Let me start with a bit of a disclaimer. This is not a traditional refried beans recipe. It is a recipe that I created to be a healthy replacement for a Mexican side dish I love so it is not fried once, much less twice. The flavor is so similar though, that you won’t know the difference.
I cannot adequately explain how much I love using the slow cooker. It is the ultimate small kitchen appliance that is as easy to use as it is versatile. My slow cooker is used about once a week for everything from pizza sauce to Thai peanut chicken, helping me make flavorful meals with just a few minutes of prep time. At the end of a long workday, it is too easy to stop by the drive-thru window for dinner, so why not toss a few ingredients in the slow cooker while you’re waiting for your coffee to brew and come home to dinner perfection?
- 8 oz. dried pintos (about 2 cups)
- 6-8 cups water
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon homemade taco seasoning mix
- ½ jalapeno, coarsely chopped (or a few jarred slices)
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- The night before, rinse and sort dried beans and add to crock pot. Cover with 6 cups of water and allow to soak until morning.
- Drain soak water and add 6-8 cups of water to the crock pot along with beans and remaining ingredients.
- Cover and set your slow cooker on low heat. Cook for 5-7 hours on low, or until beans are fork tender.
- Drain beans over a large bowl or pot to keep the cooking liquid.
- Using a wooden spoon or potato masher, mash the beans until they are the desired consistency. For me that means a coarse mash that’s about 50/50 creamy and chunky. Add reserve liquid as needed and freeze the remaining liquid for adding to soups or stews later.