I first made Crockpot Refried Beans last year and it was so easy, I haven’t bought the canned stuff since! I’m the only person in our house who likes them and if I open a can of refried beans on taco or fajita night, at least half of it doesn’t get used. This way I can freeze them in single servings and I think they taste better than the canned stuff any way.
Making homemade refried beans is:
d.) Easy to freeze in smaller quantities
- 3 cups of Pinto beans (Best to buy these in bulk at Winco or local co-op) - this comes out to about 1.25 pounds of beans
- 5 cups water
- 4 cups chicken broth (Make your own chicken broth in the slow cooker!)
- 1 onion, diced finely (I used a food chopper) - I incorporated the onions into the beans with an immersion blender. If you just want some of the flavor – just peel and quarter the onion and then remove the onion pieces before you mash the beans.
- 3 cloves of minced garlic
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Optional – I’ve seen recipes that add fresh jalapeños or even canned jalapeños but I didn’t want mine too spicy, just in case the kids would eat some.
- Rinse your beans. Spread them out on a cookie sheet and pull out all the discolored ones. You might find rocks and other random stuff in your beans (especially if you buy the cheaper beans) – so don’t skip this step.
- Combine everything in the crockpot. Cook on HIGH for 8 hours. Add more water if you need (I didn’t need to add additional water).
- When beans have popped open and are soft, they are done. Reserve a couple cups of the liquid into a separate container.
- Strain beans. You can either mash them with a potato masher, use a food processor or use an immersion blender. I used the immersion blender, right in the slow cooker crock and it was a cinch! Add extra water if you need to get the consistency you want.
- Wait until it cools. Fill Ziploc bags and freeze. I like to lay mine on a flat cookie sheet or piece of cardboard in the freezer so they freeze completely flat, then I stand them up in a box, so they are easy to find! I would use within 3 months, but they probably won’t kill you if you keep them longer in the freezer.
- If needed, you can add more chicken broth when you thaw the beans – they might need a little more liquid when reheated.
If you’re having a fajita or taco night – check out this recipe for Spanish Rice in the rice cooker!
Have you made refried beans before? What is your recipe?