If you’ve ever cooked dry beans from scratch, you’ve probably heard the urban cooking legend that you must always soak the beans for at least 8 hours or overnight. Supposedly, soaking helps the texture of the beans and magically helps prevent flatulence. I’m here to tell you, this is simply not true. It’s a waste of time and serves absolutely no purpose. There’s no evidence that soaking beans improves texture, and it certainly doesn’t decrease the gaseous properties (wishful thinking, perhaps?). In fact, soaking can actually reduce the flavor profile of the beans greatly. (Don’t buy it? Here is a more in depth article complete with foodie experiments.) So save your time and effort with this easy crock pot pinto bean recipe.
This recipe calls for pinto beans, however, you can really substitute any dry bean. Keep in mind though, other beans might have shorter cooking times (like garbanzo) or slightly longer (like Adzuki). The spices I recommend are traditional Tex-Mex spices, and work well whether you decide to keep the beans whole in their liquid or mash them to make ‘refried’ style beans. Feel free to switch up the spices to your liking!
No Soak 4 Hour Crock Pot Pinto Beans & Fat Free Vegan ‘Refried’ Beans
Ingredients, organic and local (when possible):
- 2 cups dry pinto beans
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 large red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbs concentrated veggie stock (I love the organic Better Than Bouillon stock)
- 6 cups filtered water
Add all ingredients to a large crock pot and cook on high heat for 4 hours. Check beans for doneness, they should be nice and tender, not overly soft.
At this point, you can add your Tex-Mex style spices and flavorings. I used:
- 1 tsp Ancho chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
Now, remove beans from heat and separate into two different containers. I decided to keep half of the beans whole with their liquid, to use later in the week for one of my favorite dishes: pinto beans & cheese dumplings. I’ll share that recipe soon. 🙂
For the remaining half, I separated the beans from their liquid and smashed them with a potato masher. Add bean liquid as needed until you reach the desired texture. Wah-lah! Vegan fat free ‘refried’ beans!! Perfect for all your refried bean needs, including molletes, enchiladas, and of course, my ultimate comfort food: bean & cheese tacos! YUM!
Cooking dry beans in large batches like this can save you tons of money long-term. This recipe can also be cut in half or doubled per your cooking needs. Leftover beans can be kept refrigerated, frozen, or even canned for longer storage. I hope you enjoy this recipe and look forward to sharing more! 😀
❤ Samantha, FCF