Grocer to Table | Sides & Casseroles

Slow Cooker Refried Beans (Frijoles Refritos)

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These Slow Cooker Refried Beans take only 5 minutes prep, turn on the slow cooker and leave them! No soaking the beans is required.

Bowls filled with mashed beans. Refried beans style.Pin
Slow Cooker Frijoles

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.

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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.

Two bowls of refried beans.Pin

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
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • adobo seasoning
  • salt & pepper
Ingredients for beans. Pinto beans, garlic, bay leaf, pepper, onion, salt, pepper.Pin

How to make them

  • Rinse and sort beans. Remove any small stones or foreign objects.
  • Place beans in slow cooker.
  • Chop vegetables.
  • 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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I’ll leave you with Slow Cooker Refried Beans (Frijoles Refritos)! Happy Cinco de Mayo!

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If you have any questions or comments, please ask in the comment section below. We’d love to hear from you.

I hope you enjoyed the recipe today.

Enjoy. And have fun cooking!

Binky's signature
Refried beans in a white bowl garnished with chives and cheese.Pin

Slow Cooker Frijoles (Refried Beans) with a Mexican Round-up For Cinco de Mayo

Such an easy way to make your own tasty refried beans at home in your slow cooker!
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
5 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 9 hours
Total Time: 9 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 64 1/4 cup servings
Calories: 60kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $1


  • 5 cups dried pinto beans rinsed and picked over
  • 7 cups water
  • 2 2/3 cups Chicken beef or vegetable stock (2 – 11 oz. cans)
  • 1 medium white onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoon garlic, granulated
  • tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Chili powder
  • 2 teaspoon dry adobo seasoning
  • 2 teaspoon pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoon salt to taste
  • Garnishes:
  • grated cheddar cheese (optional)


  • 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.
  • Inspiration for this recipe came from
    Food, Folks and Fun
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Leftovers can be refrigerated for 3-4 days.
Reheat in microwave until hot.
For longer storage, freeze up to 6 months.
Thaw in refrigerator. Reheat per above instructions.


Calories: 60kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 3g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 80mg | Potassium: 229mg | Fiber: 2g | Vitamin A: 45IU | Vitamin C: 1.2mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. 5 stars
    these slow cooker refried beans look so much better than the canned version! I can’t wait to make them!

    1. Haha! I’m impressed that you have a two year old who eats beans. My second would not have touched them.

  2. 5 stars
    I love the ease of making them in a Crock Pot! And the fact that it is only 5 minutes of prep time to have something so delicious. Great recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    Another one I’ll be trying! I love refried beans. I have some homemade tacos they will go perfectly with!

    1. I love homemade tacos but haven’t made them in years! I’ll have to dig out the taco press! Thank you for your comment, my friend!

  4. I so hate using canned vegetables and fruits so try and use fresh and dry beans as much as possible. Unlike any other beans, kidney beans and black beans are a headache to use. Sometimes they don’t become soft even after cooking them in a pressure cooker! I would love to try cooking them in a slow cooker.

    1. They worked out very well! I have always had a hard time with pinto and black beans not getting soft. I don’t have a pressure cooker, it’s on the list! Thank you Mayuri!:)

  5. Simple and honestly just great beans. Nothing fancy, nothing fake, just great beans. I did use oil to re-fry the beans as instructed and that was great but lard would even be more authentic and oh so, delicious. I had both Oaxaca and Cotija cheese available for topping. Note: when re frying, scoop out the beans without a lot of juice – you can add a bit more bean juice if needed but there will be a lot of extra bean juice in the pot.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Melissa! I’m glad you enjoyed them. Lard would absolutely be more authentic but it’s hard to find here. I agree about the water, too. Just add as much back to the beans that you need to achieve a great consistency!

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