Slow Cooker Refried Beans (without the Refry!)

These Slow Cooker Refried Beans (without the refry) are so simple and taste absolutely amazing. You can even make them in the instant pot. Scroll down, to see more.

We LOVE Mexican food at our house and I am always looking for a yummy side dish. I love refried beans, but when you buy them in a can and dump them out, the beans retain the shape of the can.
It grosses me out. I then found this recipe and I am never going back. Took 15 minutes to throw it together and THEY WERE AMAZING.
My husband said that they were as good as the beans you get at a restaurant, and the recipe is so easy that you can’t go wrong.
It’s also impossible to mess up, so this is a topping or side dish that is fail proof.

 **This recipe makes a lot, but you can also use it to make bean burritos, bean dip, topping for a salad, etc. You will definitely want to use a large 5-6 quart slow cooker for this recipe.

do these beans freeze well?

These beans do freeze extremely well. Because this recipe makes so much, we recommend freezing your extras unless you plan to eat them within the next three to four days.

They stay good in the fridge for about 5 days, but in the freezer, they last for a few months.

To freeze them, we put them in an airtight container, and place them in the freezer. To thaw them, we usually put them in the fridge 48-30 hours before serving them.

We don’t recommend microwaving them frozen, because a lot of extra moisture can get in, and make them more runny. We recommend thawing, then heating them up.

How to make Refried Beans in the Instant Pot


  • 1 pound of beans
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic
  • Garlic Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 3 cups of water

Put all ingredients in the pot. Put the lid on and turn the knob to “sealing.” Push “Manual” and move the time up to 45 minutes. Let it release on its own for 15 minutes. Drain the liquid and slowly add it back in for the consistency you want! Smash or blend your beans to make the perfect refried beans!

Watch how to make refried beans in the instant pot, here:

Did you know we have a Youtube Channel? We have hundreds of simple and delicious recipes, your family is going to love. We take you through each recipe, step by step, and show you exactly how to make them.

looking for more side dishes? here are a few of our favorite:

BLT Salad Recipe
Broccoli Apple Salad
Oven Roasted Vegetables
How To Grill Vegetables
Parmesan Crusted Asparagus

Serves: 12

Slow Cooker Refried Beans (without the Refry!)

Took 15 minutes to throw it together and THEY WERE AMAZING! My husband said that they were as good as the beans you get at a restaurant . . . and the recipe is so easy that you can?t go wrong!

10 minPrep Time

8 hrCook Time

8 hr, 10 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1/4-1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped (I used about 1/4 because I wanted my kids to eat it and not think it was too hot)
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
  • 5 cups water
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • If you want to turn this into a big batch of bean dip, add the following:
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 2 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 16 ounces sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Mix in with the beans and let cook a couple hours longer so flavors can blend. Makes a huge batch so just freeze leftovers!


  1. Place the onion, rinsed beans, jalapeno, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin into a slow cooker. Pour in the water and chicken broth and stir to combine. Cook on High for 8 hours, adding more water as needed. Note: if more than 1 cup of water has evaporated during cooking, then the temperature is too high.
  2. Once the beans have cooked, strain them, and reserve the liquid. Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding the reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency.

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54 Responses to “Slow Cooker Refried Beans (without the Refry!)”

  1. My girls love bean burritos and would eat them everyday if I let them. I have been using canned beans, but I can't wait to try this recipe for homemade. I shared your recipe on my Must Try Tuesday blog post.

    Thanks for sharing!

    The Rickett Chronicles
  2. Hi Anonymous! Every time that I have made these, I have cooked them on high for 8 hours. I think that if you cooked them on low, I would probably do it for 12-15 hours, just to make sure they are cooked all the way. :) Good luck with slow cooking! I would die without my crockpot! :)
  3. I have been making these for months and I love this recipe! Not only is it so simple, it is delicious.

    I wrote about it on my blog today and shared your recipe.

    Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe!

    The Rickett Chronicles
  4. I made these last night. I put them in my crock pot on low around 1am. After lunch today, I strained off the water and "refried" them. Twelve hours was just fine. I could smell the beans all the way upstairs when I woke up this morning. I don't have a potato masher, so I used an immersion blender instead. It took a little longer, since I had to keep scraping it out, but it turned out well. Next time I think I might make these with black beans.
  5. I just made a batch a few days ago! We like a little more cumin and use veggie stock/broth. I freeze them in 2 cup containers. You need to thaw them in the fridge for about a dsy, but they're still amazing. I start mine at 10 pm (just before I go to bed) and they are ready at 6 am when we get up. You do want to sort and rinse them well, as sometimes there are small rocks.
    When jalapeños aren't available, I add in a large can of diced green chile peppers.
  6. I've been making these for the past few months and they are AWESOME!!! A single batch is divided into about 3 dinner servings for the four of us. I freeze them flat and line them up in my freezer door. I've defrosted them in the fridge overnight as well as defrosted them in the microwave - both work well.

    I can't tell you how awesome it is to hear my boys get all excited for homemade beans. :-) Thank you!!
  7. These are SOOOO delicious!! I've tried other crockpot "refried" bean recipes before and they were just so-so. I think the difference is the jalapeno, fresh garlic, and chicken stock. I made this super easy on myself by mashing them in my electric mixer. I just threw them in straight from the crockpot (I used a slotted spoon so I didn't get too much liquid in too) and mixed with the paddle attachment until I had the perfect "refried" bean consistency. Couldn't be easier! NEVER buying canned beans again!!
  8. These taste fresh and authentic and are so easy to make. Never going back to canned! We live in Switzerland, and a can of refried beans costs more here than it costs me to make a whole batch in the slow cooker. Thanks for sharing this great money-saving, tasty recipe; I'm really glad I discovered it.
  9. I make these about twice a month. They are great, and freeze well, too. I had bean-resistant kids, but when I whizzed the beans in the blender, they gobbled them up. There is something about the 'skin' on beans that my kids do not like :(
  10. Doris Bray
    The best beans I have ever cooked. I first found the receipe for a potluck we were having at church, but had to turn the water off and did not get to cook them. Last week I decided we needed some beans, cooked them by recipe I put in a poblano pepper, because I did not have a jalapeno, wow, it was too hot. The beans were so good, we did not mash them, just ate them with cornbread. I will keep this recipe for all my pinto beans.
  11. These are the best beans and when my neighbor found out I was making them she wanted to taste them before I turned them into the dip. She said they were the best "refried" beans she's ever had. The dip is outstanding as well. Making more today. I use a half of a jalapeño. Was amazed that the onion did break down. If you haven't tried this it's so easy and soooo good.
  12. I tried this, following the IP instructions and ended up with nearly 4 cups of extra water to drain out so they didn't end up very flavorful BUT they cooked to perfection. Will use much less water next time. But this was a good guideline to work off of (have had bad luck with other IP bean recipes).
  13. As someone who has been cooking pinto beans for decades a couple of hints. If you want the beans to cook a little quicker soak them until they plumb up and are no longer wrinkly any more. This reduces cooking time because they don't need to reconstitute while cooking. I think bring them to a rolling boil and then turn them down to simmer will also help them cook a bit quicker. If you have digestive problems 1. Eat beans more often so your digestive system is used to them they're very healthy. 2. Pour off the soaking water and used fresh water to add to the pot. 3. Try using about 1/4 t for 2lbs of beans. - to much baking soda affects the taste and makes them taste saltier. To make refritos or refried beans put a little oil in a pan then put the beans in and cook until heated, traditionally lard is use and adds to the taste. I have always added the spices after the beans cooked - can't wait to try this - I know they will be amazing!!! Thanks for the recipe!!!!

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