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Refried Beans (Slow Cooker)


My dad was in the military, so I lived in a lot of places growing up. When I was in high school, I lived in San Antonio, Texas. It was by far my favorite place to live. There was always plenty of fun things to go and do, and the food! Oh the food! Tex-Mex and BBQ, yum. I miss it soooo much.

I recently figured out how to make refried beans in the slow cooker, and tweaked the recipe to fit my Tex-Mex tastebuds. The original recipe is here. The big difference is that I add bacon drippings to my beans and made them a little runnier (which is authentic Tex-Mex). See this post I did for the easiest way to cook bacon and save the drippings.

The beans sit in the slow cooker allllll day (which makes your house smell amazing, and might cause you speak with a Spanish accent…), and when they’re done, I scoop out 1/2 cup portions and put them in zip baggies and freeze them flat on a cookie sheet. Then when they’re frozen, I toss them all into 2 large freezer zip bags (so I don’t have a couple dozen bags of beans just floating around in my freezer).

I then use those individual baggies for bean and cheese quesadillas (spread 2 T of refried beans on a tortilla and top with cheddar cheese and another tortilla and then warm in a hot pan). They are also great for burritos, and I also use them on my Taco Pizza.

Slow Cooker Refried Beans
from The How To Mom, modified from Pennies and Pancakes

 2 lb dry pinto beans
1 1/2 c onion, chopped
4 T minced garlic (I used jarred)
1 1/2 T salt
1 tsp pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
11 c water
drippings from 1 package of bacon


1. Rinse beans thoroughly, and discard any beans that “float.”

2. Combine all ingredients in large slow cooker, and cook on high for at least 8 hours, stirring throughout the day.

3. When beans are super tender, mash with potato masher until desired consistency. (I like some of my beans to stay intact, so I don’t completely mash them.)

Serve immediately, store in fridge (1 week) or freeze. Simply thaw (at room temperature, in the fridge, in the microwave, or on the stove – they’re not finicky.) and enjoy!

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Thursday 23rd of January 2014

My family loves thus kind of food.. can't wait to try it! Now you must share how to make flour tortillas!

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Sunday 2nd of February 2014

I will, as soon as I figure out how! :)

Lindsey Cortes

Saturday 11th of January 2014

This is the best bean recipe I have seen in a while. I am going to make it this week! Thanks!


Thursday 5th of December 2013

I've had a hard time getting my beans to soften in the crockpot before. Someone told me I shouldn't put salt in the beans before they are done or they won't soften very well. Have you had this problem? Were my beans just too old?

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Thursday 5th of December 2013

I've never heard that before, but its possible. My beans take a full day to cook, like 9 hours. I wonder if omitting the salt until the end would make them cook faster? I'll have to try it next time and see. Thanks for the tip!

Lindsey Johnson

Tuesday 29th of October 2013

Yum! I love refried beans. It's been forever since I made them. My husband only like Brazilian style beans, so I often get out-voted. I'm totally making these and freezing them in small bags. That is awesome!

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Tuesday 29th of October 2013

I hope you like them, and maybe your husband will to! ;) And if not, you can still enjoy them in single servings, hehe.

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