Slow Cooker Refried Beans + Cookbook Review

Reviewing The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook and making Slow Cooker Refried Beans.

 the make ahead vegan cookbook cover jpg

I have a feeling I have over 100 cookbooks.  Actually maybe over 200.  I cannot help it.  I love cookbooks.  I read them just like I would a novel.  So when Ginny from Vegan in the Freezer asked me to review her new cookbook “The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook”, I was happy to do so.  I’ve been following her blog for a while now and love how inventive she is.  You may be thinking “But you are not vegan?”.  That is a true statement, but we do try to eat vegetarian a few nights a week.  Also I find that vegan recipes show me techniques and products that are perfect for healthy eating.  I am an equal opportunity healthy eater.

Slow Cooker Refried Beans 700 “The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook” covers everything from party food to breakfast to sides and dessert.  There is a little something for everyone.  In addition to recipes, the cookbook guides you in freezing your food.  She believes if you freeze your food, there is never an excuse for not eating well.  Oh boy, do I need to adopt that philosophy more.  It is always the nights that I am totally stressed and tired that I get into trouble.  Having a stocked freezer with ready to eat food is imperative.  While there was a plethora of delicious recipes, I immediately zoned in on sides.  I have been in a rut when it comes to sides.  Plus I have made it a goal to fill half of my plate with vegetables.  A vegan cookbook can definitely help me obtain that goal.  While I drooled over French Onion Casserole, Balsamic Roasted Broccoli and Fresh Corn with Chipotle Maple Sauce, it was the Slow Cooker Refried Beans that won me over.

I have been desperately trying to conquer my lunch issues.  The issue that I want to go out for lunch everyday.  I’ve been finding having leftovers readily available is the key.  If I made a big batch of refried beans, the options were innumerable, starting with Ginny’s own Classic Breakfast Burrito.  I also love the idea of a breakfast tostado, a taco salad for lunch, or even a crispy taco.  There are some many possibilities with the refried beans as a base.  I plan on freezing the beans in 1/2 cup and 1 cup portions.  The cookbook also gives tips on how to defrost the beans and reheat them.

“The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook” will take you through what foods can be frozen and what food will not hold up to freezing. Ginny discusses containers to freeze your food in and even how to stock your freezer. She will also guide you through freezer storage times and how long the frozen food will last. What most struck me about this cookbook is that the vast majority of ingredients I already have on hand.  If you are not vegan, you do not need to go out and buy a lot of products you may never use again.

You can buy “The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook” on Amazon here. (This is an affiliate link for Ginny, that means she gets a little commission).

You can also enter Ginny’s giveaway for a chance to win a copy of “The Make Ahead Vegan Cookbook”.

If you want to be sure to see Food Done Light’s next recipe, Whole Wheat Strawberry Lemon Bars, subscribe by email below. You won’t want to miss it.

This is how Slow Cooker Refried Beans turned out for me.  Delish!

Healthy Slow Cooker Refried Beans - so easy & delish

Yields 8

Serves About 1/4 cup

Slow Cooker Refried Beans + Cookbook Review

20 minPrep Time

3 hrCook Time

3 hr, 20 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe


  • 16 ounces dried pinto beans
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 1 chile pepper, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Pick through the beans to make sure there are no pebbles. Rinse. Put the beans in a large pot with water to cover (about 6 cups of water). Let the pot sit all day or
  2. overnight and the beans will plump up.
  3. Drain the beans and pour them into a 41/2-quart slow cooker. Cover with fresh water by 1 to 2 inches. Cook on HIGH for 3 hours.
  4. While the beans are cooking, prepare the vegetables:
  5. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and chile pepper. Cook for 2 more minutes. Add all the
  6. seasonings to the pan. Cook for another minute, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
  7. When the beans are done, mash in the slow cooker with a potato masher. Add the onion mixture and mix well.
  8. If it is too dry, you can add some more water. Turn the slow cooker back on to the LOW setting. Cook for 1 hour.
  9. That’s it! The best refried beans and so much healthier than the canned kind.


If you need to add more liquid at the last hour of the final cooking process, you can add some tomato juice or diced tomatoes. Even a little salsa can be added if your family likes the extra spices.

Storing in the refrigerator:

The refried beans will keep in the refrigerator for 4 days.

Freeze in hard-sided freezer containers for up to 6 months. To prepare after freezing, defrost in the refrigerator overnight because it is a pretty solid mass and will take longer to thaw.
Heat, covered, in a microwave or in a saucepan. Add a little more liquid if it seems too dry.

I calculated 3 Weight Watcher Smart points.

Happy Healthy Eating,


But wait, there’s more. Check out these deliciously, healthy bean recipes:

Grab a chip! Healthy Texas Caviar - mixed bean dip

Grab a chip! Healthy Texas Caviar – mixed bean dip 

Mexican Rice & Black Bean Stuffed Poblano Peppers - Low Calorie, Low Fat, Healthy Dinner Recipe - Vegetarian too.

Mexican Rice & Black Bean Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Fruited Black Bean Salad Food Done Light #blackbeans #mexicansalad #lhealthybeans #mexicanrecipe #cincodemayorecipe

Fruited Black Bean Salad Food Done Light 

Healthy Slow Cooker Refried Beans - so easy & delish


  1. I agree - refried beans give you so many different serving options! They are a favorite around here and this looks like a great coobook!
    • Christie Daruwalla says
      I have been enjoying the refried beans in a breakfast tostado lately. Love having them as a stape in my freezer, thanks to Ginny's cookbook.
  2. This is one of our staples during the cold winter.
  3. I love refried beans and making them in the slow cooker is so easy! I usually make a double or triple batch and free lots for later.
  4. This is wonderful Christie! Thank you so much for doing the review for me. Your refried beans look great and I love that you are an 'equal opportunity healthier eater'. :)
  5. Love the idea of refried beans in the slow-cooker! Looking forward to making this!
  6. I just fell back in love with refried beans. I can only image how much flavor you get from preparing them in the slow cooker
  7. I hadn't thought of freezing refried beans to have them ready! We love refried beans here. And, of course, anything in a slow cooker. :-)
  8. I love eating refried beans! Such a great source of protein when I am eating tacos or burritos. Thanks for a great homemade recipe that I don't have to sit and stir!
  9. In the cold winter, this is one of our staples.
  10. That cookbook looks amazing! I definitely need to do more make-ahead. And though we've never been big refried bean fans in our home, I have to admit, this recipe has amazing appeal .. and would be perfect for a taco casserole I've been wanting to trial.
    • Christie Daruwalla says
      The cookbooks is great whether you are vegan or not. You will love homemade refried beans. What a world of difference.
  11. Refried beans are pretty much a staple here in the SouthWest!!! Your recipe looks perfect! Gotta check out this book, you can never have too many ;)
  12. You sound like my mother in law. She has one floor to ceiling bookcase that takes up an entire wall and it is filled to the brim with cookbooks, and a few organization books, but I take more interest in the cookbooks. We eat beans a lot through the winter. Beans of all kinds! I'll have to add these to the list to try.
  13. Such a great idea, I'm totally trying this!
  14. I love Ginny's recipes.....and these refried beans in the slow cooker are totally genius!
  15. I love anything at all done in a slow cooker! And I actually have been looking for a simple (but good!) recipe for refried beans. Perfect timing! :o)


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