Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Crockpot Refried Beans

 Last night was Child #4's Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet. This year's theme was "Fiesta". I was assigned to bring taco meat, but I live with a household of Refried Bean lovers (they are a strange lot!), who were devastated that there would not be any Refried Beans at the party ( I know, I know, they are very QUIRKY). I  was just going to open a few cans of  Refried beans, until I did the math, and realized Refried Beans for forty hungry people is a lot of cans of beans. I needed a Plan B! After perusing the Internet, I found a recipe on  that had a four and a half star review. Good enough for me, plus, they are cooked in the Crock Pot so they do most of the work by themselves. All members of the household gave them a two thumbs up, HURRAY! I will be making them again.  I did tweak the recipe a little bit ( I seem to do this a lot. I must have a wild streak in me, I didn't know about!). Here is the final product.

Crock Pot Refried Beans
(makes fifteen 1/2 cup servings)

3 cups dried pinto beans
1 cup of finely minced onion ( I chopped mine up in the food processor)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 (4 oz.) can of chopped green chili peppers ( I tossed mine in with the onion and chopped them up more)
1 tablespoon chicken bullion
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
9 cups water
  1. Place dried beans in the crock pot . Cover with water and soak overnight.
  2. Drain water off of soaked beans and return beans to crock pot.
  3. Add onion, garlic, chili peppers, bullion, and spices to beans. Stir together.
  4. Cover with water. 
  5. Turn the crock pot onto high and cook for 8 hours. Check beans periodically. If the water seems to be evaporating (the water is below bean level) add  more hot water.
  6. When beans are soft and mash easily, drain beans. Reserve the liquid!
  7. Mash beans with a potato masher or mixer adding in enough bean broth to get a soft (not runny) consistency. You will not use all the broth. ( I cheated and ran my beans through the food processor in small batches. I just start the processor and slowly poured the broth in the neck of the lid until the beans reached the desired consistency.)
I did some math, and one pot full of refried beans cost me $1.38 to make or $.09 a serving. A can of  Refried Beans on sale is $.58 for four 1/2 servings or $.15 a serving. I did double the recipe for the banquet. This required me cooking the beans in two crock pots (beans swell after you soak them!!!). The regular recipe makes enough for dinner, with plenty of extra.   I scooped my extra beans into quart Ziploc  freezer bags and froze them for later. There was quite a bit of bean broth left.

I poured that into plastic freezer containers (in two cup portions) to use as a base in soup, stew, and chili.


  1. OMG... I have never made refried beans that don't come out of a can but I am definitely going to try this. It looks so easy and I love refried beans!

  2. Awesome! I LOVE refried beans but since I'm the only one that likes them, I usually skip them. I love the idea of making them and then freezing them-that way I could take out what I need and then save the rest for later :)

  3. Love this idea! My family has to have refried beans also. Now I can make a big batch and then freeze in portions. You are so genius!!

  4. I love nothing more than making a crock pot full of pinto beans, although I haven't mashed them up for refried. Sometimes I'll put them on at bedtime and just let them cook all night. The house always smells so good. Then freezing containers for later meals just makes me happy! =D

  5. I have tried several times to make beans from scratch but no luck. they're always tough! maybe I'm missing that can-cook-beans-from-scratch gene?!

  6. I love homemade refried beans!! I always make a huge bathc and freeze them.

    I love the idea of the crock pot...I will have to try that!

  7. My family would be sad if there weren't any refried beans - we love them around here!

    I think the crockpot is the key to getting the beans cooked enough so they aren't hard.

  8. hey, thanks, Johnlyn, you & TWM have encouraged me to try again.

  9. This is very close to the recipe I use to make crockpot refried beans too! I do exactly the samething with the bean broth and save it for soup! Great minds and all ya know :)

  10. We love beans, in any form. I am going to try it.

  11. I'm trying this tomorrow! I love the idea of freezing for later. Great time saver! Thanks for posting this recipe!

  12. Thank you for this recipe. I love refried beans, and I also have never made them home made. I am single, so I can cut the recipe as needed, but this is great.

    I have just tighened my food budget a ton, and this will really help me out. Crockpot cooking also a plus--it can cook while I go to work :)



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