Easy Vegetarian Crockpot Refried Beans

cooked refried beens sitting in the crockpot
Easy Vegetarian Crockpot Refried Beans - 4 ingredients, no 'frying', healthy
Easy Vegetarian Crockpot Refried Beans - a simple alternative to canned plus it tastes better than a restaurant

On so many levels I love this recipe I am sharing with you today. First, it is freaking delicious. Second, it’s not actually ‘fried’ or ‘refried’ for that matter so its healthy. Third, it is easy, like so easy the hardest part is dicing an onion. Fourth, this recipe is the perfect set it and forget it recipe, especially perfect for a long weekday. Five, it is vegetarian so perfect for meatless Monday or if you are just trying to eat less meat. Six, you don’t have to go to an actual Mexican restaurant to get good quality refried beans, which means you don’t have to take off those ripped leggings and shirt with the stain on it. Seven… just kidding I think 6 reasons is enough to make this Easy Vegetarian Crockpot Refried Beans for dinner! 

In all realness though I had been making this for my family about once a week the past couple months. It is healthy and I can use these refried beans in different ways, so even though I made them a lot our dinners would look different. Here are some great ways to eat them:

• In burritos, just as bean burritos with lots of cheese or with ground beef, these easy vegetarian crockpot refried beans make fantastic burrito filling

• In quesadillas, fill your quesadillas with delicious beans and cheese

• Pair it with super easy Mexican Rice, for a fast and affordable dinner 

• Plus I have a soup coming out soon that uses refried beans ( I will update this as soon as I publish it)

So now that your stomach is grumbling lets look at how simple these ingredients are.

–> Quick personal side note, and it inludes this next picture. My son Archie who is now 3 loves to help me so much in the kitchen. When I told him I was going to work on taking pictures of the Easy Vegetarian Crockpot Refried Beans he insisted on helping and not only helping, he wanted to take pictures too. So we got everything set up and I opened the camera on my phone and he went to work. He seriously has a future in this, I mean look at him line up that shot! It seriously makes my heart explode how much he loves to help me! Proud momma right here! 🙂

a picture of a toddler taking a picture of the ingredients for crockpot refried beans

The Ingredients 

Pinto Beans. I use 1 pound of dried pinto beans in this recipe, if the thought of using dried beans scares you a little bit, stop don’t let it. They are actually really easy to use in this recipe I promise. So grab a dried bog of them the next time you are at the store, part of the reason I love this recipe so much is that it is ‘basically’ a pantry meal, I put basically in quotes because it depends if you think of onions as a pantry items or not. I always like to grab an extra can of pinto beans just for troubleshooting the recipe (in case they come out watery) or if I want to add some beans back in for texture.

Onion. Doesn’t it seem like onion gets added to everything?! According to the National Onion Association, Americans on average eat 20 pounds of onions a year. That is a lot of tears! In Mexican food more often white onions are used but yellow onion works in this recipe just as well.

Green Chilies. A little can of minced green chilies brings these refried beans to ‘Flavor Town’. Another pantry staple, green chilies bring just enough kick to the beans without becoming overpowering and still ‘kid friendly’ (aka not too spicy).

Garlic. In this dish you can use either whole garlic or pre-minced garlic. Part of your decision on this will depend on if you have an immersion blender or not. If you have an immersion blender, whole cloves are perfect because they will blend right up, if you don’t no sweat just use minced garlic. 

Spices. Salt, pepper, and cumin. I stuck to the classics and tried not to get to crazy with the spices. Although it seems like there is a lot of salt in the recipes, remember its a lot of beans!

toddler hands holding a bowl of garlic ready for the crockpot

a toddler hand helping place garlic into the crockpot

all of the ingredients needed sitting in a slow cooker

The Method

Rinse beans and check for any particles and rocks, as you would with any dried beans. Because they use machines to separate out the beans you never know if a rock could accidentally sneak by! There is a also a lot of chatter on the internet about letting beans soak and switching out the water to reduce the amount of gas it might give you, yes we are talking farts now. I have never had a problem with this and I have never soaked these beans overnight for this recipe BUT if you have a hard time with beans apparently soaking them before hand reduces the carbohydrate oligosaccharides is what causes some people some issues. I am not going to continue to talk about gas anymore but I thought that I would throw that out there. 

Once that is done add all of the ingredients into the crockpot. Make sure you use all 9 cups of water, it might seem like a lot but the beans need it.  Set on HIGH for 8 -9 hours. Yes on HIGH not low, this is one of those recipes where you really want the crockpot bubbling away on those beans all day. 

Once time has passed and beans are soft remove remaining liquid but you’ll want to reserve the liquid.

Either ladle it out of the crockpot or place a colander into a large bowl and pour the contents of the crockpot in, returning the beans back to the crockpot. You’ll want to make sure you reserve water in case you need to thin the beans out as you are blending.

If you have an immersion blender the next part is a breeze, blend the beans in the crockpot until to your preferred smooth consistency.

If you don’t have an immersion blender, no worries you can transfer to a stand blender and blend smooth in batches or you can mash the beans with a potato masher. I personally like my refried beans a little chunkier so sometimes I like to use the potato masher method. 

If the beans are too thick add the reserved bean water back in a tablespoon at a time until smooth. Note, the beans will continue to thicken as they cool.

I like to keep an extra can of pinto beans handy to troubleshoot this recipe, in case you don’t get enough liquids out and the beans are too runny, you can add in the can of beans to thicken it up, I only ran across this issue when testing and I didn’t let the beans cook long enough and didn’t take enough water out, but I thought I would at least give you a heads up that it happened.

Serve your Easy Vegetarian Crockpot Refried Beans immediately, best topped with cheese!

easy vegetarian refried beans in the crockpot with cheese, tomatoes, and jalapeños

Easy Vegetarian Crockpot Refried Beans with cheese, tomatoes, and jalapeños with a spoon for scooping

cooked refried beens sitting in the crockpot

TIPS & TRICKS

• If you want to make this a little fresher and/or spicier swap out the can of green chilies for a fresh diced jalapeño 

Easy Vegetarian Crockpot Refried Beans Recipe

Easy Vegetarian Crockpot Refried Beans Recipe

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 10 minutes

these better than a restaurant refried beans are a healthy meatless meal made easy in the slow cooker with only a few ingredients and no 're-frying' required

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 4oz can minced green chilies
  • 8 cloves of garlic or 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 9 cups water

Instructions

  1. Rinse beans and check for any particles and rocks.
  2. Add all ingredients into the crockpot. Set on HIGH for 8 -9 hours.
  3. Once time has passed and beans are soft remove remaining liquid but reserve the liquid. Either ladle it out of the crockpot or place a colander into a large bowl and pour the contents of the crockpot in, returning the beans back to the crockpot. You'll want to make sure you reserve water in case you need to thin the beans out as you are blending.
  4. If using an immersion blender, blend the beans in the crockpot until to your preferred smooth consistency. If you don't have an immersion blender you can transfer to a stand blender and blend smooth in batches or you can mash the beans with a potato masher. If the beans are too thick add the reserved bean water back in a tablespoon at a time until smooth. Note, the beans will continue to thicken as they cool.
  5. Serve immediately, best topped with cheese. Refrigerate in an airtight container, keeps up to a week in the fridge.

Notes

*I like to keep an extra can of pinto beans handy to troubleshoot this recipe, in case you don't get enough liquids out and the beans are too runny, you can add in the can of beans to thicken it up, I only ran across this issue when testing and I didn't let the beans cook long enough and didn't take enough water out, but I thought I would at least give you a heads up that it happened

Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 105 Total Fat: 0g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 1225mg Carbohydrates: 20g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 1g Protein: 6g
Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.

Peace & Love

Lauren, The Schmidty Wife

P.S. Looking for more Mexican like my Easy Vegetarian Crockpot Refried Beans? Check out my Slow Cooker Chipotle Pineapple Carnitas or my Fresh Restaurant Style Salsa.

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4 Replies to “Easy Vegetarian Crockpot Refried Beans”

  1. Emeline Hoblick says: Reply

    I am OBSESSED with refried beans. I could eat them for every meal! But seriously I never realized how easy it was to make my own. Thanks for sharing this recipe! I’ll be making this often!

    1. RIGHT!?! And once you taste them you’ll never want to go back to canned again!

  2. Can leftovers be feozen?

    1. Absolutely! These freeze really well actually! I prefer to do it in 1 or 1.5 cup portions (a can of refried beans is approximately 1.5 cups) to be used later and in other recipes!

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