One of my favorite go-to recipes is Crockpot “Refried” Beans. I LOVE this recipe. It is super easy, it saves us money and it is REALLY yummy.  They remind me of the refried beans that you get at a Mexican restaurant.  Will never gone back to canned…

Homemade Refried Beans

I originally got the recipe from the Pennies & Pancakes Blog.

I have two crockpots and love to make two batches of these beans at once. This way I can freeze a large batch of beans (they freeze great!).  If I make just one full crockpot I get two full quart bags to freeze and a third amount for eating. In the past I have tried freezing all three quarts but then I end up thawing one right away. I have received some rather miffed looks from all family members when it all just disappears. The kids love to make bean and cheese burritos for their lunches.

So, it is SUPER Easy.

First you soak 2 pounds pinto beans overnight. Just put your beans in the crockpot insert and cover them with plenty of cold water, about an inch above the beans.

In the morning, drain and rinse the beans. (and your crockpot insert of course) Note: According to all the food scientists out there, soaking beans before cooking helps to remove some of those indigestible sugars that cause flatulence. To which we can all give a good shout of hallelujah 🙂  

soaked beans

Chop 2 large onions and place in the crockpot with the soaked pinto beans

chopped onion

Add 4 Tbsp minced garlic, 1 tsp. black pepper, 2 tsp. cumin



Add 9 cups of water.

This is different from the original recipe but I found 10 cups gave me a lot of water to take off at the end and 9 cups still had plenty of water for the beans to cook in.

Cook covered on high 4 hours and low for 2-4 hours. (times will vary depending on crockpot) I have made this many times and I can tell you that if you mess up those times (speaking from experience) …well just cook it until the beans are good and soft.

Cooked beans before water removed

Cooked beans before water removed

When the beans are soft remove the extra liquid.  I place this liquid in a measuring cup. I try to remove as much as I can because once you start mashing you can’t take more out without throwing away the good stuff but you can always add it back in later.  I find it easiest to pile the beans to one side and scoop out the liquid with a small liquid measuring cup.

Mash beans  with a potato masher to desired consistency. If you want them to be more liquidy then return some of the extra liquid you took out in the last step. Also know that when you freeze the beans and then thaw and reheat them they will be a little thicker than the original finished batch.

Salt to taste. I do not add salt until now because according to some the bean consistency can be affected by cooking with salt so I just wait. I prefer to use kosher salt. I think it has a nicer flavor and not quite as “biting” of a flavor as regular table salt.

They never leave the pot without everyone sampling some with a chip....several times :)

They never leave the pot without everyone sampling some with a chip….several times 🙂

Enjoy and/or store the extra. YUM!

Ready for freezing

Two batches ready for freezing

Note: This recipe makes the equivalent of 6-16 oz cans. I would spend over $8 buying those canned beans but when I make them it costs me less than $5 for that same amount. Plus they taste much better. The canned beans taste like paste compared to this yummy pot of beans.

Enjoy! Happy Cooking!

-The Frabjus Lady

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