World’s Best Crock Pot Refried Beans
Serves: a whole lotta beans
  • 2 pounds dried pinto beans, sorted & rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Water for soaking
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 8-10 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 jalapenos, seeded and diced (*optional - see notes)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth for non-vegan)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2-2 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
  1. To the bowl of a 6-7 quart crock pot (this is the crock pot I own), add the rinsed and sorted dried pinto beans and the apple cider vinegar.
  2. Fill the bowl up, an inch from the top, with water and soak overnight.
  3. Use a colander to strain the beans and discard the soaking liquid. Rinse with fresh water.
  4. Rinse and dry the crock pot bowl and add to it the soaked pinto beans, onions, garlic, jalapenos, dried oregano, ground cumin, ground black pepper, vegetable broth, and water (do NOT add the sea salt at this point, otherwise the beans will never soften).
  5. Place the bowl in the crock pot, cover, and cook on high for 6-10 hours or on low for 8-12 hours.
  6. When the beans are soft, turn off the crock pot and add the sea salt. Use an immersion blender to blend the beans to the desired consistency. Please note, the beans will appear to be runny, but will thicken up as they cool.
Recipe Notes from Megan
*Just a heads up to parents making this recipe for small children: Two jalapenos makes these beans slightly too spicy for my 5 year old, but perfect for my 9 year old. So please adjust the heat according to your family’s needs.

Q: Why do you soak your beans with apple cider vinegar? A: When you use an acid medium, like apple cider vinegar, during the soaking period it can help neutralize the enzyme inhibitors (phytates), which makes the pinto beans more digestible and nutrient-dense. Some might say ACV isn’t needed when soaking pinto beans, because they are relatively low in phylates, but I still prefer to use it.

Never salt beans prior to cooking, otherwise they will never soften; only salt beans once they are soft and cooked through.
Recipe by Allergy Free Alaska at