Slow Cooker Refried Beans
Easy slow cooker refried beans recipe, homemade with simple ingredients. Rich, smooth and creamy. Loaded with pinto beans, green chiles, Mexican spices.
This hearty side dish is so much better than canned beans. Using a crockpot to make side dishes is a life-saver plus you free up that important stove space for your other cooking needs. Be sure to try these Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes and these Slow Cooker Mashed Sweet Potatoes as well.
How to make refried beans in slow cooker from scratch?
- Add ingredients in crockpot – This includes pinto beans, onion, green chiles, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin powder, chili powder, water, broth.
- Cover and cook – Until beans are softened.
- Drain – But keep this water aside to thin out the mixture later.
- Mash – Using a hand-held immersion blender.
- Adjust consistency- By adding more of the reserved water if it’s too thick.
- Enjoy– Top it with cheddar cheese.
What to serve with crockpot refried beans recipe?
They pair well with just about any Mexican main dish:
- Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef
- Salsa chicken
- Chicken tacos
- Steak tacos
- Mexican shredded taco chicken
- Mexican ground beef or shredded beef
- Jalapeno popper chicken
- Taco soup
- Taco pasta
You can also enjoy this as a dip plus it makes a fantastic addition to 7 layer dip, alongside tortilla chips.
You can also use it as a topping in burrito bowls or nachos.
They can also be enjoyed as a filling in sandwiches and wraps.
What are refried beans? Are they fried twice?
It’s a Mexican side dish, composed of mashed beans, most typically pinto beans. It’s also popular in many other Latin American countries and everyone has their own unique approach to preparing it.
Dried beans are cooked until soft and then crushed into a mashed potato type consistency. Mexican spices are added to enhance the flavor.
They are not fried twice as the name would suggest. One of the original Spanish names for the dish was “frijoles refritos.” This translates to “well-fried beans” in English. Therefore, the word “refried” simply comes from the original Spanish name for the recipe and doesn’t mean fried twice, just well-fried.
What kind of beans are Mexican refried beans made of?
Pinto beans are the most common. pinto. However, it’s common to find refried black beans as well, which has become a more popular choice in recent years. Sometimes, black and pinto beans can be used together to offer a rich and delightful flavor.
Please note that these are not the only 2 beans choices. Kidney beans, especially red kidney beans, are popularly used throughout Mexico as well.
What to do with extra homemade refried beans?
They work great as a filling and topping in various dishes. For example, put a layer in the bottom of your tacos. Not only will this hold the ingredients in better, it makes for a heartier taco too. Spread them on your tostadas, wraps, sandwiches.
They are also great as a dip or appetizer. Mix in a bit of melted Velveeta cheese and salsa to turn it into an incredible dip for tortilla chips. You can also mix them into your chili to thicken it up and give it a Mexican twist.
Add lard – It makes the dish even richer. 1/4 cup or less would be enough.
Broth choice matters – The flavor of broth you choose for your beans will have an overall effect on the flavor So, if you’re having a beef main dish, beef broth may pair well with the beans.
Make it spicy – If you like a good kick, you can add 1-2 chopped jalapenos or add crushed red pepper flakes, or even add a bit of hot salsa.
Make it milder – Skip adding in the green chiles if you feel the beans are still too spicy for you.
Make it a dip – Simply add salsa, Velveeta cheese, or a Mexican blend cheese (cheddar would work as well) to the beans and stir until cheese has melted.
Make it vegan/ vegetarian– Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
Add cheese– Such as cheddar or Mexican cheese blend. Sprinkle it on top, prior to serving and allow the warmth of the beans to melt the cheese.
Tips and Techniques
Do you need to soak beans? No, you don’t have to soak them. However, many people choose to do so because it’s no secret that beans can cause gas build up. This is due to indigestible sugars they contain. Some of these sugars can be removed through the soaking process which is beneficial to many.
How to thicken refried beans? Add less broth or cook uncovered on medium heat on stovetop until excess liquid is reduced. Remember to let the beans cool before attempting to thicken them as they thicken quite a bit during the cooling process too.
How to make mashed beans thinner? Add more broth to the dish or if you reserved bean water, you can use that as well.
Why are my beans tasteless? If you find that your beans are bland, simply add more spice to them. If need be, you can add some salsa to them as well.
What can I substitute for broth? You can also use stock instead of broth. If you don’t have either on hand, just use bouillon cube dissolved in water.
Use low-sodium broth– Because this prevents the dip from becoming too salty.
How do I mash the beans? Use a hand-held immersion blender, or a potato masher. You can make them as smooth or as chunky as you like.
Refrigerate -Store leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Freeze – Store in a sealed container for up to 1 month.
Reheat – Reheating can dry them out. Due to this, heat them up covered with a moist paper towel over the top or add a touch of broth or water to them. They can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop.
More Slow Cooker Vegetarian Recipes
Slow Cooker Refried Beans
- 1 pound Pinto beans, Dry
- 1 cup Onion, Roughly chopped
- 1 can Green chiles, 4 oz. can
- 2 tbsp Garlic, Finely minced
- Salt, To taste
- Pepper, To taste
- 1 tsp Cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp Chili powder
- 4.5 cups Water
- 4.5 cups Broth, Low sodium, Chicken or vegetable broth
- Add all the ingredients in a 6 quart slow cooker and mix everything together.
- Cover and cook on high heat for 8 hours.
- Place a colander in a large pot and pour the contents of the crockpot in, returning the beans back to the crockpot. Reserve this water in case you need to thin out the mixture later.
- Use a hand-held immersion blender or potato masher to puree the beans until smooth. If mixture is too thick, mix in a little reserved bean water. Please note that the beans will continue to thicken as they cool and you can always mix in a little of that bean water to reach desired consistency.
- Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese and enjoy!
- Read all my tips above.
- Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.