have ever had too! I can make three different meals from just this one batch of beans.

The traditional refried beans of course perfect for dips, burritos, or a side dish.

Or this...

Serve them whole in a burrito with chunks of roasted sweet potato, rice, fresh mango salsa, and guac. It's amazing!!

Or maybe this...

Ladle some into a bowl with the juice from the slow cooker, add some leftover rice and stir. This makes a delicious, hearty bean soup. Perfect for lunches too.

My recipe is for a double batch because when I make these I like to divide them up...leave half of the batch whole, and mash (refried) the other half. I freeze them into 2 cup containers and heat them up for quick lunches or dinners.  This recipe will require a large slow cooker, or divide the recipe in half for a smaller size slow cooker.

Some say beans don't have to be presoaked. We eat beans daily, and I haven't been pleased with the results when I skip the presoak step. So I will suggest it, but it's entirely up to you.

To count weight watcher points, a 1/2 cup of refried beans is 4 points and 1 cup of whole beans is 6 points.

*Presoak quick method: Rinse the beans in a colander. Discard any stones or debris. Place beans in a pot and cover with about 2 inches of water. Bring water to a boil on high. Cook for 1 minute, remove from heat and cover. Let sit 1 hour. Drain and rinse beans and they are ready for your recipes.

Slow-Cooker Refried Beans 
2 lbs (about 5 cups) dried pinto beans - presoaked and drained.  *I use the quick method.
10 cloves of garlic or 5 tsp minced.
2 medium yellow onions, chopped.
2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped.
1/2 each - green and red bell pepper. Seeded and chopped. (or both whole peppers)
1/2 tsp black pepper.
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (I use 1/2)
7 cups water
4 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth for plant-based diets.

In a skillet use a little broth to sauté garlic, onions, and all of the peppers. Add seasonings and continue cooking a few minutes more.
Add sautéed vegetables and presoaked beans to your slow cooker with water and broth. Mix well. Cover and cook on low 12 hours, or on high for about 8 hours. Don't ask me why...but I prefer low for 12 hours.

For traditional refried beans, drain the beans reserving about 3 cups of the liquid. Use a potato masher or a hand mixer to mash beans to desired consistency adding liquid as needed. You may find you like your refried beans left coarser, or maybe you prefer a smoother consistency. It's completely up to you how much liquid you add while mashing.

Serve them up or place in freezer containers to use at a later time, like on a busy week night.


Drain and mash beans, adding liquid for desired consistency.

A coarser consistency of refried beans.

A smoother consistency of refried beans.

Leave beans whole for burritos or a side dish.

One of our favorite Meatless Monday meals!

Or store in freezer safe containers.



  1. Mary, how big is your slow cooker? I am always afraid of an overflow. Beans do expand but liquid gets absorbed. I am sure I could cut the recipe in half. And how much does the whole recipe make? Thanks cR

  2. Hi, I use a 2 qt slow cooker for this recipe, it's the large oval type. The recipe fills it just about to the lid. Using a little less water should be fine if necessary. This recipe will make about 10-12 cups of whole beans with juice, and about 10 refried. It is hard for me to be exact...I eat several custard cups of these while I am making the refried beans. They are so good I can not resist. Enjoy!

    1. Thank you! I would love to try these. cR

    2. Your welcome...I hope you like them as much as we do!