Slow cooker refried beans adapted by Our Best Bites from The Homesick Texan So we have quite a few bean recipes on Our Best Bites–I mean, we’re not the beaniest blog out there, but I’ve come a long way from the newlywed looking at beans in the bean aisle, thinking I should buy them because they were dirt cheap but wondering what in the heck I would ever do with them. But one thing we haven’t had (until now) is refried beans, or even any pinto beans at all. And part of it is because this recipe is one of my FAVORITE recipes in my collection (and it’s not even mine, it’s from probably my favorite blogger cookbook, The Homesick Texan) and I felt like if I shared it, it would suddenly be less special to me or something.  

One of the things that I find so amazing about this recipe is that it is SO simple and so cheap–I mean, the ingredients list is pretty sparse and things you likely already have in your refrigerator and pantry. And yet these are the most delicious refried beans I have ever eaten. This is just something everyone needs to learn to make so when payday is 3 days away or when you haven’t been to the grocery store in 2 weeks or when we’re in the throes of a zombie apocalypse, at least you’ll have something incredibly yummy to eat.

You’ll need 1 pound of dry pinto beans (rinsed and sorted for stones and shriveled beans), onions, garlic, a seeded jalapeno (which is notably missing from my pictures…my jalapeno was moldy and I had a kid with pink eye and another one cutting a canine, so I decided to forgo the jalapeno in order to not to subject the world to their delightfulness), vinegar or liquid from a jar of jalapenos or banana peppers, bacon drippings (or lard…or vegetable oil if you’re a vegetarian/vegan/not cool with saturated fat…but really, I mean bacon drippings), and salt to taste.

refried beans ingredients

Place the rinsed beans in a medium saucepan. Fill the pan with water so there’s 1″ of water covering the beans. Cover, bring to a boil, and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and drain the beans.

Place the beans the pot of a slow cooker and fill the pot with water so there’s about 2″ of water covering the beans. Add the jalapeno, 1 onion, peeled and cut in half, and 4-6 cloves of smashed, peeled garlic.

pinto beans in pot

Cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours (high elevations may take longer, so plan accordingly).

When the beans are tender, reserve 1/3-1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and add the vinegar or liquid from the jarred peppers to the reserved liquid. Drain the beans, discarding the rest of the liquid. Place the beans (and cooked vegetables) in the jar of your blender. Add 1/3 cup of liquid and blend until the desired consistency is reached (I like mine pretty smooth), adding more liquid if necessary.

Mince the remaining 1/2 onion and 2-4 cloves of garlic. Heat the bacon drippings in a large cast iron skillet (if you have one) over medium heat. When the drippings are hot, add the onions and garlic and cook until tender. Add the bean puree and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently until the drippings and beans are incorporated and are light, fluffy, and hot. Salt to taste. Serve alongside Mexican food, wrapped in tortillas with cheese, or by themselves. Makes 8 1/2-cup servings.

Our Best Bites version of Homesick Texan's Refried Beans. Best. Ever.


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