An image of a steaming slow cooker filled with creamy, golden refried beans

Slow Cooker Refried Beans

Looking for an easy and tasty way to make refried beans? You’re in luck! We’ll show you how to use your slow cooker to make the most flavorful and creamy refried beans imaginable.

With just a few ingredients and minimal effort, you’ll have a delicious side dish to accompany any Mexican-inspired meal.

So grab your slow cooker and get ready to enjoy some amazing refried beans!


Tracing the roots of slow cooker refried beans reveals a long-standing tradition in Mexican cuisine. Frijoles refritos, as the dish is known in Mexico, has been around for centuries.

To prepare beans slowly in a pot, or ‘olla de frijoles,’ has been passed down through generations. The invention of the slow cooker has made it much easier to make this classic dish. All one has to do is add the beans, onion, garlic, and spices and let them cook slowly for several hours.

The result is a creamy, flavorful batch of refried beans that can be enjoyed as a side dish or used as a filling for tacos or burritos.

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Refried Beans

  • 2 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)


Rinse the dried pinto beans in a colander to remove any dirt or debris. Transfer the beans to a slow cooker and add enough water to cover them, approximately 3-4 inches above the level of the beans. Add the chopped onion, minced garlic, and salt. Mix everything together.

Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 8-10 hours or low for 10-12 hours. The beans should be tender and easily mashed with a fork. Drain any excess liquid from the beans. Use a potato masher or immersion blender to mash the beans to the desired consistency.

Serve the refried beans warm as a side dish or as a filling for tacos, burritos, or enchiladas. Enjoy!

Tips for Cooking

For even tastier slow cooker refried beans, try adding a bit of cumin and smoked paprika to the mix. These spices will give a unique and delicious flavor to your beans, making them even more enjoyable. To ensure your slow cooker refried beans turn out perfectly every time, here are some tips:

Tip Description
Soak the beans overnight This will help soften the beans and reduce the cooking time.
Use low sodium broth This allows you to control the amount of salt in your beans.
Mash the beans well For a smoother texture, use a potato masher or immersion blender to fully mash the beans.

Final Thoughts

To finish off, keep the following points in mind when making slow cooker refried beans.

Firstly, soaking the beans overnight is essential for getting a tender texture.

Secondly, enhance the flavor of the beans by seasoning them with cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder. Feel free to adjust the seasoning to your liking.

Thirdly, monitor the cooking time to avoid having mushy beans. Low heat for 8-10 hours is usually enough.

Lastly, don’t forget to mash the beans before serving for a smooth and creamy texture.

Serve these delicious homemade refried beans with your favorite Mexican dishes!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Canned Beans Instead of Dried Beans?

Yes, you can substitute canned beans for dried beans. Canned beans are already cooked so you don’t need to spend any time on this step. Just remember to rinse and drain them before adding them to your slow cooker. With this approach, you can save a lot of time and effort.

How Long Do the Slow Cooker Refried Beans Last in the Refrigerator?

Slow Cooker Refried Beans can last for up to 5 days in the refrigerator if stored in an airtight container. Keeping them for longer may affect their flavor and texture, so it is best to enjoy them within the 5-day period.

Can I Freeze the Slow Cooker Refried Beans?

Yes, you can freeze the slow cooker refried beans to save them for later. It is recommended to put them in airtight containers or freezer bags. This will help keep them fresh and make them easier to use when you are ready.

Can I Add Meat to the Slow Cooker Refried Beans for Added Flavor?

Yes, you can add meat to the slow cooker refried beans for extra flavor. This will give your beans a delicious and savory taste that you’ll love. It’s easy to do and will make a great addition to your meal.

Can I Use a Pressure Cooker Instead of a Slow Cooker to Make Refried Beans?

Yes, using a pressure cooker instead of a slow cooker to make refried beans is definitely an option. The cooking time will be much shorter, so make sure to adjust the time accordingly. You can enjoy your homemade refried beans in no time!

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