We just love our Mexican inspired food. I am sure most of what we eat is really Tex-Mex or maybe more likely Midwest-Mex, but whatever it is we love it. Slap it in a tortilla and we are likely to eat it. Sprinkle it over tortilla chips and douse it in melty cheese... even better!
I have used plenty of canned refried beans over the years. They work just fine in most cases. Usually a little liquid, a bit of spice and a few minutes in a saucepan and they are quite edible. Especially since they are rarely the star of the show. But, I thought it would be fun to try making my own. I have a pantry full of dried beans and there isn't that much to refried beans, so it couldn't be that hard. I made these over night, then in the morning I mashed them and refrigerated them. I switched out the crock with one full of meat, chiles and spice. By the time I was done working I had all of the makings for delicious baked chimichangas. Don't worry, I'll be sharing more recipes as we go. Baby steps, people!
This recipe is frugal, easy and very customizable. Like a little more kick? Add more cayenne! Like them perfectly smooth? Pop those babies in a food processor or use your immersion blender! Like to see some beans in your refried beans? Get out the potato masher and don't go too crazy with it. You can have them however you like!
It only requires a few minutes of your time to throw everything in and a little mashing at the end. Easy peasy! Plus it makes a ton, so it is perfect for your big Cinco de Mayo party or you can use a little now and freeze the rest in right sized portions and take them out when you need them.
Slow Cooker Refried Beans
makes roughly 7 cups
1 pound dried pinto beans
1 onion, finely diced
1 T garlic powder
1 T cumin
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
8 cups water
- Rinse beans, drain and place in a slow cooker.
- Add onions, garlic, cumin, salt and cayenne.
- Cover with water and place lid on slow cooker.
- Cook on low for 10-12 hours.
- Once beans are very tender, remove excess liquid. Place it in a bowl in case you would like to add some back later, but do yourself a favor and take as much out as you can get. It is easier to add it back in later than it is to take it out once you start mashing.
- Using a potato masher, smash beans to your desired texture. If you want really smooth beans, you can use an immersion blender or food processor. Add back a little bit of the bean liquid if you'd like in order to get your desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.