Refried beans. Definitely not the most attractive foodstuff on the planet, but dang–when done well, I believe that taste firmly trumps looks.
They’re often made with lard, but as a vegetarian, that’s a no-go. So these lard-free refried beans cooked in the Crock Pot are basically my best friend. The version I’m sharing here, Slow Cooker Smoky Refried Black Beans, is a twist on that base recipe. It turns a plain ol’ bag of dried black beans and a few smoky spices into pure bean bliss. It’s true! All you need is your slow cooker, an immersion blender, and only about 15 minutes of hands-on time–if that.
So what can you do with your brand spankin’ new batch of refried black beans after you’ve slow-cooked them up? You can bag them up and freeze them for later. Or top a scoop with melty cheddar cheese for an instant lunch. Mix them with rice and salsa for an easy burrito filling. Or spoon onto tortilla chips and sprinkle with cheese for simple nachos.
Or! How about setting out a tostada spread, inviting over all your friends, and doing tostada night, DIY style?
Crisp corn tortillas, a layer of fancy new refried black beans on top, then toppings–whatever you want. A few ideas:
With tostadas and these easy refried black beans, the possibilities are endless.
To freeze: Allow the beans to cool, then freeze them in a large freezer bag or airtight plastic container. To serve, take the beans out of the freezer and let them thaw in your refrigerator. If you’ve frozen the beans in a microwave-safe plastic container, you can use the thaw setting on your microwave to thaw them. Once thawed, cook the beans on the stovetop on medium heat until heated through or microwave in a microwave-safe container, stirring every 2-3 minutes, until heated through.
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