February 21, 2014

Slow Cooker Crockpot Refried Beans (no frying, no soaking), plus easy freeze instructions

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Slow Cooker Crockpot Refried Beans

I first made Crockpot Refried Beans last year and it was so easy, I haven’t bought the canned stuff since! I’m the only person in our house who likes them and if I open a can of refried beans on taco or fajita night, at least half of it doesn’t get used. This way I can freeze them in single servings and I think they taste better than the canned stuff any way.

Making homemade refried beans is:

a.) Healthier
b.) Tastier
c.) Cheaper
d.) Easy to freeze in smaller quantities


3 cups of Pinto beans (Best to buy these in bulk at Winco or local co-op)
This comes out to about 1.25 pounds of beans

5 cups water

4 cups chicken broth
Make your own chicken broth in the slow cooker!

1 onion, diced finely (I used a food chopper)
I  incorporated the onions into the beans with an immersion blender. If you just want some of the flavor – just peel and quarter the onion and then remove the onion pieces before you mash the beans.

3 cloves of minced garlic

1 Tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Optional – I’ve seen recipes that add fresh jalapeños or even canned  jalapeños but I didn’t want mine too spicy, just in case the kids would eat some.


1.) Rinse your beans. Spread them out on a cookie sheet and pull out all the discolored ones. You might find rocks and other random stuff in your beans (especially if you buy the cheaper beans) – so don’t skip this step.

2.) Combine everything in the crockpot. Cook on HIGH for 8 hours. Add more water if you need (I didn’t need to add additional water).

3.) When beans have popped open and are soft, they are done. Reserve a couple cups of the liquid into a separate container.

4.) Strain beans. You can either mash them with a potato masher, use a food processor or use an immersion blender. I used the immersion blender, right in the slow cooker crock and it was a cinch! Add extra water if you need to get the consistency you want.

5.) Wait until it cools. Fill Ziploc bags and freeze. I like to lay mine on a flat cookie sheet or piece of cardboard in the freezer so they freeze completely flat, then I stand them up in a box, so they are easy to find! I would use within 3 months, but they probably won’t kill you if you keep them longer in the freezer.

6.) If needed, you can add more chicken broth when you thaw the beans – they might need a little more liquid when reheated.

If you’re having a fajita or taco night – check out this recipe for Spanish Rice in the rice cooker! 

Here are other Slow Cooker Crockpot recipes we’ve recently posted:

Amazon has the Cuisinart CSB-75BC Smart Stick 2-Speed Immersion Hand Blender, Brushed Chrome  for only $34.95 (reg. $65). Ships FREE! See Amazon’s best selling slow cookers and Crockpots hereAmazon prices can change at anytime.

Have you made refried beans before? What is your recipe? 


    Leave your comments here...


  1. Hello, have you tried to double this recipe? I need to make a big batch but not sure if it will cook the same. Thanks!

  2. Your recipe is much easier than i thought! Can i cook this dish in low setting? If yes, how long will it take to complete?

  3. Jill Frampton says


  4. Any chance you have converted this recipe for an electric pressure cooker?

  5. I love this recipe! I’ve made it before for a potluck and everyone loved them! Making them again right now and am going to try to freeze the leftovers! House smells so good!

  6. How big of a crockpot are you using? I was thinking of doubling but don’t know if you could do that in a 5 qt crockpot.

  7. My mom always added beef chorizo to are beans it adds alot of flavor and I love it but I will give this a try homemade I think I would add bacon drippings when they took the lard out of the cans I could tell the different s in taste so I use bacon drippings in and it made it taste better

  8. These are the best refried beans I have ever had. I would definately make them again. Thank you!

  9. I have to make these EVERY week or there’s a revolt in my house LOL my 11 and 5 year olds love it! My 44 year old baby does too 😉 thank you!! So simple but so very good!

  10. Misty Guillory says

    these are so delicious! My family will never eat canned refried beans again. And it was easy to put them in the crockpot overnight!

  11. These are deciduous. My husband has banned me from buying canned beans and even my super picky eater son requests them. Also everyone I’ve passed this recipe to has loved it as well. Thank you!

  12. This recipe looks amazing and want to try this weekend! My crockpot is on the small side so wondering how much this recipe makes because I am trying to figure out if I need to cut it in half?!

  13. I made this yesterday, but used 2-1# bags of beans and adjusted the rest of the ingredients accordingly. I cooked it on high for the 8 hours and didn’t have a lot of liquid left to reserve…maybe a cup. I ended up adding about half back into the beans when blending with my stick blender. I was a little disappointed that the flavors weren’t stronger. I’m wondering if adding the spices early on cooked the flavors down. So, maybe adding the spices halfway or later through cooking would help preserve more flavor? I don’t know, but think I’ll try that, as I was pleased with the recipe overall. My 2 – 1# bags of beans made 6 – 2 cup bags. Oh, and I think I paid about $4 for my immersion blender at Goodwill. 🙂

  14. Have many servings do you get from this and what size are the servings? Thanks!

  15. I made this a second time without adding the water. First time I did it was more like soup than dip.

  16. Stephanie A says

    I just made this yesterday and it came out fantastic. There was nothing left over to freeze!

  17. Thank you for this! Adding tostadas to next week’s menu right now. 🙂

  18. I’ve made these once before and loved them. My question is, I never remember to put them on early enough in the day to eat them that night so I’m doing them the night before. Can I cook them on low until they pop open instead of on high? I’ll have to get up very early to finish them up if I cook them on high.

  19. What?! This is amazing!! What an easy way to make refried beans – I will totally have to try it! Pinning to my crock pot deliciousness board! Thanks!

  20. Gerry E. says

    I made these tonight, and they were pretty runny for refried. Will they thicken up as they sit in the freezer? I have them in a bowl cooling off right now before I pack them up.

  21. This recipe was AMAZING!!!!!! I froze half of them and just finished the last of the batch. Making it again on Sunday! THANKS!!!!

  22. I made this uber simple recipe and the results were amazing! Although, I did have to leave the house while they were cooking in the crockpot because the smell was so tempting. This was a great recipe! Very yummy!

  23. I have this immersion blender and LOVE it! My favorite use is in pureeing veggies in soup so my son gets them without knowing it!

  24. Awesome post! I could make these vegetarian and they would be much better than processed. It’s my goal to do 2 vegetarian crock pot recipes a week (I don’t cook so this is a start lol).

    And I just added an immersion blender to my wish list.

  25. I’m definitely going to try this recipe, love that you made it in the slow cooker/crockpot.

    I have a friend that makes her own refries and then she cans them.

  26. Brooke Kingston says

    These look awesome! We make refriee beans all the time, but never done it in the slow cooker! Trying this now for our Tostado Bar dinner tomorrow night…Halloween dinner! Our family is from Santa Fe, and the secret ingredients in our family pinto bean recipe is…*shhhhh*…BACON DRIPPINGS. Going to add a few Tbsp to this recipe today. Thank you, this has been an AMAZING series, Heather! Can’t wait for next Crock- Tober! ?

  27. Jennifer Adams says

    Did you pre soak the beans?

  28. I’ve made my own refried beans for a few years now, but the idea of doing it in my slow-cooker is SO appealing. Totally need to do this!

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