top down view of refried beans in a white serving bowl with chopped cilantro sprinkled overtop.

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5 from 4 reviews

The BEST Slow Cooker Refried Beans are easy and absolutely delicious. Use these homemade vegan frijoles for any of your favorite Mexican inspired dishes!


Units Scale
  • 1 lb. dried pinto beans, rinsed and odd beans removed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 23 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (or chipotle powder)
  • 1 jalapeno, optional
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 12 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 9 cups vegetable broth or water (or combo)*


Start by rinsing the beans. Add the beans to a colander and rinse them under cool running water. Remove any unsightly, odd shaped beans.

Add ingredients to the slow cooker. Place the beans in the bowl of the slow cooker, add the onions, garlic, cumin, chili powder, jalapeno, bay leaves, salt, pepper and liquids.

Slow cook the beans. Set the slow cooker on HIGH for 8 – 10 hours.

Drain the beans. Let the beans cool a few minutes and drain the liquids, reserving up to 2 cups. Remove the bay leaves.

Mash or Puree the beans. Using a potato masher or immersion blender, mash or puree the beans to desired consistency. Add as much of the reserved liquids you need to thin. Alternately, you may like the beans left un-mashed for a ranchero or charro style beans.

Taste for flavor. Taste for flavor, adding more salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 8

Store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 – 5 days in a covered container. To keep longer, freeze the beans in freezer safe containers for 2 – 3 months. Let frozen beans thaw in the fridge overnight. Re-heat on the stove over medium low, stirring frequently.


*For the liquids, I used 9 cups of water with 1 heaping teaspoon of Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base with great results.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: I use this Slow Cooker, but the Instant Pot also has a slow cooker function. For pureeing, I love using my immersion blender. It’s easy to clean, small and fits well in a utensil drawer (affiliate links)!