When I was younger, I never liked refried beans. There was something about the texture that threw me off. As I grew older, I promised myself that I would create a vegan slow cooker refried beans recipe that my entire family would love. Finally, I think I’ve done it!
My dream beans must be somewhat smooth (not slimy), terrifically tasty (not terrible), and overall outstanding (not oily). Above all, I want my recipe to be eaten in a flash with everyone begging for more. This recipe is not only easy to throw together, but I promise it will become a solid family favorite.Print
Slow cooker refried beans are incredibly flavorful and go so well with red or brown rice, tortillas, and a side of salsa. If you’ve never tried making your own refried beans, this is the time! You won’t believe how rich and creamy your beans will be. Your family and friends will be begging for more!
- 16 ounces (2 cups) of dry pinto beans
- 1 teaspoon of chipotle powder
- 1 teaspoon of cumin
- ⅛ teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 4 cups of vegetable broth
- The night before you want to make the recipe, place the dry beans into a large bowl and cover with cool water until the level reaches 2 inches above the beans. Let sit at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Drain the bean water and rinse the soaked beans thoroughly.
- Plug in your slow cooker and add the rinsed beans to the pot.
- Pour in 4 cups of vegetable broth and add in spices. Mix well.
- If you’d like a shorter cooking time, place the temperature on HIGH and cook for 3-4 hours covered. If you don’t mind waiting a little longer, cook on LOW for 6-8 hours (or overnight).
- When the beans are done, you can either keep the beans as they are or drain any excess liquid before mashing the beans. It depends on how smooth and creamy, thick and chunky you would like the texture. I like to keep some liquid (around ½ cup) in with the beans before blending or mashing them for a smoother texture.
- If you don’t have pre-made or homemade vegetable broth, feel free to use 2 teaspoons of vegetable bouillon paste mixed with 4 cups of water instead.
- Vary the amount of spices to your taste, adding more spices if you like your beans with tons of flavor or less if you’d like the beans to be more bland.
- Add a few drops of Cholula Hot Sauce for extra spiciness when the beans are done.
Keywords: vegetarian, refried beans, slow cooker, crock pot, side, Mexican, pinto beans
Equipment You’ll Need
Since cooking this vegan crock pot refried beans recipe is so super simple, you may need a few extra things to get the beans going at the beginning. Once the beans are in the pot, you’re free and clear!
- Crock Pot or Slow Cooker
- Large bowl for soaking beans
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Mixing Spoon
- Potato masher, hand mixer, or immersion blender (optional for creamier beans)
Pinto Bean Power
We all know that beans are naturally nutritious, but what makes the pinto bean particularly powerful? Here are several reasons why we love this little brown bean.
- Sodium free
- Low glycemic
- Only 1 gram of fat per cup
- 15 grams of protein per cup
- 15 grams of fiber per cup
- High in folate, phosphorous, manganese, and iron
How to Serve Up Your Vegan Slow Cooker Refried Beans
There are so many ways to enjoy your refried beans! Sometimes, simpler is better, but I always like to go out on a limb with beans. Here are a few of my favorite meal ideas:
- Tuck Into a Tortilla – Clean and classic. Fill your flavorful tortilla with anything you like! A family favorite is to spread the surface with a layer of beans and top with romaine hearts, a few sweet potato fries, and a spoonful of salsa. Sooo good!
- Make the Most Out of Toast – Start with a pair of crusty sourdough toasts, a few slices of avocado, and add a scoop of refried beans. Shake on a little crushed red pepper and a super satisfying lunch is all set to go!
- Creamy Crudité Concoction – A delicious dip for your crunchy carrots, cool cucumber, and chunks of bell pepper. Add a side of crispy tortilla chips and you’ll have a protein packed, fiber-filled savory snack.
- Perfect Mexican-Inspired Pizza – Cover your pizza dough with a thin layer of refried beans and then build it up with toppings. Sliced cherry tomatoes, diced red onion, plant-based meat crumbles, baby spinach, and lots of vegan shredded cheese. Garnish with a sprinkle of hot sauce or fiery salsa. It’ll knock your socks off!
Storing Your Leftover Beans
If you have any refried beans left in the pot (we almost never do in our house!), simply place them in a covered glass container and put them in the fridge. They should stay fresh for about three days. After that, you might want to make another batch.
You can freeze them, but I find that they’re not quite the right texture when defrosted. If you don’t mind this, then feel free to put them into a freezer safe container. They’ll be good for 2-3 months, if stored properly.
To reheat, I have two methods: either I put a bowl of beans into the microwave for two minutes (depends on the power of your microwave) or, if I have time, I heat them up on the stovetop. Just spoon your vegan crock pot refried beans into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat for a few minutes, being careful to stir frequently and adding a little water or veggie broth if needed.
Make Them Faster With An Instant Pot!
If you want to make these refried beans faster, you can do it in a small fraction of the time using a pressure cooker (like an Instant Pot) instead of a slow cooker! We have an Instant Pot refried beans recipe for you here.
More Mexican-Inspired Sides to Try:
Vegan Slow Cooker Refried Beans recipe and article by Gina House and photos by JJ Steele, copyright of World of Vegan™, all rights reserved. Edited by Amanda Meth. Please note that this article may contain affiliate links which supports our work at World of Vegan.