You guys today I’ve got the most amazing from scratch, (non) Slow Cooker Refried Beans recipe to share with you. Try to look past how they look and focus on the fact that with 9 pretty common ingredients and 8 hours in the crock pot… you can make your very own refried beans. Are you sold? Did I mention you do it all in a slow cooker (okay and a pan) and that they are WAY better than restaurant refried beans?

Slow Cooker Refried Beans l

CONFESSION: I’m a pretty picky person when it comes to refried beans.

They have to be smooth, with a little bit of bean throughout. I’m prefer the darker colored refried beans… some restaurants serve these light colored ones which always has me confused as to what beans those really are.

Oh and if you haven’t noticed, I’m on a little Cinco de Mayo kick as of lately. I have a few Cinco-esque recipes up my sleeve and it all started with these margaritas. So in the spirit of this time of year and because my husband has only been bothering me to make refried beans for like eight years now. I finally decided to do it. I mean, not because he begged me to or anything. Hey, I don’t want him to think he can just demand things and get his way. So, yeah… eight years it is. Take that Pat.

bean stuff

We stopped buying the canned refried beans a loooong time ago. Organic or not, it’s that whole congealed fat along of the perfectly can-shaped blob-called-beans that I find utterly grody. Please don’t misunderstand… I didn’t say that I don’t like fat… no-no that would be CRAZY… because in fact there’s actually lard in this recipe. Lard… really, could there be a worser name for something so glorious {yeah I said worser}? All my bacon fat-savers know what I mean!! Lard is used for many delicious things like biscuits, carnitas and refried bean too… seriously, lard IS the new butter. Okay maybe not… but it’s something, boy is it ever. The smell of anything cooking in lard is amazing!

chopped onions

Dice up an onion. White or yellow… doesn’t really matter.

chopped peppers

Then chop up a good sized green bell pepper…


…And 1 whole jalapeno. I made the mistake of using my thumbs to scrape out the ribs and seeds… lemme just tell you it burned like something fierce under my thumbnails. Like for HOURS.


Lastly, smash, peel and mince up 5 cloves of garlic.


HELLLOOOO lard. I had to laugh when my oldest daughter walked by and said “hey is that a tub of lard?!” I was quite offended until I realized it was the actual tub. of. lard. she was talking about. Ha-ha-he-he… ummm awkward.

hot lard

Melt two tablespoons of lard into a 10-inch skillet on medium heat.

add veggies

Throw in the peppers, onions and jalapeno.

season with salt

Season with just a smidgen of salt. The salt will draw out the water and help soften the vegetables {I don’t know how I know this, but just go with it}… but don’t add too much because we’ll salt at the end of the bean making process.

3 cups beans

This one is for my husband: beans beans the musical fruit, the more you eat… yeah. I won’t go on, but he bet me that I wouldn’t put that song in this post. So BOO-YA Pat!! Now you have to give me a 30 minute massage.

check yo beans!

Before I add the beans to the crock pot, I go through them with a fine-toothed comb. You’ll find all sorts of things like grody beans, dirty beans and oh yeah… a rock. Awesome.


Once the coast was clear, I added the beans to my crock pot.


Then I season them with a quarter teaspoon of cumin…

chipotle powder

Then an 1/8th teaspoon of ground chipotle powder.


Now the peppers and onions are soft and starting to brown…

add garlic

Now I’d say it’s a good time to add in that minced garlic.


Cook for a minute or two before removing the pan from the heat.

add sauteed peppers

And adding it on top of the perfectly inspected pinto beans.


Cover with 8 cups of water and stir it up a bit, for funsies. Cover and cook on HIGH heat for 8 hours. No need to lift the lid, stir or baby sit these. They take care of themselves all on their own!

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After the 8 hours they look like this. Soft, plump and ready to be blitzed.

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With your hand protected by oven mitts, lift out the crock pot “pot” and pour the beans and any juices into a strainer that is resting in a large bowl.

Slow Cooker Refried Beans l

DO NOT throw away those beautiful Slow Cooker Refried Beans juices. I’ll add anywhere from a 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of the juices back into the beans. It all just really depends on how thin or “loose” you want your beans to be, so go slow.

Slow Cooker Refried Beans l

If you have one of those handy-dandy immersion blenders… this is another one of those recipes where it’ll come in handy. Work your way through the beans until just about blended.

2Slow Cooker Refried Beans l

When there’s still a few beans left to blend, is when I like to season the Slow Cooker Refried Beans. You don’t want to add the salt to the crock pot because rumor has it, that it will make the beans tough and then you’ve just wasted 8 hours… and a lot of beans.

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Blend a little bit more and then stir with a spatula to make sure that salt is evenly spread out through the beans.

Slow Cooker Refried Beans l

Boom. You’re done.

Slow Cooker Refried Beans l

Perfectly from scratch Slow Cooker Refried Beans {minus the refried part} that are simply amazing. We love em’ in our house and put them on everything! Heck we use our tortillas chips and these beans act as as a dip! So good you’ll never buy canned again!

Can You Freeze Refried Beans?

Yes! Simply store in an airtight, freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Reheat low and slow in a skillet or microwave.

Enjoy! And if you give this Slow Cooker Refried Beans recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Slow Cooker Refried Beans l

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Yield: 24 servings

Crock Pot Refried Beans

Easy to throw together, cooked all day in the slow cooker with the end result being the best non refried beans in town. This recipe yields 6 cups.


  • 3 cups dried pinto beans
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lard, or bacon fat
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground chipotle powder
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt


  • In a 10 inch skillet heat up 2 tablespoons of lard on medium heat. Once hot add the chopped onion, bell pepper and jalapeno. Saute for about 8 to 10 minutes until soft and translucent. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat.
  • Sort through 3 cups of dried pinto beans removing any debris or cracked and grody looking beans. Add the beans, cumin,chipotle powder and sautéed vegetables to your slow cooker. Cover with 8 cups of water and cook on High for 8 hours, undisturbed.
  • After the 8 hours, remove and drain the beans with their liquid into a colander set into a large bowl. Transfer the beans to a clean bowl and add a desired amount of the bean liquids back in (I add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup) into the bowl with the beans.
  • Using an immersion blender blend the beans until just about smooth Season with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt before continuing on. Use a rubber spatula and stir the beans to make sure the salt is throughout.
  • Serve right away or let cool before storing them in an airtight container and placing them in the fridge.


These beans should keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 6 days.
Simply store in an airtight, freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Reheat low and slow in a skillet or microwave.
Serving: 0.25cup, Calories: 88kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 201mg, Potassium: 359mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 90IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 36mg, Iron: 1mg