Refried beans made in a crock pot. Lots of flavor and no fat!
I love, love, love these crock pot refried beans! They are so tasty....so easy.... and they aren't from a can!
Canned refried beans don't have a lot of extra or strange ingredients in them, but anytime I make something myself, I just know exactly how it has been handled and the quality of the ingredients I use. Plus homemade refried beans are much cheaper than buying the cans from the grocery store.
I've made these refried beans several times and I think I've finally nailed the technique. Even though these are called refried beans, they aren't really refried. I know traditionally that is how they got their name, but not necessary here. Once the beans are cooked through, you have them mash them up! Lots of fun, right?
Since we also need to keep the onion, garlic, and peppers in the beans, pureeing the mixture actually works better. I've used all types of modern conveniences: an immersion blender, regular blender, and a food processor.
The blenders work well, but my biggest problem is too much liquid. And too much liquid = runny beans. Now I don't like my beans as thick as they come out of the can, but I would like them hold their shape on a chip or not run straight out of a burrito.
The food processor has become my best friend for these beans. I simply scoop the beans, onions, garlic and peppers out of the crock pot with a slotted spoon and pile it into the food processor. A bit of the liquid gets transferred with each spoonful. Then simply pulse until blended!
If it is too dry you can scoop a bit more liquid. I do this in several batches and then place huge bowl. It is okay to leave a few beans whole or just partially mashed. Once they are all mashed up, I add salt and then divvy up the beans into small containers and throw them in the freezer for weeknight dinners.
When I make these, I usually make the biggest batch that will fit into my crock pot. For me, that's a two pound package of pinto beans. My recipe below is for one pound of pinto beans. Not everyone has a huge crock pot.
Another dried bean recipe to try is Instant Pot Black Beans.
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Crock Pot Refried Beans
- 1 pound dried pinto beans
- 1 whole onion (skin remove and halved)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 whole jalapeno pepper (stem and seeds removed)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Put beans in a crock pot.
- Cover with water. Water level should be about 3 inches above top of beans.
- Add onion, garlic, and peppers.
- Cook on high for 6 hours until beans are cooked through.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer mixture to a food processor. Pulse until smooth. You will need to do several batches of this step.
- Add salt to taste.
Anaheim peppers can be substituted for jalapenos.
If you like spicier beans, leave seeds in peppers.