Friday, March 12, 2010

Crock pot Refried Beans

Re-fried beans are expensive here, as is all Mexican food. And my family loves Mexican food. I needed to find a way to make the food we love for much less money.

Inspired by this Re-fried Beans recipe (thanks Kate for the recommendation), I tweaked it for my family's tastes preferences and available (less expensive) spices.

  • 3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves, peeled and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne power 
  • 1/2 tsp of chili powder (optional)
  • 4 cups water

  • Soak beans overnight in plenty of water.*
  • Soften the beans by boiling for 10 minutes (or according to package directions) and drain.
  • Place the onion, boiled beans, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne into a slow cooker. Pour in the water and stir to combine.
  • Cook on High for 4 to 6 hours, adding more water as needed. Note: if more than 1 cup of water has evaporated during cooking, then the temperature is too high.
  • After cooking remove some water. Smash the beans with a potato masher. Add water back as necessary for desired consistency.
  • *To skip soaking process by increasing water to 9 cups and cook for an additional 2 to 4 hours on HIGH.
  • **For smaller batch use 2 cups beans and 3 cups water. You can also cut back a little on the spices.

A 14 ounce (435 gram) tin (can) of refried beans here costs about £1.35 each (or more). This recipe provides about four tins worth of refried beans and only costs me about £1.18 for the entire batch. Huge savings! And my family loves these beans even better than the store bought.

We use about 1/4 of the batch on the day I make it. I put two jars in the freezer and leave one jar in the refrigerator for use throughout the week.

Check out more money-saving ideas at Life as Mom.


  1. Yea for this! I saw, um, evidence, of refried beans in the sink, and was curious what you had made.

  2. Yuummmmyyy!! Miss Mommy's comment made me laugh! :-)

  3. Do you freeze in canning jars?

  4. Hi Jen - Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog. I pretty much freeze it in whatever jar I have, like empty pasta sauce, etc. You just have to be careful with the thawing that you don't overheat the jar if it is not tempered for extreme heat / cold. I have also frozen it in freezer bags to save space.


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