Refried beans are one of those foods that I never thought I could make on my own. I just assumed it was something you HAD to buy in the canned form and never gave it a second thought. For the past year (ever since we switched to real foods), I’ve been wanting to make my own after I came across a recipe for ‘easy slow cooker refried beans’ on the blog 100 Days of Real Food. I loved the concept…but it still seemed easier to simply buy a can of organic refried beans from the store. However, it’s not that easy for me to do that! I haven’t been able to find organic refried beans with only ‘real’ ingredients at my local grocery store. So, every time I made a trip to Whole Foods (which is an hour and a half away), I had to stock up…and we still ran out on occasion! We don’t eat refried beans all that often, but I would say once every month or so is fairly typical. I finally decided to take the plunge a couple of weeks ago and tried the recipe. It called for garlic cloves and jalapeno peppers – two things I don’t keep on hand (and really don’t like using all that much), so I left them out. And the end result was kind of bland. (I added a few extra spices, but it didn’t do much good.)
My husband mentioned that I should add some of my taco seasoning to them…so I tried that yesterday…and it was awesome (just like we expected)! I love how simple this recipe is, but the flavor is so good. I can honestly say these are the first refried beans I’ve ever had that I could eat PLAIN (meaning I didn’t need seasoned ground beef, cheese, or sour cream to go along with them). They have just the right amount of flavor. Even my daughter and one of my boys liked them plain (with tortilla chips). And I think it’s a great way for them to eat some beans…without them thinking they’re eating ‘yucky beans.’ These will definitely be made again and again! (They can even be frozen if you won’t eat them all right away.)
Slow Cooker Taco Beans
- 1/2 of a small onion, cut in half
- 2 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tsp taco seasoning, plus 1 T
- 6 cups of water
- 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
Place beans, onion, 1 tsp taco seasoning, and water in a slow cooker. Stir. Cook on high for 8 hours. (My slow cooker only allows 6 hours on high, so I needed to add more time at the end.) When done, remove any large chunks of onion (small pieces are okay). With a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to a mixing bowl. Add 1 T taco seasoning and salt (if desired) and blend together with an electric mixer until desired consistency is reached. Serve hot with corn tortillas or organic tortilla chips. Yum!!
Seriously simple, right??? Pretty sure I won’t need to be stocking up on cans of refried beans at Whole Foods anymore!