With just 2 ingredients and minimal prep you can whip up a batch of homemade refried beans. Fold into a warm tortilla, pile on the toppings, and you'll have yourself quick and delicious Slow Cooker Refried Bean Tacos for dinner in no time!
I'm kind of a slow cooker refried bean evangelist. It's kind of my thing. I mean, do you even know how simple refried beans are to make in a slow cooker? And do you know that there's no frying required?
Seriously. It's just ridiculously easy. And budget-friendly. And the results are delicious. And they're crazy versatile. So, really, you just need to make them pretty much right now.
To make Slow Cooker Refried Bean Tacos, all you need to do is place dried, rinsed pinto beans into a slow cooker with water and hit start.
That's it. Then when they're cooked you set aside some of the cooking liquid, drain the beans, and mash or blend them with salt. That's it!
Your tasty homemade refried beans are then the ideal base layer to construct your perfect taco, tostada, burrito, or quesadilla. Or use them in 7-layer dip. Or in a burrito bowl. The options are really endless.
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DIY taco bars with these Slow Cooker Refried Beans are also my go-to when entertaining. Chop up a bunch of veggies, keep the beans warm in the slow cooker and let everyone serve themselves. So good.
The Slow Cooker Refried Beans are also freezable, so consider making a double batch and freezing some for a night when you don't feel like cooking.
Just thin with a little water if they get too thick. For those of you with a smaller 4-quart slow cooker, you can still make this recipe, just cut the amount of water, beans, and salt in half.
I've even been known to bring my slow cooker and immersion blender on vacation with family and friends so I can whip up a DIY taco bar while still having time to play during the day. It's hard to mess this one up.
Just make sure to add enough salt at the end. Beans just don't taste good without enough salt. Start with the amount recommended in the recipe, then add more until they're perfect to you. Now, let's make some slow cooker refried beans!
RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS
1 | These beans are so versatile, feel free to use them any way you like. A simple bean and cheese burrito or quesadilla is a great option for resistant eaters. Just serve the veggies on the side.
2 | Add cheese and sour cream to the tacos if you like!
3 | Cook up a bit of ground beef or turkey to add to the tacos.
THIS RECIPE IS . . .
Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, and Refined Sugar-Free
Slow Cooker Refried Bean Tacos
For the Beans
2 cups dry pinto beans*
8 cups water
½ to 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Optional Toppings for the Tacos Bowls
8 corn tortillas, warmed
½ small red or green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
3 green onions, sliced
2 limes, quartered
Easy 4-ingredient Guacamole or 2 avocados, sliced
Hot sauce (optional)
For the Beans
1. In a fine mesh strainer, rinse the beans. Add the rinsed beans and water to a 6-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6, or until the beans are very tender.
2. Ladle out 2 cups of liquid, set aside, then drain the remaining liquid.
3. Add 1 cup of cooking liquid along with ½ teaspoons salt back to the beans in the slow cooker. Using an immersion blender, blend the beans until they are smooth (leaving a little texture is fine--it’s really up to you). Alternatively, or if you don’t have an immersion blender, mash the beans with a potato masher until as smooth as possible.
4. Add additional liquid if the mixture seems dry or if you prefer a thinner consistency. Taste and add additional salt if you like. Salt is the essential ingredient here, so if the beans taste flat, add ¼ teaspoon salt at a time until the beans are flavorful.
For the DIY Tacos
1. Top each tortilla with a generous scoop of beans. Top with fixings of your choice, plus a squeeze of lime and some hot sauce if you like.
Makes enough for 8 tacos plus leftovers.
*Beans are easier to digest if soaked for at least 8 hours prior to cooking. To soak, add the beans and enough water to cover by at least 2 inches to a large bowl or to the slow cooker insert and soak at least 8 hours, or overnight. Drain all the water and rinse the beans, then proceed with the recipe.