Slow Cooker Refried Beans are easy to make and turn out ultra creamy with butter as the secret ingredient. Great as a side dish or alone!
This recipe for Slow Cooker Refried Beans is one of the first recipes I learned how to make in my slow cooker. It is such a great side dish, and it makes a ton of beans.
How to make Slow Cooker Refried Beans
You will need these ingredients:
- Pinto beans
- Sweet yellow onion
- Chicken bouillon cubes
- Garlic cloves
- Cayenne pepper
- Salted butter
My method to add an amazing caramelized onion flavor to the beans is to brown thick sweet onions slices in a skillet.
My mom gave me a vintage Mexican cookbook and it used this method for their refried beans and it really does add so much flavor.
Should I soak my beans overnight?
You do not need to soak your beans overnight. If you cook the beans long enough, they cook up perfectly tender.
If you are adamant about soaking the beans you can, and use this same recipe, the cooking time is the same.
How long to cook:
Cover and cook the beans on the high setting for 5-6 hours or on the low setting for 10 hours.
Adding butter to make refried beans:
I add a stick of butter to my refried beans for flavor. Slow cooker refried beans don’t actually get refried in a pan rather they just get blended up. Adding the butter gives the flavor of the classic stove-top refried beans without the mess and work of frying.
How to make refried beans smooth:
How to thicken too runny refried beans:
- Leave the lid off and let the moisture evaporate off.
- OR Make a cornstarch slurry with a small amount of cold water and cornstarch. Stir into the beans.
Are your beans too thick?
Save the extra pinto bean broth from cooking, these juices are great for adding back into the beans and smoothing them out. If you did not save these, add a splash of water and stir.
If you happen to own two slow cookers, this recipe for Slow Cooker Refried Beans goes excellent with my Chicken Enchilada Casserole. If I am going all out, I will make this Spanish Rice Recipe from Lil Luna too.
- Slow Cooker – 5 quart or larger
- 1 lb. pinto beans
- 1 sweet yellow onion
- 4 chicken bouillon cubes
- 2 garlic cloves peeled
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 6 cups water
- 2 Tbsp. cooking oil
- 1/2 cup salted butter (wait to add this at the end)
- This is a no soak recipe! The beans cook up perfectly without soaking. If you feel you must soak the beans overnight you can still do this recipe, but the cooking time remains the same.
- Slice the onion into 4 large slices. In a large skillet set over medium-high heat add the cooking oil. Add the onion slices and brown them on both sides.
- Sort the beans, discard any rocks or dirt clumps. Rinse the beans and add them to the slow cooker. Add the cooked onions on top of the beans
- Add the chicken bouillon cubes, garlic and cayenne powder. Pour over the water.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 5-6 hours or on low for 10 hours.
- When the cooking time is done ladle off about half of the pinto bean broth, save this broth just in case you need to add more liquid back.
- Add the stick of butter into the beans. Using an immersion blender blend the beans until smooth. If you do not have an immersion blender, you can mash with a potato masher. Add the reserved broth if the beans seem too thick.
First Published 11/10/2013