Nothing could be easier to make at home than these Crock-Pot Refried Beans! Simply toss dried pinto beans, a little onion, jalapeño, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper into your slow cooker, cover with water and let them simmer away until tender. Then give them a good mash!
Slow Cooker Refried Beans
I have fond memories sitting at my Grandma Lopez’s table (step grandma…but I never think of her that way) sorting beans. Grandma would buy her pinto beans (as many Mexican families do) in large 25 pound bags and before they could be tossed in a pot to simmer away on the back burner of her stove they had to be sorted. So my sister, grandma and I would sit at her beautiful cherry wood dining room table (covered in a thick plastic sheet to protect her lace table cloth…everything was covered in plastic…chairs, sofas, even the runners protecting the carpet!) and we would sort those beans.
In the summer, it was too hot to sit in the house, so we would move our bean sorting operation outside to a card table set up in the immaculately clean (grandma swept AND mopped her garage floor just about every day!)
A pile of beans would be dumped in the middle of the table and we would each scoot out a handful of beans from the pile, looking for stones that would be picked up in the farming process, broken beans and shriveled beans. The bad beans and stones would be tossed in a small bowl and the good beans in a big bowl.
When we had finished our sorting my sister and I would be rewarded with a handful of the homemade olives from the crock in the garage (yes, grandma Lopez cured her own olives…never one to let something go to waste she would cure the olives from the large olive tree in her front yard. Oh the joys of living in California!) and we would scuttle off to play with our brothers and the neighborhood kids…always under the watchful eye of an Abuela… either ours or our friends!
Grandma would get to work on her amazing refried beans. Tossing in onion, garlic, a little cumin, salt, pepper and for just a little kick of heat jalapeño pepper and those beans would simmer away for hours on the stove top.
Then when they were nice and tender she would get out her big cast iron frying pan and heat up some lard and fry those beans up while mashing them with a potato masher. Adding in a little of the bean liquid as she went to get the texture just right.
Then came the finishing touch…shredded Jack cheese that would be melted in.
So good…but also so unhealthy.
And while whenever I go home to visit my family in California one of the requests is for my mom to make refried beans and Mexican rice…just like grandma Lopez made hers.
But here at home…I make my “refried beans” a little bit healthier.
OK actually MUCH healthier…these end up being almost fat free (1 gram of fat…I guess in the beans), gluten free and vegan!
But if I am feeling a little indulgent I might toss a little Monterey Jack cheese in my finished beans and let it melt in…oh so good!
I hope you enjoy this version of my grandma’s beans made easy and healthy in the slow cooker! 🙂
This recipe for Crock-Pot Refried Beans is Weight Watchers Friendly on the new Personal Points plan. You can see the WW personal points for this recipe here on the Weight Watchers website. Click here for MORE of our Weight Watchers Recipes
Crock-Pot Refried Beans Recipe
- Place all ingredients in a 5 – 6 quart slow cooker and stir to combine.3 Cups Dry Pinto Beans –1 Medium Yellow Onion –1 Medium Jalapeño Pepper –3 Cloves Garlic –5 Teaspoons Kosher Salt –1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper –½ Teaspoon Ground Cumin –9 Cups Water
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 8 hours, adding more water if needed to keep the beans in the cooking liquid as they cook.
- Once the beans have cooked and are tender, strain them, reserving the cooking liquid.
- Mash the beans with a potato masher (or the paddle attachment of a stand mixer), adding a little bit of the reserved cooking liquid as needed to get the desired consistency.