Refried Beans (Slow Cooker)

Eric’s birthday was this weekend. I decided to make him some Mexican food, because you can never go wrong with those same 10 ingredients that all Mexican food is made from. (Tortillas, meat, beans, cheese, etc.) I really don’t blame them for not expanding their repertoire. Why mess with perfection? (They really missed the boat on desserts though.)

I made chicken flautas with pico de gallo and avocado cream sauce, horchata, and these beautiful refried beans:

It was heavenly. It was a bit labor intensive, but it was worth it. Everything becomes a little more complicated when you are cooking an elaborate meal but still have to nurse your baby every few hours. I learned that making horchata while nursing an infant results in a lot of rice on the floor.

These refried beans were the easiest part of the meal. You just toss everything in a crock pot, then strain and blend and voila! Magically delicious refried beans. I love that they have a bit of a kick to them from the jalapeno. Happy birthday Eric!

Refried Beans (Slow Cooker)

Yield: Makes 15 servings


  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed (or a mix of pinto and black)
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 9 cups water


  1. Place the onion, rinsed beans, jalapeno, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin into a slow cooker. Pour in the water and stir to combine. Cook on high for 8 hours, adding more water as needed. If more than 1 cup of water has evaporated during cooking, then the temperature is too high.
  2. Once the beans have cooked, strain them, reserving the liquid. Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding the reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency. I used an immersion blender for this step. If you don't have one, use a regular blender. Put them all in if you want it really smooth, or put a portion of the beans into the blender, then mash with the remaining whole beans. Season with additional salt to taste.






  1. Kris says

    I’m sure Eric was very happy with his birthday meal! You are amazing Karen!

    I love this recipe. I made a big pot of a recipe very similar to this a couple weeks ago, then divided it up into quart size ziplock bags so I would have refried beans handy whenever I need them. I hate going to the grocery store. Even though the grocery store is directly across the street.

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