Recipe: Easy Slow Cooker Refried Beans

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Slow Cooker Refried Beans from 100 Days of Real Food

Slow Cooker Refried Beans

I think I might be a little late getting on this bandwagon, but refried beans with melted cheese on a warm homemade whole-wheat tortilla is the bomb! Oh and don’t forget to top it with a little sour cream. I seriously cannot believe I am just figuring out how good this combination is. The reason why though is because I didn’t think I liked refried beans. That’s what happens when you only try them out of a can. But much like the difference between store-bought and homegrown tomatoes…homemade refried beans are light-years beyond the canned stuff! And with this super easy recipe below there is no excuse not to make them yourself. If you don’t already have one, you can buy the same slow cooker we have for about $25 and use it for this and other slow cooker recipes.

I am even going to pull out a bullet point list to tell you all the reasons why I like this recipe so much:

- Beans in general are super cheap and a good source of protein
- You don’t have to soak these dried beans overnight (which I often forget to do)
- They are sooo easy to make you could even do it with one hand tied behind your back :)
- You can freeze the leftovers for another day
- And for me, since I don’t normally love beans for textural reasons, this mashed up version is the perfect way to make them extra good

4.4 from 33 reviews

Easy Slow Cooker Refried Beans
Adapted from
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 2 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
  • ½ fresh jalapeno or other hot pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • One big pinch of cumin
  • 6 cups water
  1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 8 hours or overnight while you are sleeping.
  3. Remove the bigger onion chunks and drain the excess liquid. If desired, save the excess liquid to add back to the final product to get the optimal consistency (i.e. not too dry).
  4. Mash remaining beans with a potato masher and voila! You have homemade refried beans.


Other Slow Cooker recipes from “100 Days of Real Food”…

Pork Carnitas Tacos
The Best Whole Chicken in a Crock Pot


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421 comments to Recipe: Easy Slow Cooker Refried Beans

  • Christie R.

    I diced the onions and used jalapeno slices from a jar. Very tasty!
    I have been trying to avoid buying canned foods and this recipe definitely helps on Mexican food night.
    Thanks for all the wonderful recipes!

  • Kelly

    Could someone please tell me how many people this will feed? Making tacos and wondering if I need to double the recipe. Thank you!

  • Gayle

    Made this tonight. YUMMMMMM! Even my picky son loved the beans. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kimberly

    Confession time: I do not care for legume type beans (I have no problem with green beans or wax beans). I am not wild about the texture so I just never ate them.

    However, I am seriously trying to eat better and I beans are always recommended so I took the plunge.

    ICK! I made these and served them over leftover wild rice with cheese and sour cream. I honestly think if I didn’t have the promise of a few strawberries for dessert I don’t know if I could have finished them.

    It wasn’t that it tasted “bad” it just barely tasted. If there is a next time I am at least tripling the spices. I felt as if I was eating paste, not food.

    I managed to get my son and husband to eat one helping each, but I still have at least 4 serving left. Any suggestions as to what I can do with remaining? I might be able to force down one more with rice, but no more than that.

    Any suggestions as to what I maybe add these to to make them more palatable because I am not going to waste food or money?

    • Nakineiu

      I had to add more spices when ours were done too. Next time I’ll go with my instincts & add the whole jalapeño, 2 or 4 extra cloves of garlic & defiantly more cumin. I read another review where someone added paprika too. That sounds like it’s worth trying.

      I ate them in a wrap with cheese, sour cream, salsa, avocado, & lettuce.

    • Natalia

      When I make these beans I always add more salt & pepper to taste at the end of cooking. I also don’t drain any of the liquid & just use my immersion blender right in the crockpot. They have always come out so good! I have made them a couple times when we had company for dinner & everyone always loves them! Hope this helps :)

    • yvonne

      add more of the peppers and spices, especially more cumin and salt. Putting them over wild rice seems very odd! Don’t put them over rice. Did you remember to mash them? The consistency should be closed to mashed potatos. Eat them alone, topped with cheese or eat them wrapped in a tortilla.

    • Melissa

      I felt the same the first time I made it, but I could tell there was potential, and didn’t want to give up on it. So, the next time, I used veggie broth instead of water. Everything else was the same. Made a big difference :) Love this recipe, and make it pretty regularly.

  • Nakineiu

    I made this recipe as instructed. Unfortunately I layed down for the last couple of hours & even though I got up an hour before they were supposed to be done, the beans burnt up all along the sides really badly. I scooped out what I could save & had to add more water to it. They turned out so so. We happen to have the same type of crockpot as Lisa too. I was so looking forward to these all day too.

  • Katie M

    Do you use ground cumin or seeds?

  • Cecilia

    The time is wrong, it’s 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
    I would double the salt and add oregano.

  • Lea

    Hi! I made this recipe last week…I would definitely make it again, but was wondering if there was a way to incorporate chicken? Not sure if anyone has tried putting chicken in the crockpot while the beans cook, or if it’d have to be done separately and then just cut up/shredded to make burritos. I tried to scroll through previous comments, so apologize if this has already been asked!

  • Shannon

    We make beans this way all the time, thanks to you. However, we are used to stronger flavors. I add a tablespoon of cumin, a whole jalepeno while cooking. Then, when we blend the beans, I add 2-3 tbs red wine vinegar. They’re so good!

  • Whit

    Hi, there. I just tried these and I think the timing on the recipe is wrong. I thought 8 hours on high seemed a lot and, not surprisingly, my beans burned around the edges and were very dry. There was no excess liquid, I actually had to add water while mashing and the flavor was awful. My slow cooker is new and has never burned anything else, so I’m thinking it’s the temp? Would a low temp work? I also have a “simmer” setting?

    I’d love to try this again and I’m still planning on trying out the crockpot carnitas for tonight! I’ll just have to buy a can of beans this time around for my bean loving daughter.

  • Jackee

    Thanks for this great recipe! I thought they were amazing. I did add a little more salt and another big pinch of cumin after I mashed them, but other than that, I followed the recipe, including cook time and temp, exactly. No more canned refried beans in our house!

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