Crockpot Refried Beans


I’m not much of a bean eater, but the rest of the crew loves refried beans with their tacos. Cans of Rosarita beans are inexpensive (about $1 each at Costco), but I knew I could do better. Besides, I have a long and storied history of making things instead of buying them.

This is a perfect recipe to help get your kids in the kitchen. Crockpot cooking is safer than stovetop, and little hands can measure and pour ingredients easily. They can even chop onions with a butter knife if they can stand the smell!


1 lb pinto beans
1 small yellow onion, chopped fine
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. homemade taco seasoning mix (optional)

News flash! You don’t need to soak your beans before cooking. Just dump everything into the crockpot and add plenty of water (at least a couple of inches above the beans).

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. The beans are done when they are tender and starting to split. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired. Scoop beans out into a big bowl, keeping the cooking liquid in the crockpot.

Mash the beans, adding cooking liquid as needed, until they’re your favorite consistency. My crew likes them lumpy, so I use an old-fashioned potato masher. If you prefer a smoother consistency, use an immersion blender.

Makes 6 cups (equal to 3 cans).


Price breakdown

This is fabulous. The only ingredient I needed to buy was the beans, which were $1.39. The onion and garlic were from the garden, and I had the other spices already on hand. This makes each “can” of beans just 46c. If I’d bought the beans at Costco, they’d have been 78c a pound–for a grand total of 26c a can.

Grab some chips and taco fixins and dinner is served!

Get answers to all your bean-cooking questions and 30 recipes in the Everything Beans Book:

The Everything Beans Book

This article was shared on Clever Chicks, Butter Believer, Your Great Idea, Small Footprint Friday, Simple Lives Thursday, Thank Your Body Thursday, Fabulously Frugal Thursday, Party Wave Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesday, The Thrifty Home, and Wildcrafting Wednesday.

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  1. says

    Where’s the LARD? Gotta have some LARD for really good refried beans! You know, the stuff that clogs up arteries something awful? Who needs arteries anyway! Overrated!

    • Tami says

      I was thinking the same thing. I’m wondering if my palm shortening would do the trick since it is good for you and has no flavor at all?

  2. says

    This sounds like a great crock pot recipe! I’m going to share it on our G+ group, The Crock Pot Crowd and on our Pinterest board. Thanks for posting at LOBS!

  3. says

    Yum! A great side to make at the start of the week and stretch over several meals. Can you can it when you are done to preserve some for later? I haven’t canned yet, but am trying to figure out what works. Thanks for sharing on Tuesday Greens!

  4. Kasey says

    Have you ever frozen part of the recipe? Would love to make this instead of buying expensive cans of the non gmo stuff!

    • Pam says

      Yes! I freeze portions in canning jars (remember to leave room in the jars for expansion from freezing) and they reheat just great.

  5. Kathy says

    So Yummy! I added a little salt after I blended them. I was licking the spoon and bowl I thought it was so delicious!

  6. PAMELA says

    refried beans are expensive here in Ontario, Canada so this recipe is right up my alley……have been looking for a good recipe like this……..I will be cooking beans tomorrow in a cast iron pot thats my slow cooker

  7. Desi says

    I made this recipe a few months ago and it is my new favorite. I haven’t bought refried beans since then. I haven’t tried any other recipe and i don’t intend to because this one is amazing. So flavorful and easy! I love it!!

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