Here’s how to make crockpot refried beans that taste so much BETTER than the restaurants. They make a great side dish, bean burrito, and dip.
These Crockpot Refried Beans are what you hope to get served at any Mexican restaurant! They are loaded with flavor and are so easy to make.
Speaking of Mexican restaurants – we have a quaint little hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant in our small town. It’s one of our favorite haunts, and we frequent it more than any other eating establishment around town. Now, are you ready to hear something crazy?
After going to our favorite little place all these years, I have yet to eat, but one thing off their menu. I know! We were just there recently with some friends, and they thought the waiter had skipped my order, but I knew he hadn’t. He knew just what I wanted and how I wanted it. Refried beans always come with my meal, and they’re good, but I think I need to tell them about my recipe.
Why are they called refried beans?
It doesn’t seem right to call Crockpot Refried Beans refried since they never quite make it to the frying pan. The truth is – traditional refried beans are only fried once. The Spanish name for the dish is frijoles refritos. In Spanish, “refritos” means “well-fried.” This translation error causes the misconception that you fry the beans twice.
What kind of beans do you use for refried beans?
I prefer to use pinto beans for my crockpot refried beans. Northern Mexico uses pinto beans, but other parts of Mexico uses black beans and red kidney beans. Tex-Mex cuisine usually uses pinto beans as well.
What is in this refried beans recipe?
- Pinto beans (dry)
- White Vinegar or liquid from a jar of jalapeños or banana peppers (I use homemade hot pepper vinegar.)
Let me tell you a little bit about that jalapeño pepper. If you like things heated up a little, then you can wait and add the pepper later in the cooking process. If heat is not your thing, add it at the beginning. A pepper loses it’s strength the longer it cooks. A pepper cooked for a short amount of time will be far spicier than one that has been cooked longer. These beans are NOT hot! You’ll love the flavor that little pepper puts out, so don’t be afraid to use it. I often cook beans and black-eyed peas with jalapeño peppers. I always have one bobbing around in the pot when I make my black-eyed peas.
The best way to store refried beans
Keep cooked refried beans in the refrigerator for three to four days. To reheat – add a little water and heat on the stovetop.
Refried beans can be frozen – put room temperature beans in a heavy-duty freezer bag or an air-tight container. When reheating thawed beans, you can add a little water and oil if they are dry.
Ways to eat refried beans
- As a filling for burritos
- In a seven-layer dip (recipe to come)
- Use as a dip with corn chips
- On loaded nachos
- As a side dish
These crockpot refried beans are loaded with flavor and are a great source of protein.
Do you like refried beans? What other side dishes do you like with a Mexican meal? I would love to hear from you in the comments.
Crockpot Refried Beans
- 1 pound dry pinto beans, rinsed and sorted
- 6 cups water
- 1 medium onion, peeled and halved
- 2 bay leaves
- 4-6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 fresh jalapeño, halved and seeded
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons of white vinegar or liquid from a jar of jalapeños or banana peppers. I used homemade pepper vinegar.
- Place rinsed and sorted beans, water, onion halves, bay leaves, garlic cloves, jalapeño pepper, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper in the crockpot. Cook for 8 hours on high.
- When ready; drain the beans, reserving the liquid and discard the onion and pepper halves.
- Return beans to crock and add the vinegar or liquid from pickled peppers.
- Using a potato masher, food processor, or blender; mash or blend the beans and garlic adding reserved liquid as needed to reach the desired level of thickness or thinness. I used my immersion blender and prefer mine on the thinner side thus requiring more liquid. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Disclaimer: Nutritional values (per serving) are approximates only and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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