These Slow Cooker Refried Beans take only 5 minutes prep, turn on the slow cooker and leave them! No soaking the beans is required.
I don’t know if you are like me, but if you are, you hate cooking dry beans! I have tried them so many times. They are soaked over night and rinsed thoroughly. Then I place them in new water or stock.
They are then brought to a boil, the heat is reduced and then they are simmered. For 1 hour, taste them, they are not even close to done. For 2 hours they are a little better but still not even close.
So I let them go for 3 hours and they are still slightly crunchy. It drives me nuts, so I just end up using canned beans to make frijoles.
The only thing that draws me back to dried is that dry beans are so cheap and being the cheap-skate that I am, I always want to give them another try.
I usually end up disappointed. For this reason when I learned to cook the beans in the slow cooker, I was elated. Feel free to tweak the spices to suit your taste.
Here is a quick YouTube Video to show you how to go about the process.
What you need
dry pinto beans
water or chicken broth
white or yellow onion
mild pepper (optional) or substitute jalapeno pepper if you’d like the beans hotter
granulated garlic or fresh cloves garlic
salt & pepper
How to make them
Rinse and sort beans. Remove any small stones or foreign objects.
Place beans in slow cooker.
Add remaining ingredients.
Cook beans on low for 6-8 hours until tender. Drain, reserving liquid. Mash beans with a potato masher or use an immersion blender, adding enough of the cooking liquid back to the beans to make them the desired consistency.
Traditionally, after the beans were cooked they were “refried” in a frying pan with lard (you can substitute olive oil).
How to serve them
Beans are delicious served with shredded cheese and used as a bean dip for tortilla chips. Use them in tacos, taquitos, burritos, burrito bowls, quesadillas and more.
Serve with all of your favorite Mexican dishes. See a list below.
In a hurry for beans? Check out these Instant pot pinto beans. They are as easy as these but take about 30 minutes total to cook. A perfect time saver when you’re in a hurry.
Here are more delicious recipes to serve with frijoles.
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Add all of the ingredients, except for the salt and pepper to the crock-pot. Cook on high for about 9 hours. Adjust salt and pepper after about 8 hours. After the 9 hours the beans should be tender and a bunch of them will have popped open. If they are not quite soft, let them go for a while, checking every half hour for done-ness.
Use an immersion blender or potato masher to smash the beans to desired creaminess. I like mine a bit chunky. Add more water as needed! Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Traditionally, frijoles refritos were placed in a cast pan with lard and fried (hence the term refried) and mashed by hand, adding lard as you go to make a creamy paste. But I find this step unnecessary.
Serve with shredded Mexican cheese (optional).
Note This makes a huge batch (about 4 quarts) but the quantities can be reduced or the leftovers can be frozen up to 2 months.