Crockpot “Refried” Beans

Crockpot “Refried” Beans

$0.19 per cup          73% savings          save $33.47 yearly

Have you ever had something or tried something or seen something and LOVED it so much, that you wanted to share it with everyone? The first time you see a truly HILARIOUS video, and you want to make sure all of your family and friends see it to, because it was that funny… or the first time you discovered the magic of a free Krispy Kreme doughnut fresh off the rack, and promptly asked everyone you knew if they were aware of the inspired genius of the glowing red light… or when your very first baby giggled for the very first time and you tried to video it, replicate it, and show it off to as many people who showed even the slightest interest in your child, because, to you, it was the BEST thing ever?

Well… that’s kinda how I feel about these beans.

Yep. Beans.

Okay, so beans aren’t really comparable to newly giggling babies, but still…

Refried beans have been a staple food in my life since I was a child. They were a staple in my Dad’s life when HE was a child. And… I’m pretty sure they were staples in his parent’s lives.

The refried beans I had as a kid came from a can. Rosarita, was the brand, and boy did I love ’em! They were tasty and they were easy. It’s no wonder we ate them constantly. We used them for bean and cheese burritos, soft tacos, tostadas… ahhhh!… tostadas!…  Er… Ahem… Moving along…

Now, I’m passing on the “bean” tradition to my children. The only difference is, we make our own beans in the crockpot. I buy a big bag of dried pinto beans at the store, and in no time, I’ve got a huge batch of homemade “refried” beans cooking in the crockpot so I focus my attention on other things. We eat refried beans almost weekly, and I LOVE it! I can stand on my soapbox all say long and declare the virtues of these beans:

1.) A four-pound bag of dry pinto beans runs $3.68 at Walmart.

2.) They are fat-free, and don’t involve any “re-frying”

3.) They are protein-rich.

4.) They are fiber-rich.

5.) They are so, so, so, so, simple to prepare.

6.) They freeze really well.

7.) They taste amazing.

8.) My 8-month old can eat them.

9.) They are a sure-win with the kids

10.) They make for a great food storage recipe, especially when you pair them with homemade flour tortillas.

11.) They are SUPER cost-effective.

12.) They have less sodium, and NO weird preservatives that the canned versions have.

And the list goes on into an endless happy oblivion of tasty goodness. So, as someone who loves these beans very much, my desire is to share them with you. Please, please make these at least once! You’ll be so glad you did!

Crockpot “Refried” Beans

*Makes about 16 cups

Note: I haven’t usually taken time to soak these beans overnight, and they’ve always been tasty and my family has never experienced any adverse effects. However, I’ve read that soaking the beans can improve their quality, so take that into account before making these.


2 lbs pinto beans

1 large onion, chopped

4 Tbsp. jarred minced garlic

*Up to 2 1/2 Tbsp salt (This is the absolute max if you don’t pre-soak your beans.)

1 tsp black pepper

2 tsp cumin

10 cups hot water

* You can use as little as 1 Tbsp. of salt It depends on how you like your beans, and if you soak them first or not.


Rinse the beans in a colander. Pick out any bad beans.

Combine all the ingredients in the crockpot. Remove any floating beans. Cover, and cook on HIGH for 4 hours and on LOW for 2 hours.

Uncover, and remove extra liquid. Leave enough liquid to reach the desired consistency when the beans are mashed. (We like our beans somewhere between the very-liquidy restaurant style beans, and the canned version of refried beans.)

Mash beans with a potato masher to desired consistency.

Serve warm. Store in air-tight containers in the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks, or freeze in ziplock bags for later use.

~ Savings ~

Cost Breakdown:

4 lbs dry pinto beans – $3.68 = $0.92/lb = $1.84

3 lb onion – $1.96 = $0.245 each = $$0.49 for 2 small

26 oz. salt – $0.42 = 122.75 tsp = $0.003/tsp = $0.023

32 oz. jarred minced garlic – $4.48 = 181 tsp = $0.025/tsp = $0.216

8 oz. black pepper- $3.84 = 37.75 tsp = $0.102/tsp = $0.204

2 oz. cumin – $3.12 = 22 tsp = $0.142/tsp = $0.284

Total Recipe Cost: $3.06

Cost per Cup: $0.19

The Contender:

Old El Paso Vegetarian Refried Beans (15 oz.): $1.25

Cost per Cup: $0.71

Savings: 73%

“Over a Year” Scenario:

Make Crockpot “Refried” Beans 4 times: $12.24

Use Equivalent Old El Paso Vegetarian Refried Beans: $45.71

*Money Saved: $33.47

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