With an easy method and healthier nutrition profile (no excessive oil needed!), these homemade refried beans in the crock pot are a perfect component to taco night.

slow cooker refried beans

Homemade Refried Beans

Making homemade refried beans is so much easier than you might realize and is an incredibly easy way to serve up vegetarian protein in a budget-friendly dinner. This slow cooker method takes time, but the slow cooker does all the work so all you need to do is add the beans and water and come back later in the day!

We love these beans in tacos, with rice, or as refried bean dip.

I love making these healthy refried beans because you avoid the excess added salt and fats that are often in store-bought or restaurant versions and I think they actually taste like beans.

You can control the seasoning too, so you can make them more or less flavorful as preferred by your family.

Ingredients You Need

To make these crock pot refried beans, you’ll need:

  • Dry pinto beans
  • Water
  • Garlic and/or an onion
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Salt

TIP: And if you only have pinto beans and water, that’s fine too—you can always stir in some salsa at the end to add flavor.

homemade refried beans step by step

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at the simple process of making these crock pot pinto beans.

  1. Add all of the ingredients to the crock pot.
  2. Add water, cover.
  3. Cook on LOW until very soft.
  4. Drain most of the water, reserving about a cup in a separate bowl or measuring cup.
  5. Use a potato masher to mash the beans until they’re mostly smooth. Add in a little water if needed for the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt.
  6. Serve warm with tortillas, or rice, with assorted taco toppings.

TIP: You can make these on the day you plan to serve them or ahead of time.

easy tacos with refried beans

What should we eat refried beans with?

We love these homemade refried beans in the crock pot served with tortillas and taco toppings as simple tacos, as refried bean dip with tortilla chips (age 4+ up) or crackers, with fried eggs on top as a sort of riff on Huevos Rancheros, or with rice and taco toppings.

We also like to use them in these Refried Bean Taco Roll Ups. You can really make them as complicated or as simple as you like!

How can I store leftover refried beans?

You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days and warm through before serving. Or in an airtight container or freezer bag in the freezer, pressed flat and with as much air removed as possible, for up to 3 months.

Thaw overnight in the fridge or at room temperature.

TIP: The beans dry out a little when they are stored, so simply stir in a few drops of water to moisten them up as desired when you reheat them!

refried bean dip with chips on white plate

Best Tips for Success

  • The key to adding flavor when making refried beans in the crock pot is to season the water. I’ve done this with just garlic, and just onion, and also both and I like them all.
  • You will need to taste them before you serve them to adjust the salt level. If they taste a little bland, add a smidge more salt and/or cumin and that should take care of it.
  • As far as the texture goes, you can mash them chunkier or smooth. If you want them really smooth, you can even put them into a food processor!
  • I like to reserve some of the cooking water to add back in at the end during the mashing to make sure that they are as thin or thick as we like For tacos, I like them to be thicker so they stay put in the tortilla. For a refried bean tip or to go with rice, you can add back a little more water to make them a little thinner in consistency.
  • The beans dry out a little when they are stored, so simply stir in a few drops of water to moisten them up as desired when you reheat them!
  • You may also like Instant Pot Pinto Beans, Slow Cooker Black Beans, Bean and Cheese Quesadillas, and Easy Breakfast Burritos.

I’d love to hear your feedback on this recipe if you try it out, so please comment below to share!

slow cooker refried beans

Homemade Refried Beans in the Crock Pot

This recipe makes enough for 2-3 meals depending on the size and appetites of your family. See below for storage information!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 7 hours
Total Time 7 hours 10 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Dinner
Calories 69kcal
Servings 10 -12

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry pinto beans
  • 4 garlic cloves and/or 1 onion (peeled and halved)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

Instructions

  • Add all of the ingredients to the crock pot.
  • Add 8 cups water, cover, and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours. The beans should be very soft.
  • Drain most of the water, reserving about a cup.
  • Use a potato masher to mash the beans until they're mostly smooth. Add in a little water if needed for the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt.
  • Serve warm with tortillas, or rice, with assorted taco toppings.

Equipment

Notes

  • Store, once cooled, in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 3-6 months.
  • The key to adding flavor when making refried beans in the crock pot is to season the water. I've done this with just garlic, and just onion, and also both and I like them all.
  • You will need to taste them before you serve them to adjust the salt level. If they taste a little bland, add a smidge more salt and/or cumin and that should take care of it.
  • As far as the texture goes, you can mash them chunkier or smooth. If you want them really smooth, you can even put them into a food processor!
  • I like to reserve some of the cooking water to add back in at the end during the mashing to make sure that they are as thin or thick as we like For tacos, I like them to be thicker so they stay put in the tortilla. For a refried bean tip or to go with rice, you can add back a little more water to make them a little thinner in consistency.

Nutrition

Calories: 69kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 353mg, Potassium: 214mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 64IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 28mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

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Comments

  1. This is probably a really obvious question, but for the garlic and onion, are we meant to chop the onion or literally just put the two halves of it in the crock pot with the beans?

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