Refried beans are never the main character of any taco night, but they are that supporting character that just makes everything about dinner even better. And did you know that making your own restaurant style homemade refried beans is actually super easy and super worth it?
Try these Crockpot refried beans for your next Taco Tuesday and feel like an impressive master of the kitchen!
Disclosure: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you use the links. To learn more click here.
Why You have to Make these Refried Beans
They’re easy. All your friends and family will wonder what restaurant you picked these up from and you’ll feel so cool telling them you made them yourself.
They smell fantastic. If you have people coming over for dinner, these beans make your house smell like you’ve been slaving away all day in the kitchen to prepare a fancy shmancy meal.
They’re also super cheap to make. This recipe makes a lot of beans for only about $6 (or less if you get things on sale like I always do). A $6 isn’t much for everybody’s new favorite party beans, nor is it a lot if you choose to eat them all yourself.
I often make these and then freeze them as an easy meal prep option which means I get to use them in about 8-10 meals for that extra protein and deliciousness boost.
Most importantly, these Crockpot refried beans are so. freaking. good! They aren’t to spicy and not too bland. They are the goldilocks of beans…pure perfection. *chef’s kiss*
What can you use these beans on?
This recipe is actually one of my favorites to meal prep. They add nutrients and protein to my meals and help me stay fuller longer. So don’t be shy about using them!
Here are some easy ways to use these refried beans:
- Smothered over nachos
- Freezer ready burritos
- Over eggs (yes really, it’s surprisingly delicious).
- A delicious chip dip
Materials You’ll want to Make Crockpot Refried Beans
- A Crockpot….obviously.
- An Immersion blender. It makes your mashing time so much faster and it’s great to have for making soups, sauces, applesauce, and of course, refried beans.
- Mason Jars for storing leftovers
Fun Facts About Refried Beans
Refried beans are actually never “refried”. That’s a translation error. Refried beans are ‘frijoles refritos’ in Spanish, which means ‘twice fried’. In this instance, this meant that they were just cooking the beans twice. Once boiling the beans in water and then frying them in a a skillet with oil and spices.
But sometimes, sometimes! the beans aren’t even fried. It all depends how you make them.
(I feel like this is an important thing to note so that the internet trolls don’t come for me and my favorite Crockpot recipe in the comments 😂).
Proper Storage for Refried Beans
These are wayyyy tastier than store bought beans, there’s no doubt. But homemade typically means healthier and healthier means fewer preservatives. And of course, fewer preservatives result in food going bad faster.
So with these beans, proper storage matters. These don’t last all that long if you just leave them in the fridge. I’d say you’re looking at 4-5 days before they’re tasting a little different.
I recommend filling large mason jars 3/4 of the way full and sticking them in the freezer. You don’t want to fill the jars to the top because the beans will expand some while they freeze and you don’t want to deal with shattered mason jars in your freezer.
Then when you’re ready to use the beans simply take them out of the freezer and allow them to thaw, or defrost and warm them up in the microwave.
When I make these refried beans to meal prep (meaning no one is eating any before I put them away), the fill two 32oz mason jars. But it can sometimes be more if you have more liquid-y beans.
Need more jars? Get the mason jars I use for all of my food storage here.
Controlling Some Spice
Disclaimer: These are spicier beans than most recipes you’ll find from other white people on the internet. If you don’t like spice, this recipe is not for you. If you do like spice, these beans aren’t going to seem that spicy.
I created this recipe because all the refried bean recipes I found online that had amazing reviews were honestly pretty dang bland. And that simply wasn’t going to work for me. So honestly, I’m not sure what you guys are going to think but everyone who’s had these seem to really like them.
And if you make them and hate them, that’s okay. Some people don’t like spicy refried beans, it’s cool. We all have our preferences and I’m not here to tell you how to live your life.
If you want a little less spice, here’s what you need to know:
Of course you can vary the amount of spices you put into the beans. Add more, add less, whatever.
But if you want to follow the recipe exactly and want it on the milder end, it all comes down to your jalapenos.
It’s very important to clean your jalapenos well to avoid overly spicy beans. Cut off the stems and cut the peppers into quarters. Remove ALL of the seeds and as much of the pith as you can (the white fleshy stuff). Unlike most peppers, jalapenos actually hold most of their burning hot capsaicin in the seeds and pith.
If you reallllly want some spicy beans you can ignore all this and add all the spices your heart desires but don’t say we didn’t warn you. We cannot be held liable for any tears or complaints about your beans.
Crockpot Refried Beans: The Major Motion Picture
Related Meal Prep Recipes
Crock Pot Refried Beans
- Slow Cooker
- immersion Blender
- 1 pound dry pinto beans
- 2 jalapeno peppers
- 1 large yellow onion
- ¼ cup bacon grease
- 6 strips bacon thick cut
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp red pepper
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup cheese
- cilantro for garnish, optional
- Rinse and sort your beans.
- Peel and cut your onion into quarters. Remove the jalapeno stem and seeds and cut into quarters.
- Cook the bacon to your preference. Reserve at least ¼ cup of bacon grease in a jar or container. Chop the bacon into small pieces, package it, and store in the fridge until ready to use. DO NOT add the bacon to the crock pot yet! No one wants overly mushy bacon!
- Add the bacon grease, spices, onion, jalapenos, pinto beans, and chicken broth and water to your Crockpot and turn it on high. Cook until your beans are soft (about 6-8hrs) mixing every so often. Note1
- Use an immersion blender and blend until the beans are smooth.
- Mix in the bacon. (You can choose to heat it up or just allow it heat up on it's own in the beans).
- Garnish with cheese and enjoy!
- Store in airtight containers in the fridge for up to a week OR freeze the beans for up to 4 months. (See proper freezing instructions in the post above)
These Crockpot refried beans are amazing, there’s no doubt in my mind about that. They’re delicious on almost everything and are filling and healthier than canned refried beans. And knowing they’re not hard to make? I think you’ve found your new favorite recipe to bring to pot lucks, just don’t forget the tortilla chips!
While you’re here, why not check out some of our other taco recipes and keep all the Taco Tuesdays rolling?!
Sharing is caring! Do you know someone who would love these easy refried beans? Share it with them!