This is the easiest and best Refried Beans Recipe! Cook and mash them right in your slow cooker, you won’t go back to canned refried beans!
Refried beans are perfect as a side dish or as a main dish substitute. I like to use them for:
- Side Dish
- Bean Dip
- Seven Layer Dip
They are economical and this recipe makes a lot. Plenty to serve and leftovers for the week, they even freeze really well. Just save some of the reserved liquid to reheat.
Refried Beans Recipe
For this refried beans recipe, we cook the dried beans in the slow cooker with plenty of liquid so they have a chance to absorb the liquid and soften up. No need to soak the beans ahead of time, just put the dried pinto beans right into the recipe. This recipe is pretty forgiving on cooking time. If the beans get very soft and split, it’s fine! They are going to get mashed anyway.
Easy Refried Beans
Traditionally, refried beans are called refried beans because cooked beans are moved to a separate pan with hot butter or oil and mashed and fried. But I’ve tried both ways, and mashing butter into the hot beans tastes the same as mashing beans into hot butter, and there is no need to dirty another pan. So give this refried beans recipe a try, they are easy and delicious.
I love to make these beans on a Sunday and use the leftovers throughout the week. It makes a big batch and they reheat really well!
This is one of our family’s favorite recipes, and one that I make over and over again. I’m so glad to finally get it up on the blog!
- 1 pound dried pinto beans rinsed well, look for darker colored dried pinto beans
- 4 tablespoons chicken bullion powder knorr recommend
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 small onion ends cut off and paper skin removed
- 14 cups water
- 1 stick butter
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a 6 quart slow cooker, combine beans, chicken bullion powder, garlic powder, onion and water. Cook on high heat for 4 hours. Beans should be soft all the way through. Cooking times of slow cookers can really vary, so if beans still have any firmness continue cooking until completely soft.
Once beans are soft, strain beans into a large colander nested inside a bowl to retain the liquid. Set onion aside and return cooked beans to slow cooker. Add butter and mash with potato masher. Stir reserved liquid back into beans by 1/2 cup measurements until desired consistency is reached. Season generously with salt and pepper to taste. Do not discard reserved liquid. The starch in the beans will continue to develop as the beans sit, so additional liquid can be stirred in. Save the liquid to stir into leftover beans when reheating.
I use powdered chicken bullion in this recipe instead of canned chicken broth since so much liquid is required to cook the beans. It's much more flavorful than using plain water but more budget friendly than using liquid chicken broth.
Pair these refried beans with:
5 Easy Dinner Ideas for Busy Weeknights
My five FAVORITE recipes for busy families!
- Quick to make
- Light on your budget
- Easy to clean-up
- and...most important...absolutely DELICIOUS