This Restaurant Style Refried Beans recipe is made in a crockpot, and you don’t need to soak the beans! As a result, the recipe is so easy, and the beans come out creamy.
This recipe serves 12 and costs $2.13 to make. That’s just 18¢ per serving!
Warning: Once you make my Restaurant Style Refried Beans Recipe, you’ll never go back to canned beans because this is an easy, delicious Mexican refried beans recipe!
I have been tinkering with this easy refried beans recipe for a couple of months now. I am happy to report that I’ve SO nailed it!
They’re straightforward to make and so tasty. Not to mention these beans cost a fraction of the cost of canned refried beans.
And who knew refried beans and healthy belong in the same sentence?! Because they definitely could with this recipe!
I always have a few, or ten pounds, of pinto beans in my pantry (thanks, Costco!). My kids love these homemade refried beans, and I mean LOVE! They shovel them in by the spoonful.
Ingredients and Cost
Per Serving Cost: $0.18
Recipe Cost: $2.13
- 3 cups dried pinto beans – $1.11
- 7 cups water – $0.00
- 2 chicken bouillon cubes – $0.16
- 1 medium white onion – $0.70
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder – $0.06
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin – $0.09
- salt and pepper to taste – $0.01
NOTE: I calculate the recipe prices by using name-brand grocery prices on grocery store websites.
- First, place all of your ingredients, minus the salt and pepper, into your slow cooker.
- Next, cook the beans on high for 9 hours. Yes, 9 hours, please don’t cook them for less than that!
- Finally, using an immersion blender, puree the beans until smooth. Add water as needed and season with salt and pepper to taste. If you’re feeling decadent, add up to a stick of butter to the beans!
- *** If you use Chicken broth instead of the chicken bouillon granules, then you will need 6 cups of broth and 1 cup of water!
- To make this recipe you’ll need an immersion blender. You can use a standard blender and run small batches through it, but it will take a while. (Also, if you go this route, you’ll need to hold the lid to the blender on SUPER tight!) The immersion blender that I use will run you about $40. I use it all the time, especially for soups!
- When rinsing the beans throw out any that float or that are discolored. Also, keep an eye out for small stones, especially if you buy cheaper pinto beans.
Serving & Storage Tips
SERVE: You can keep these out for about two hours before they need to be refrigerated.
STORE: Cover and store the beans in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.
FREEZE: You can freeze these beans in Ziploc bags in small batches. They will keep in the freezer for up to 4 months. When reheating the beans, you may need to loosen them with a couple of tablespoons of water.
Mexican Refried Beans Rave reviews from readers:
“Made this last night. Truly amazing and so easy!! Walking in the door after work, the house smelled yummy. Thank you so much!”
“Classic recipe I love refried beans! Can’t wait to make this again it was great”
“This recipe is as good as it gets for refried pinto beans; period (for what its worth, I am likely a refried pinto bean addict). Easy, inexpensive, reasonably “healthy”, and always nails.”
Many popular refried beans recipes contain lard. Using lard in the recipe makes the beans not vegetarian. However, my recipe does not call for lard. This method also helps to make the recipe a little more healthy than other refried bean recipes.
To make them vegan, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
I love them on a tortilla or with some tortilla chips. Add some salsa with the chips and tortillas, and you’re golden!
This Mexican Rice also goes great with the beans. You could even serve the beans alongside this Mexican Lasagna, and you’d have such a great meal.
In America, we might first think refried beans means the beans have been fried twice. However, the word refried comes from the Spanish name frijoles refritos. The translation for this phrase means well fried. Therefore, they are not cooked twice but rather cooked well until soft enough to mash into the creamy beans that we all love.
Most restaurants do use lard in their refried beans. That is one reason I prefer to make them at home. I can get the same great taste from the seasonings without adding in the extra fat.
The two most popular types of beans found in Mexican restaurants are pinto and black beans. Pinto beans are, of course, used to make refried beans, while black beans are served as a side dish in soups, salsas, or enchiladas. I have an excellent recipe for Restaurant-Style Black Bean Soup that is delicious!
- Crock-Pot This is the 3rd one I’ve own, and it’s my favorite. Lots of bells and whistles without a hefty price tag! I love that when the timer goes off, the slow cooker automatically switches to warm for 4 hours.
- Immersion Blender: I love this immersion blender for making SO many recipes like salad dressings, creamy soups, and these refried beans. Clean up is so much quicker than using a blender!
More Mexican recipes:
- Beef Enchiladas
- Best Guacamole
- Easy Mexican Rice
- Best Mexican Sweet Corn Cake
- Carne Asada Street Tacos
- Cheesy Green Chile Cornbread
- Easy Stovetop Chicken Fajitas
- Mexican Spinach Dip
- Mexican Street Corn Flatbread Pizza
- New Mexico Style Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
- One Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls
- Pantry Chicken Taco Soup
- Picadillo Tacos
Restaurant Style Refried Beans Recipe
- 3 cups dried pinto beans rinsed and picked over
- 7 cups water
- 2 Tablespoons chicken bouillon granules (or 2 bouillon cubes)
- 1 medium white onion diced (or 1 Tablespoon onion powder)
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- Shredded Mexican cheese blend optional
- unsalted butter optional
- Add all of the ingredients, except for the salt and pepper to the crock-pot.
- Cook on high for 9 hours. At this point, the beans will be tender and a bunch of them will have popped open.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the beans until smooth.
- Add more water as needed, or if you're feeling decadent, add up to 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter to make creamy, out-of-this-world beans.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with shredded Mexican cheese (optional).
- This recipe makes about 6 cups of beans.
- Some readers have not cooked the beans for the full hours and they end up with watery beans. You must cook the beans for the entire 9 hours, I cannot express the importance of this enough!
This post first appeared on FFF on August 15, 2015. I have since updated the pictures and added a recipe video.