Have you ever had refried beans that were so good that you wanted to just eat them plain out of a bowl? If you’ve been getting them out of a can, I’m gonna guess not.
These beans are just that. They have an incredible, complex flavor thanks to the jalapeno, chili, and other spices… and they’re completely GUILT FREE. Actually, you should not only feel guilt free, you should feel proud. You deserve to wear a little gold star pin that says “Winner!” on it just for eating these beans. Beans are full of fiber, protein, and antioxidants… and I promise you’ll want to come back for more.
My batch was just a tad on the spicy side and I know that many of you can’t go there for various reasons. So, I would suggest using half of a jalapeno and half of the chili powder. Both the jalapeno and the chili powder bring a lot of flavor along with their heat so I wouldn’t suggest nixing them all together. When preparing the jalapeno just be sure to remove ALL of the seeds and white ribs on the inside because this is where most of the heat lives.
This recipe makes about the same amount as three standard sized cans of refried beans. The left overs can be frozen so don’t worry about the volume. I used mine in a recipe (stay tuned) but you can also eat it as a dip, fill up some freezer burritos, or even stuff them into tacos. Refried beans are all-purpose, which is probably why they come as a side to every single entree at Mexican restaurants! Well, that and they’re cheap.
(not) Refried Beans
- 1 lb. dry pinto beans $1.32
- 1 medium onion $0.89
- 1 medium jalapeno $0.10
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic $0.24
- 1 tsp cumin $0.05
- ½ tsp chili powder $0.05
- 10-15 cranks cracked black pepper $0.05
- 1 Tbsp salt $0.05
- 6 cups water $0.00
- Spread the dry beans out onto a baking sheet to pick through them and remove any stones or bad pieces. Place the beans in a colander and rinse with cool water.
- Slice open the jalapeno and remove the seeds and ribs by scraping with a spoon. Dice the jalapeno and the onion. Place the onion and jalapeno in the slow cooker along with the garlic, cumin, chili powder, and black pepper. Do not add the salt.
- Add the sorted and rinsed beans to the slow cooker along with 6 cups of water. Give everything a good stir to distribute the seasoning. Secure the lid and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8. It’s okay if they cook longer, they’ll just be easier to mash.
- After cooking, remove as much water as possible and reserve it in a bowl. Mash the beans and add the reserved water back in as needed. Make the beans a little thinner in texture than you’d expect because they will thicken as they cool. Season the beans with salt at this point. By adding salt at the end, you’ll need to add less and the beans won’t be so tough. I used approximately 1 Tbsp but add a little at a time until you’re satisfied. Serve warm!
To freeze, divide the beans up and refrigerate until thoroughly cooled. Place in freezer safe containers, remove as much air as possible, label and date, and then transfer to the freezer.
Step By Step Photos
Start by sorting through your beans. You don’t want any little rocks in your refried beans! Spreading them out on a baking sheet makes it really easy to see any bad pieces. Transfer the beans to a colander and give them a good rinse.
Remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeno with a spoon. Dice the jalapeno and onion then add them both to the slow cooker with the garlic, cumin, chili powder and freshly cracked black pepper. Do not add the salt. Adding salt before cooking will make the beans tougher and you’ll end up having to use twice as much.
Add the cleaned and sorted beans along with 6 cups of water. Stir everything up so that the spices are well distributed.
Secure the lid and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8 hours. After, it will look a little something like this.
Stir everything up to see how much extra liquid is in the pot. Remove as much liquid as possible but don’t throw it away. I was able to get about 1.75 cups out with a measuring cup which left just enough in there to mash them easily. You can mash with a potato masher or even use a hand mixer. Add more of the reserved liquid back in as you mash if needed.
Mash until you have a soft, goopy mess of beans. Make them a little thinner than you’d think because when they’ll thicken up some when they cool down to eating temperature. Season with salt at this point. Start by adding 1 tsp of salt at a time until they get to where you like. I ended up using about 1 tablespoon (or 3 teaspoons) of salt.
Eat them with chips, in a burrito, or just with a spoon like I did! :P