I know you probably didn’t get excited when you read that recipe title. I wasn’t too excited either. In fact, when I saw it on the list of most-imported recipes to Plan to Eat (near the top of the list, even! Number 13!) I frowned and thought, “Really?” But there it was, and I needed lunch for the next day, so I gave it a shot. We were not disappointed.

In the interest of complete honesty, I have to share that the beauty of this recipe (from the 100 Days of Real Food blog) is not in its revolutionary ingredients, nor its innovative techniques, nor in its to-die-for flavor. No, friends, the beauty lies in the simplicity. This recipe is stupendously simple. In fact, I have been thinking that I can show the Sweet Pea how to make it and give her one more meal option that she can do by herself (second to peanut butter and jelly). Not only is it simple, but it will feed you for days. It gave our family four days of lunches. Day one was burritos (pictured); day two was quesadilla with refried beans; day three was a bowl of rice with refried beans and various toppings; day four was soft tacos with refried beans. No one complained about eating it four days in a row. In fact, I think it got better and better the longer it sat in the fridge.

It took me less than five minutes to put everything in the crock pot the night before. The recipe says to cook on high for 8 hours, but I was worried about the beans burning while I slept. I cooked it on low for about 12 hours and it was just perfect. I kept an eye on it throughout the morning to see if it needed more liquid, but it never did. I’d recommend sticking close to your slow cooker the first time you make this, just to make sure you don’t end up with a burned pot of beans.

I found it easier to use my immersion blender, instead of a potato masher, to mash the beans. But if you have a thing against electric gadgets, or if you have an eager toddler underfoot, the potato masher will do just fine, too.

You people are great at finding all of these fabulously simple and delicious recipes for me! I was the 270th person to import this one, and it’s definitely staying in my Plan to Eat account.

Visit 100 Days of Real Food for the complete Easy Slow Cooker Refried Beans recipe.

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