Slow Cooker Refried Beans

January 27, 2011

A friend split a huge order with me for dried beans from Azure Standard last year (if you remember, eating more beans was one of my resolutions last year).  One of the kind of beans we bought was pinto beans.  Since I had never used pinto beans for anything before, she shared this recipe for Slow Cooker Refried Beans.  It sat in my recipe book for many months.  Then, when Trent took off to Mexico this month, I had Mexican food on my mind and decided to give it a try.  I was thrilled by how easy it was (so typical of slow cooker recipes) and even more so when he returned home and said the end result tasted truly authentic!

2 cups of dry pinto beans

6 cups of water or chicken broth (or enough liquid to cover your beans plus about 2 inches)

1 tsp salt

2 tsp pepper (or to taste)

1/2 cup chopped onion (optional)

1-2 clove(s) of garlic (optional)

1-2 T lime juice (optional)

1 tsp chili powder (optional)

1 tsp cumin (optional)

1) Rinse your pinto beans throughly with cold water.

2) Put them in your cock pot and add your liquid (I prefer the taste of using the chicken broth personally instead of just water).

3) Mix in your salt, pepper, onions, garlic and any other “optional” ingredients that you choose (the ones I use are listed above, there are others listed below that I have not yet tried).  Don’t worry about adding the salt at this stage.  I have been told that beans stop getting soft after you add salt but I have made this recipe two times now and both times they softened up just fine.

4) Cook on high for 6-8 hours or until the beans are soft and most of the liquid has been soaked up.

5) Use a masher to mash the beans to a refined consistancy.

6) Serve warm (I like to add sour cream).

Servings: 8

Additional optional ad-ins:
-red pepper flakes
-additional garlic

We choose to eat ours on our tortillas but they are also great as a side or served with rice.

Now if you have any other great recipes for pinto beans, will you please share them with me?  I am afraid my bulk bag of pinto beans is going to last a LONG time if I only use them to make refried beans :) !

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