Home ยป Meatless Monday: Crock Pot Refried Beans {vegan, gluten-free}

Meatless Monday: Crock Pot Refried Beans {vegan, gluten-free}


Mr. Prevention and I are creatures of habit. I have to assume most couples are, especially as the years pass by.

One of my least favorite habits of ours is declaring our “case of the Sundays” on Sunday. It never fails that at some point throughout the day, one of us brings up the impending doom of the work week. Being a glass half-full kind of person, I usually remind us both, “…just imagine if we both didn’t love our jobs!”

So true.

But even if you really, really, really, REALLY love your job…you probably love your weekends a little bit more. I do, at least. That much I know.


I mean, this time last week I was eating a breakfast in Mexico where I didn’t have to make my usual Monday decisions like what to wear to work, if those heels will be as unkind to my feet as the last time I wore them, if I should eat breakfast at home or at work, if I should switch to decaf after cup #1 of coffee, should I wear my hair curly or straight, do I need to pack a gym bag, or should I take the highway or side streets to work?

No, last week Monday, my decisions were very much so win-win. Should I go to the pool now…or later? Should I take my People magazine, my novel, or both?

And breakfast? No decisions to be made there. Mexican breakfasts are both sweet…and savory. Mhmm. I could have butterscotch papaya pancakes and refried beans and quesadillas for breakfast. Heckyes.


I grew up eating refried beans…from a can. I dieted eating refried beans…from a can. They resemble putty, unlike the smooth and rich refried beans I ate in Mexico. Undoubtedly, those smooth and rich refried beans were that way for a reason…likely in thanks to lard, as they are traditionally made.

When I was looking for a side to go with my Zucchini and Black Bean Tacos a little Googling and recipe adaptation lead to these. I’m always excited to share great recipes with you, dear reader…but today, these beans, THIS recipe…well, it took everything in me not to share it before now. Yes’ums, these are that good…AND that healthy. They are vegetarian, vegan (if you don’t sprinkle them with queso fresco as I did), gluten-free, virtually fat-free, and high in fiber. Plus, they’re simple and cheap to make. Win, win, win! 😀



Crock Pot Refried Beans adapted from Queen Bee Coupons

1 small onion, chopped
1-2 jalapenos, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
4 cups water


Combine all ingredients in a crock pot. Cook on high for ~10 hours.

If there is quite a bit of liquid remaining, use a ladle to remove some of the liquid to reserve. Using an immersion blender, blend smooth or semi-smooth to desired consistency, adding back the liquid as needed.

Note: I removed no liquid and had somewhat thin beans, which is how we prefer them. This will vary from crock pot to crock pot, however.

Yield: 16 servings (~1/2 cup each)

Nutrition Information (per serving): 79 calories; 0.06 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 259 mg. sodium; 17.5 g. carbohydrate; 4.4 g. fiber; 5.6 g. protein; 2.0 g. sugar

Result: AMAZING and couldn’t be easier to make. The ONLY trick is the necessity for the immersion blender – I don’t see these working without. An immersion blender is worth the purchase, though…it makes the best soups…and refried beans! 😉 I topped mine with some queso fresco, but going without makes these vegan and only slightly less delicious…they truly are fabulous! Enjoy!


 Plus side to this week? No early morning meetings…and I get to eat some of these beans along with my citrus chicken fajitas tonight! 😉

And…a very HAPPY 90th Birthday to my Grannie! 90!!

Be well,


Share With Your Friends!


  1. The Candid RD
    April 8, 2013 / 7:40 am

    These definitely beat Taco Bell’s “pintos and cheese”….one of my all time favorite foods ๐Ÿ™‚ Oops, did I admit that?!

  2. Grace @ FoodFitnessFreshAir
    April 8, 2013 / 9:02 am

    Might have to get an immersion blender for this one. Or you know, just casually borrow my parents for my own apartment. I feel you on the case of the Sundays. And the decision of whether to switch to decaf after cup #1 of coffee! Sometimes I have to remind myself those little decisions aren’t worthy of anxiety!

  3. Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life
    April 8, 2013 / 9:42 am

    Hooray for no early morning meetings, and happy birthday to your Grannie!

  4. michele
    April 8, 2013 / 6:04 pm

    Wow……I’ve never even thought of making refried beans from scratch……how sad. I guess I always thought the can was my only (easy) option. These would’ve gone nicely with the carnitas tacos we made last night. I’m definitely making these! Happy Birthday to Grannie!

  5. Heidi @ Food Doodles
    April 8, 2013 / 6:49 pm

    Yum! Homemade refried beans are 1000x better than anything in can. I will never go back ๐Ÿ™‚ Yours look awesome – I gotta try adding jalapenos to mine! Did you know they freeze perfectly too?

  6. Suzanne
    April 8, 2013 / 7:04 pm

    Bean and Cheese tacos for breakfast with some salsa, make a great breakfast! A common breakfast here in San Antonio.

  7. Irene
    April 17, 2013 / 1:12 pm

    I made these over the weekend and they were delicious! I froze the leftovers in pre-portioned amounts in ziploc bags and I had some for lunch today. Just as delicious! Love the little kick from the jalapeno.

    • Nicole, RD
      April 18, 2013 / 7:00 am

      Me too! They freeze beautifully! Thanks, Irene!

  8. Jacky
    April 25, 2013 / 8:00 pm

    Made these beans today, enjoyed them for dinner. Good stuff and so easy! Gotta love a crock-pot recipe that can go the whole time I am at work (rather than the typical 4-6 hours). Thanks!

    • Nicole, RD
      May 1, 2013 / 8:48 pm

      Jacky: I agree 100%!!

  9. lacey
    July 3, 2013 / 12:49 am

    Anyone ever canned these before?

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  11. Ruby
    November 10, 2013 / 3:53 pm

    This looks really good. I know you are supposed to boil red kidney beans for 10 min before cooking them in a crock pot due to a toxin that they have. Is this true with pinto beans as well?

    • Nicole, RD
      November 10, 2013 / 5:42 pm

      Not that I know of, Ruby ๐Ÿ™‚

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