No-Fry Refried Beans AND Homemade Salsa

DOUBLE ISSUE! Sorry for my prolonged absence.  We’re back in business.

I have this tendency to try to make things no one in their right mind would ever try to make.

Ginger ale? Seriously? Normal people go buy the green can.

I THOUGHT I was doing another crazy thing the other day when I thought to myself, “Gee, I wonder if I could make myself some refried beans.”

Turns out-I was doing a really freaking cool thing that is going to happen on a regular basis from now on.

Daniel dearest LOVES LOVES LOVES Mexican food and bean burritos have become a regular thing thanks to their cheap, quick deliciousness and my recent discovery of homemade salsa which instantly brightens up a kind of mushy very brown meal into something spicy/sweet maybe a little crunchy and deliciously fresh.

This refried beans recipe involves a crock pot and no frying whatsoever.  If you don’t own a crock pot…work on that.

They’re great.  Basically you gather up some ingredients, throw them in a pot in the morning (often with very little chopping or preparation required), tell it to make you a delicious feast AND. IT. DOES!

Who doesn’t love coming home to the smell of dinner ready and waiting?  Like I said…work on that.

So here…let me show you.

Let’s just get everybody together first.

Those 3 guys are going to hang out for about 8 hours and end up a pile of mouth-watering mexi-feast.

The recipe calls for pinto beans and of course that’s delish.  Only have black beans?  Go for it!

Only white beans?  Cool! You can trick people into thinking they’re mashed potatoes!

All I’m saying is…don’t stress about the ingredients.

It’s super flexible.

Real life.

Don’t forget your spices!

Readers, meet cumin.  This part is not super flexible.  You need it.

Does that picture make it look a little like I’m in love with cumin?

That’s ok if it does..because I am.  Full disclosure.

Cumin is the stuff that makes things taste like Mexican food.  We love it.  You will too.

So beans, garlic, onion, salt, cumin and a jalapeno (if you want a kick) jump in a crock pot with some water and come out as burrito filler.  That, my friends, is what we like to call a win.

Keep it simple…tortilla+beans+cheese+salsa.

Or go crazy…get rice involved.  Throw in some chicken (just don’t forget the cumin).  Get creative!

Now put down that homework/screaming child/laundry/broken ice maker parts (ARGH I JUST WANT A BANANA SMOOTHIE!!) and enjoy.

Refried Beans

(Recipe adapted from Refried beans without the refry)

1 onion, peeled and halved

3 cups dry pinto beans, soaked and rinsed

(OR 2 cups pinto and 1/2 cup each of black and white beans…for variety)

1  fresh jalapeno pepper, chopped

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 heaping tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper

1 heaping teaspoon ground cumin

6 cups water (just fill your slow cooker)

1. Place the onion, rinsed beans, jalapeno, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin into a slow cooker. Pour in the water and stir to combine. Cook on High (yes, high.  trust me) for 8 hours.  Note: if more than 1 cup of water has evaporated during cooking, then the temperature is too high (I have never had this problem but it’s good to know)
2. Once the beans have cooked, strain them, and reserve the liquid. Mash the beans with a potato masher (or a fork or a whisk actually works nicely I’ve discovered), adding the reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency.
P.S.  Keep that water.  You can add a little to leftovers, microwave them and you’re good to go.
This makes a TON of beans which is nice because you can fridge em or freeze em and one day when you don’t have a dinner plan and people are hungry…you have beans for an amazing insta-dinner.  BAM!  Coolest weird thing I ever did.


Wanna make some salsa?

I’m not really going to give you a recipe for this because I know some of you will insist on strictly adhering to the ingredients and proportions.


Use whatever you have.  Use the proportions you like.

The salsa I make usually involves some combo of these ingredients:

I like it to be mostly tomato.

Do you like corn better and hate tomato?  Then make it mostly corn and forget the tomato.

Yeah…salsa without tomato.  Stick it to the man.

Corn is EXCELLENT especially right now. I’ve been putting it on everything.

Choose the color of bell pepper that makes it look prettiest.

Not a big spicy fan?  Leave out the jalapeno seeds but keep that delicious and pretty green flesh.

If you’re feelin like a splurge..add avocado (only at the very very end right before you serve it or it’ll be gross!)

Plus: fruit!  I mostly use mango or pineapple.

I, personally, need to have the fruit in there.

The sweet juices mellow the onion’s sharpness and cool the heat from the jalapeno a bit.  It just balances everything out.

Chop everything up into little pieces, toss them together with some lime juice and some salt.

Call it salsa.

Throw it in a blender if you want to but that tends to make it like salsa soup and I like it chunky.  Especially with those burritos.   That fresh crunch is just…..YUM.  Try it.

I hope you like it.

I like you.

Please subscribe!  Painless I swear!

❤ Ellen



Filed under Slow Cooker

2 responses to “No-Fry Refried Beans AND Homemade Salsa

  1. mom

    OK, Ella….waiting beans arranged in a heart shape? bowl of mashed beans looking somehow appetizing? It’s like those people who talk to plants (um..Daniel?….) somehow communicate with food. Awe inspiring. And probably tasty, but I may not know unless you do it for me…

  2. Pingback: Seven Layer Dip | Ellen in the Kitchen

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