Christina’s Refried Beans {Crock-Pot “Refried” Beans

Christina’s Refried Beans {Crock-Pot “Refried” Beans

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These traditional refried beans are even better than restaurant style beans. They are creamy, smoky, and seasoned perfectly. A great Mexican side dish!

I got this recipe for refried beans from Christina, a friend I used to work with when I lived in Virginia Beach.

I think everybody has a job in their past that they hated. Well, this was mine. This particular job started out great but turned sour fast. I had to force myself to go to work every day because I hated my job so much. It became so miserable that one day I actually pulled up in the parking lot, looked at the door in the rearview mirror, then called in sick as I pulled out of the driveway. I just could not bear the thought of going through the door. No one ever saw me but it didn’t really matter if they had.

refried beans in a bowl

No, I didn’t like that job, but some good came out of working there. I made many friends that I still keep in touch with today. One of those friends is Christina, a Marine wife from San Diego, California. (Now in Vermont!)

I always enjoy my conversations with Christina and I learned a lot from her. It is because of her that I now know how beneficial Zinc vitamin supplements are when I think I am getting a cold.

Chris was sweet, but she didn’t put up with bullshit. One day, someone pushed the wrong buttons and she quit and walked out! As much as I hated that place, I didn’t have the balls to do what she did. I always admired her for that. She ended up going to work for a competitor printing company that just so happened to be where David worked at the time. So we both were coworkers of Christina.

Through the powers of Facebook, Christina and I have managed to keep up with each other. From time to time we chat about life’s challenges, The Young & The Restless (don’t judge), and one of our favorite subjects food!

Her ex-mother-in-law was a Mexican lady, so when I decided I wanted to try my hand at refried beans, I went to Christina to see if she had a recipe to share. Of course, she did and she was kind enough to share it with me. 

These traditional refried beans are even better than restaurant style beans. Made of creamy, smoky pinto beans seasoned perfectly with garlic, onion, and bacon, then mashed and finished with butter, milk, and cheese. What I like most about this recipe is that they are made in the crock-pot which means you don’t have to fuss over them so they won’t stick and scorch.

This recipe makes a big ole’ batch of beans. However, they freeze well so you can make an entire batch and freeze them in portions if desired.

Let’s make a big ole pot of refried beans!

crock-pot with drained dried pinto beans in bowl

The day before, rinse and pick through the dried beans to remove any shriveled, broken, discolored or blemished beans, loose skins, and other debris.

Place the beans in a large bowl; add water to the beans until the water is covering by 2 to 3 inches over the beans. Soak overnight.

dried pinto beans

Rinse the soaked beans and then pour them into the crockpot.

Peel and quarter onion the onion; add it to the beans in the crock pot; cover with water covering by about ½-inch over beans. 

pouring water over beans and onion in crock-pot
adding bacon to crock-pot

Leave the bacon whole, but cut the strips in half; place them on top (The bacon will break up during cooking).

Add the onion and garlic powder.

adding garlic to crock-pot of beans

Place the lid on and cook on LOW for 9 to 10 hours or 7 to 8 hours on HIGH. Christina recommends that you give the beans a good stir every hour or so to help the bacon and onion break down.

After they have finished cooking, give them a taste. Add salt and additional onion or garlic powder if desired; season to taste. 

Remove about half of the beans with a slotted spoon into a bowl; set aside. With a potato masher, mash the remaining beans right in the pot until preferred consistency.

mashing refried beans with potato masher

When the pinto beans are mashed, add the whole beans back in; stir to incorporate.

Add butter, stir until melted. Add the evaporated milk and stir in cheese until well combined.

Allow the beans to cook on low for another 15 minutes, then they are ready to eat! Or, if you have a warm setting, switch to that and let ’em sit until you are ready.

Note: These refried beans freeze extremely well in a freezer bag for up to 6 months.

bowl of refried beans
sprinkling cheese on beans with mountain view

A huge thank you to Christina for sharing this refried beans recipe with me and giving me permission to share them with you. You’re gonna love them, so get them soaking and have that crock-pot handy!

refried beans in bowl
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5 from 2 votes

Christina’s Refried Beans {Crock-Pot “Refried” Beans

These traditional refried beans are even better than restaurant style beans. They are creamy, smoky and seasoned perfectly. A great Mexican side dish!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, Crock-pot, Mexican
Keyword crock-pot, Refried Beans, slow cooker
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 340kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 1 onion large, white or sweet
  • ½ pound bacon
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 cups extra-sharp cheddar shredded
  • 4 ounces evaporated milk
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • sea salt to taste

Instructions

  • Rinse and pick through the dried beans to remove any shriveled, broken, discolored or blemished beans, loose skins and other debris. Place the beans in a large bowl; add water to the beans until the water is covering by 2 to 3 inches over the beans. Soak overnight.
  • Rinse the soaked beans and then pour them into the crock-pot; cover with water covering by about ½-inch over beans. Peel and quarter onion the onion; add it to the beans in the crock-pot. Leave the bacon whole, but cut the strips in half; place it on top (It will break up during cooking). Add the onion and garlic powder. Place the lid on and cook on LOW 9 to 10 hours or 7 to 8 hours on HIGH. Christina recommended that you give the beans a good stir every hour or so to help the bacon and onion break down.
  • After they have finished cooking, taste. Add salt and additional onion or garlic powder if needed; season to taste.
  • Remove about half of the beans with a slotted spoon into a bowl; set aside. With a potato masher, mash the remaining beans right in the pot until preferred consistency. When the beans are mashed, add the whole beans back in; stir to incorporate.
  • Add butter, stir until melted. Add the evaporated milk and cheese; crockpot until combined.
  • Allow to cook on low for another 15 minutes, then they are ready to eat! Or, if you have a warm setting, switch to that and let 'em sit until you are ready.

Notes

Freezer Friendly: These refried beans freeze extremely well in a freezer bag for up to 6 months.
Recipe adapted from my sweet friend Christina.

Nutrition

Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 258mg | Potassium: 638mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 335IU | Vitamin C: 3.4mg | Calcium: 210mg | Iron: 2.2mg
Did you try this recipe? Tell us what you think!Give this recipe a star rating, leave a comment below and share pictures of your food with us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter! We can’t wait to see them! Don’t forget to mention @TheMountainKitchen or tag #TheMountainKitchen!
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14 thoughts on “Christina’s Refried Beans {Crock-Pot “Refried” Beans”

  • Made these today as I’ve always wanted to try and make homemade refried beans. They just finished like 10 minutes ago and I told my husband they were done (they aren’t for dinner, but mainly for freezing). He got a plate and I asked how they were and he said They are Goo MMMMmmmmm! He went back for a 2nd plate. They are so tasty! I wonder how they would taste if I were to add a 4oz. can of chopped chilis the last hour of cooking? Please tell Christina thank you.

    • Lol, Jan! I’m glad your husband approved of the beans. Hard to go wrong with bacon, butter and cheese, huh?!? I encourage you to try the chopped chilis. Perhaps when you reheat them you could try a few to experiment. I personally love chilis and think it is a great idea. I will pass on your comments to Christina. Thanks so much for commenting!

  • 5 stars
    I love homemade food! And also have some great recipes from an ex-mother-in-law, LOL I will be using my home grown hard neck garlic to make this very soon. family recipes are the best and I can tell that this is a good one! Thank you so much, Mountain Kitchen, Christina : > Linda03

      • 5 stars
        Hello all. Guinea pig guy here. Just had this wonderful dish a couple weeks ago. Made by miss Debbie herself. Yup. I’m that lucky guy who lives just up the mountain road from the mountain kitchen. I am blessed y’all. Its gotten to the point that I eat there a few times a week and even more lately due to covid. Ugghh this recipe was scrumptious. You can taste every ingredient. Totally worth making. Now I’m hungry again. I should probably check on the mountain kitchen right now to make sure they don’t need help with dinner tonight. Lol.
        Give it a try. And don’t be afraid to ask Debbie questions. She is such a great person and does this because she loves it please leave comments. . Y’all have a great day now ya here.
        Signed.
        Guinea pig guy. Lid man. Hummingbird whisper. There’s stories behind them nicknames. Lol

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