Join my email list and get FREE ACCESS to the MSM Freebie Library, including my top printables & eBooks.

World’s Easiest Homemade Crockpot Refried Beans

I told you yesterday that I was anxious to see how the Crockpot Refried Beans turned out and I promised you an update.

Well, the verdict is in: these are the easiest homemade refried beans in existence on the planet.

Okay, so technically they aren’t “refried”, but they taste great and they are so stinkin’ easy to make that I almost felt like I was missing five steps or something.

I figured out that it took me around 10 minutes total to make these. You just throw the ingredients in the crockpot, let it simmer for a long time, cool, mash, and divvy up into bags and freeze.

Recipe link: Homemade Crockpot Refried Beans.

Subscribe for free email updates from Money Saving Mom® and get my Guide to Freezer Cooking for free!


  • Tracy says:

    Sounds great! You said they were very easy to make. How do they taste?

  • chariy says:

    They tasted wonderful in burritos!

  • H says:

    I love our crock pot for beans! We use it to soak and cook black or pinto beans that we then freeze instead of using canned beans. I rinse and soak the beans one afternoon to overnight, then the next morning rinse the beans again and cook them all day. (I must admit the house smells kind of…strange…with plain beans cooking all day!) Finally, as you did with the refried beans, we let them cool then divide into containers and freeze. This way we are able to buy the organic dried beans for less money than the canned generic beans, and we know they are healthier too! Plus, they taste SO much better:).

  • Shauna says:

    Was it cheaper than buying refried beans in a can?

  • Liz says:

    I’d love to do this for a freezer cooking session but I’m at a loss as to how to use all of them.
    Anyone have ideas?

    I have burritos on the list but beyond that my brain just grinds to a halt. 😉

    • Glo Ann says:

      My family uses them in nachos as an alternative to meat.

    • Jennifer says:

      We use them on Navajo Taco’s. You can also mix them with salsa for a bean dip.

      • Lori says:

        Jennifer, would you please share your recipe for Navajo Tacos? I had those when I was a kid visiting Arizona in the 1980s and still remember how wonderful they were. I have tried a couple of recipes but just can’t seem to find the right one. They were authentic … my sister worked on a Navajo reservation at the time.

        • Jennifer says:

          Navajo Fry Bread
          Sift into a bowl:
          4 1/2 c. flour (I use 1/2 WW)
          1/2 tsp. salt
          2 tsp. baking powder

          Stir in:
          1 1/2 c. water
          1/2 c. milk

          Knead with hands. Pat or roll into circles approximately 5″ in diameter. With fingers make small hole in center. Fry in several inches hot oil at 400 degrees. Dough will puff and bubble. Turn when golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper and serve hot with honey, or use while fresh for Navajo Tacos.
          From More-with-Less cookbook

          To make Navajo Tacos, spread fry bread with refried beans, sprinkle with cheese (you don’t need much), and broil until cheese is melted and bubbly. Then cover with shredded lettuce, and chopped tomatoes or even salsa. My Navajo friend makes hers similarly, but uses chili beans instead of refried beans, and also tops with some ground beef. I like using refried beans because everything sticks better! This dish is so filling and tasty, as well as low-cost.

    • Kim says:

      You can use them as a dip or spread for crackers, a side dish, or spread in a pita. You could do a google search for ideas too.

      I also spread them on tortillas, then do layers of taco meat, cheese, & salsa/picante sauce in the crock pot. Sometimes I use sliced zucchini or chopped green peppers in the layers (depending on what I have on hand). I cook this on low for 6-8 hours. I’ve also done it in a casserole dish & baked it in the oven.

    • Bethany says:

      We don’t mash them, which means we can use them in tacos, casseroles, soups, salads, or on their own. 🙂

    • Stephanie says:

      Tacos, bean dip, tostadas, anything in a tortilla are how we use refried beans.

      • Stephanie says:

        They also work nicely in the chicken enchilada casserole she posted a while back- I used them when I didn’t have black beans. My family actually liked it better that way.

    • Teri Capshaw says:

      My husband mixes refried beans with salsa then uses that as a base over pizza crust for a mexican pizza. He then tops it some mozzarella and pepper jack cheese, black olives, and chicken or beef that’s been cooked with taco seasoning. Although many of the ingredients are typically somewhat expensive the beans and a whole wheat pizza crust make it extremely filling.

    • Sandra says:

      I serve refried beans on their own with a side of corn and tomato salsa.

    • Jen says:

      I add a cup of prepared beans to my chili to thicken it up, since we like our chili really thick. We also use them to make Mexican rice bowl. We make them with rice, beans, taco meat (if we have it on hand) and any toppings we want like cheese, sour cream, salsa, etc.

    • Tina says:


    • Lori says:

      Tostadas are a quick and cheap meal for us. I cheat and buy the already made tostada shells. They are delicious with just beans and cheese, and when we have lettuce, tomato, salsa and all the extra fixin’s, it makes it that much better.

  • Amanda says:

    My recipe is very, very similar to this, except I throw in a chopped jalapeno. It doesn’t add any heat, just some nice flavor. I agree, they’re easy and tasty and freeze very well.

  • Glo Ann says:

    Previously cooked(boiled) beans can fried in some olive oil, just add enough olive oil, about 1 tablespoon to pan then add drained beans. When beans are warm, use a masher to mash them, add onions, japaleno or powered chile to spicy it up. Yum!

  • Julie C says:

    Rinsing is essential for some tummies! Yikes, you’ll know a few hours later if you need the rinse. 😉

  • Bethany says:

    I’ve been making those for years and have lots of friends hooked on them now. Good stuff, huh? I tweak things a bit, like doing half pinto and half black beans, but they’re good no matter how you do them. We initially used them each Taco Tuesday, but quickly opted to use them for any recipe that calls for black or pinto beans. I just put four cups in each bag, which is equivalent to about two cans of beans, which is perfect for most recipes and works well for Taco Tuesday.

    My suggestion would be to mash them *after* you pull them out of the freezer. It’s way easier to get them out of the bag, plus the bags are easy to rinse and reuse with the next batch. We actually quit mashing them completely. It’s just one extra step and doesn’t impact the flavor at all. Laziness on my part, but no one seems to mind. 🙂

  • I’m so grateful to Money Saving Mom for featuring my recipe here. It truly is as easy (and delicious) as she says. I hope you all enjoy it!

    • Susan says:

      I’m going to try this recipe today. It looks very good.

      Thanks for the introduction to “pennies and pancakes.” I grew up in southeast Idaho, and was tickled to see that Andrea appears to be right in the area of my hometown.

      I’ve bookedmarked several recips to try, including the Grandmas White Bread and the homemade granola bars. They look so good, easy, and inexpensive, everything I look for in a recipe. And I appreciate the cost breakdown and comparison.

    • Jamie says:

      Me too! I ended up pinning quite a few of your recipes!

    • Crystal says:

      Thanks so much for the great recipe!

  • Melissa says:

    Thanks for sharing! I’ll try this.

  • J says:

    I try to keep several freezer bags (labeled) of various types of dried beans I have cooked in the freezer. I usually divide them into 1 to 1 1/2 cup portions since there are only two of us. When I have a recipe that calls for that type of bean I can go to my freezer. I haven’t purchased canned beans in two years and I don’t plan on it in the future.

  • E says:

    Beans in the crock pot are the best! The only thing I do different is I add oregano.

  • Mary Ellen says:

    Yum! I made some restaurant style chicken nachos last night and was just thinking we needed more refried beans to go with them!

  • We switched to homemade refried beans in our crockpot about a year ago. We LOVE them! And, after eating them for a while, we had a canned version one night for tacos (when I was out of the homemade ones), and everyone thought they were gross! We have never looked back! They are just so easy, frugal, and way more delicious!

  • Kathy says:

    They are so easy to make in the crock pot! I will have to try this recipe. The recipe I make uses a stick of butter!

  • Kate says:

    They look yummy. I will have to try them. Maybe you can show us a recipe you use them in ?? 🙂


  • Stay at Home Mom says:

    My husband likes bean burritos, so we add brown rice to ours to make our beans go further. We also add tomatoes in the crockpot instead of him using salsa later. Since he eats burritos quite a bit, we figured out we are saving over $100 a year by these simple modifications. And they taste better, too!

  • Gonna have to give this a try!

  • This is great to know – I’ve started making a pot of chili beans every week or so, but this might be even easier!

  • Jen says:

    I make my refried beans this way as well. At the end, I use the immersion blender right in the crockpot to blend it smooth.

  • Ellen says:

    I have a 5.5 qt. crockpot. Will this recipe fit in there? The “10 cups of water” thing has me nervous…

    • Bethany says:

      I make a double batch of my version of these, which was tweaked from the version on allrecipes, in a 5.5 qt. crockpot. It’s six cups of beans, but I don’t measure the water. I just fill the crockpot to the top.

  • Melissa says:

    I cook all my beans in a big crockpot, 2 dry pounds at a time. I just put the sorted and rinsed beans in, cover with water by about 2 to 3 inches, add in about 2 Tbsp salt and cook on low. I never soak them first, even the larger varieties, and they never take as long to cook as I think they will. Then I divide them into 2-4 cup containers and freeze.

    Here is a way to use them: We make freezer burritos and my husband takes them to work nearly everyday. I make about 50-60 at a time and that lasts about 5 weeks. Get a huge bowl and mix together 6 cans refried beans (or equivalent amount of crockpot cooked and mashed beans), 1 pound shredded cheddar, jack, or co-jack, 1 cup salsa, and 2-3 Tbsp chili powder (optional). Then use an ice cream scoop to portion out the beans into large flour tortillas. Wrap up, wrap in foil, place in freezer bags. Voila! Sometimes we even do an assembly line operation. I wrap the burritos, hubby wraps them in foil, and the littles place them in the freezer bags.

  • BUSY MOM IN AL says:

    We add in a cup or two of refried beans when we make taco meat. Makes the meal stretch further! We love the meat and bean mixture on Taco Salad, Burritos, and Enchiladas.

  • Sophie says:


    Did you soak your beans before putting them in the crockpot, or just put them in dry? I saw that Andrea doesn’t soak hers but said quality might be better if you did. I plan on trying it without soaking (YAY one less step!) but thought I’d ask since you really liked how yours turned out!

  • Joan says:

    I made these yesterday and then were great! I got rave reviews from one of my sons that loves refried beans. Thanks for the recipe!

  • rachael says:

    we have been making these for years and they are amazing! 🙂 I freeze in can size portions to use in all kinds of recipes! Some nights we just eat them fresh and hot with corn chips. fantastic

Money Saving Mom® Comment Policy

We love comments from readers, so chime in with your thoughts below! We do our best to keep this blog upbeat and encouraging, so please keep your comments cordial and kind. Read more information on our comment policy.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *