Slow Cooker Refried Beans

Refried beans and I…..we go way back. From quick dinners in my recital days, to the broken hearts of middle school (oh lawdy), refried beans have always been my comfort food of choice.

refried beans 2

I don’t like buying canned beans. Its just a terrible deal compared to dry beans.

But I can’t stand soaking beans. I can just never remember to do it in advance, and then there’s different cook times for each bean so I over/under cook them a lot.

So when I use the crockpot its perfect every time, and I don’t have to worry about planning a day and a half in advance.

Refried beans 1

These beans…are AMAZING! They are so much better tasting, better for your wallet, and better for you than the canned stuff.

After reading the back of our favorite El Paso Refried Beans……I knew I would never buy it again and would have to try to make my own. The ingredients of the canned stuff consisted of  “cooked beans, water, contains 2% or less of: salt, tomato paste, partially hydrogenated lard, chili pepper, sugar, natural flavor, yeast extract. ”

The words in red don’t settle well with me. (Google it.)


It is true they have helped me through some of the worst things life had to throw at me, but if I can make it myself, why not?

Here’s the fantabulous recipe:

Slow Cooker Refried Beans

Yield: About 16 cups

Slow Cooker Refried Beans


  • 2 lbs pinto beans
  • 1 onion
  • 4 tbs. mined garlic, jarred or fresh
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 10 cups HOT water
  • 1 tbs taco seasoning
  • spoonful of bacon fat (optional)


  • Rinse the beans, and pick out any bad looking ones.
  • Put the beans, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and HOT water in your crock pot.
  • Cook on high for 4 hours and low for 2 hours.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beans to a bowl to mash by hand or to a mixer to let it do the work. Reserve the liquid.
  • Mash to your desired consistency, adding liquid as needed.
  • Serve warm. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for a couple of months.



10 Thoughts on “Slow Cooker Refried Beans

  1. Do your pinto beans really get soft in that amount of cook time with no soaking? I’ve tried umpteen times to do pinto beans in the crock pot and mine (even with soaking) will NEVER soften! I can’t figure it out! I’m still in quest of the perfect pinto bean recipe that I can serve my family as a “main dish” and so far, no luck. Sometimes I can get them soft enough in the pressure cooker. Beans and I are at an stalemate!

    • Yes, my beans get quite soft. This past time I thought they were to soft (but then remembered I was going to mash it up in a minute, so it was okay). I usually boil the water before adding it to the crock pot, and I have never had a problem. It can also be served as a meal in itself (unmashed) served with corn bread. I hope this helps Rachel! You have an amazing website, by the way!

    • Stephanie Clubb on April 24, 2018 at 5:22 pm said:

      I think salt might be preventing them from getting soft, mom told me always add the salt for flavoring at the end after they have cooked, the salt does something and prevents them if you add it at the beginning

  2. G’day! Looks terrific and is now on my list! Stopping by via the July blog Hop!
    Cheers! Joanne @ What’s On The List

  3. Deborah Davis on July 23, 2014 at 12:19 pm said:

    Hi Maria,
    Yum! This recipe takes me back to my vacations in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico and the many delightful meals we ate there. Most of them included refried beans. I opt for coconut or olive oil in my beans and they taste great too. Thank you so much for sharing this healthy and delicious Slow Cooker Refried Beans recipe at the Plant-Based Potluck Party Blog Hop!

  4. Pingback: Share the Food & Fun at the Plant Based Potluck Party Link Up #21 – Tastes of Summer

  5. Nice post. We also like to make our own refried beans. The flavor is so much better, plus we control exactly what goes into them. Sometimes we make them spicey and a few chili peppers.

  6. This sounds like a great recipe. Thanks! If you have a pressure cooker/canner, you can also buy your beans dry in bulk and then can them so they’re cooked and ready to go. I am terrible at planning in advance for meals also, so this is what I do. Then I pay the price for dry beans, but get the efficiency of canned. And, no sodium.

  7. Pingback: 60 easy and healthy slow cooker recipes - Eat Well Spend Smart

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