This is one of those sinfully easy recipes that tastes like you put a lot more work into it than you actually did. And, best of all, you won’t miss the lard and fat that is normally put into refried beans. I did, however, have some trepidation about throwing the big hunks of onions in at the beginning. But, like magic (or rather several hours stewing in the slow cooker) those big pieces of onion mashed right up.
My beans were done at about the 6 1/2 or 7 hour mark, but I think that my slow cooker’s high setting is actually “super high” as I had some boil over. After the beans are done cooking, taste them and add some more spices at the end such as more cumin for smokiness or cayenne for a bit more bite.
By the way, this recipe makes a rather big batch. But, that’s ok, you can come up with a lot of uses for these beans like enchiladas, nachos or just as a side dish all its own…
Refried Beans Without the Refry
Adapted from AllRecipes 
- 1 onion, peeled and halved
- 3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
- 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 1 3/4 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin, optional
- 2 cups strong vegetable broth
- 7 cups water
Place the onion, rinsed beans, jalapeno, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin into a slow cooker.
Pour in the water and broth and stir to combine.
Cook on High for 8 hours, adding more water as needed. Note: if more than 1 cup of water has evaporated during cooking, then the temperature is too high.
Once the beans have cooked, strain them, and reserve the liquid. Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding the reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency. (Note: I found it a little easier to scoop the beans out with a slotted spoon and put them into another bowl for mashing.)