How to Be Hospitable (Even as an Introvert)

People eating at a table

Hospitality. It can be intimidating, even scary. You might think your life is too crazy and your house is too messy. Besides, you are an introvert and you wonder just how to be hospitable as an introvert. Isn’t it too stressful?

Hospitality can be hard mentally for an introvert – it takes work to put yourself out there and you feel vulnerable.

And for introverts and extroverts alike it’s easy to want perfect – food, house, entertainment. We want to impress our guests. Less than 100% isn’t good enough. It becomes work.

That puts a lot of pressure on us and on our families. A lot of unnecessary pressure.

(If finances are your bigger concern, be sure to check out this post on how to be hospitable on a budget!)

Sometimes one of the best ways to learn, is just by doing something.

The same goes for this. When you decide you want to learn how to be hospitable, decide to start letting people in!

A few years ago, we decided to make it a year of focusing on opening our home and just inviting in those in our lives. Even when we otherwise might have considered it too inconvenient, even when it might seem scary.

It was a good year and a lot of fun. We got to know people, made memories, and had conversations we wouldn’t have otherwise. Coming from an introvert, don’t let stepping outside of your comfort zone or your personality hold you back. You will miss out on so much!

Here are a few tips for you fellow introverts when it comes to learning how to be hospitable and opening up your home and life.

How to be Hospitable as an Introvert

Do Simple.

Stop trying to do so much.

An elaborate 4 course meal isn’t necessary. You don’t even have to do a meal. Try inviting a new friend over for tea and muffins or having a family over for popcorn and a game.

Decorate if it’s your thing, but if not, don’t worry about it.

We all have our own lives, our own strengths, our own likes and dislikes, our own way of doing things. You don’t have to try and copy what someone else is doing.

Instead just start right where you are at. I love this quote from Jen Schmidt’s new book, Just Open the Door:

Quote on starting to be hospitable. Just start - you can be hospitable as an introvert.


Cleaning Routine.

This one right here is probably my biggest stressor. 3 kids, working, homeschooling, projects. Sometimes it’s hard to keep on top of things.

A perk to our focus on hospitality has been keeping the house a little tidier than it typically was. Sure, some days are chaos, but generally we aren’t too far off from a house that’s clean enough for guests.

That relieves so much stress and makes it much easier to say yes to having people over.

If this is a struggle for you, try implementing a cleaning schedule to make sure you stay on top of things. Involve your kids, they are a part of the family and can learn to help clean and keep things tidy.

Go for Good Enough.

If everything had to be perfect before I went for it, let me tell you, it wouldn’t happen!

House projects take longer than expected. (We’ve lived in the midst of these for many seasons of our life.) Kids keep on playing. Cooking has to happen.

Embrace the imperfection. Now, I know there are some basic cleanliness things that need to happen. (Who wants to use a filthy bathroom or eat food from a grimy table?)

But at the same time, remember that everyone else has the same sorts of things happening in their lives. You opening up your home, especially with real life happening, might encourage others to do the same.

Move Outside your Home.

Okay, so maybe your home is undergoing an extensive remodeling project. Or maybe right now, trying to clean in order to host people really stresses you out. Maybe being in your own home makes you feel more vulnerable.

Don’t let that stop you. Instead, be hospitable elsewhere. Bring cookies and water and meet up with a new friend at the park. Use the coffee shop or a restaurant to visit. Invite a mom to go on a walk pushing strollers. There are so many options.

Look for ordinary moments that you’d normally spend by yourself and invite someone to join you.

Quote on finding hospitality in the ordinary. Ways to be hospitable as an introvert.

Start with Your Friends.

As you begin to get into the habit of opening the door of your home and opening the door of your heart and life, start with someone who is already a friend.

You’ll will have a great time and won’t be as stressed. That will help you be brave and motivated enough to reach out to someone you might not know as well the next time.

Have More Than One Person Over.

Maybe your biggest stressor is fearing an awkward silence. Will you be able to carry on a conversation? Or maybe you worry that you won’t click with someone you don’t know well.

Try inviting over two friends/couples/families so there will be multiple people to keep the conversation moving.

Have over a good friend and also someone you don’t know as well.

Dining room table talking about hospitality and introverts.

Think of Questions.

Most of the time, conversation really does flow easily. As you start talking, subjects naturally come up as you are asking questions and sharing with each other naturally.

If you are still worried about conversations, though, think of 10 questions you can ask if you feel the dialogue has stalled.

Even questions like: “How long have you lived here?” “How many siblings do you have?” “Do you have any trips planned for this summer?” “How did you meet?”

Ask about their kids, interests, hobbies, favorite books or movies, jobs, family life.

If you are a good listener, you will most likely have follow up questions that can be asked and the conversations will go deeper and you can really begin to get to know your guests. Often times your guests will ask you the same questions in return and dialogue just happens.

Relax, and simply enjoy getting to know people!

There are my 7 biggest tips on how to be hospitable as an introvert!

Just decide hospitality is something you are going to do!

Don’t stress or over think it, just do it. It is good. It really is enjoyable, even as an introvert. Take that step and simply invite someone in.

People and the relationships you form really can change your life.

Just open the door!

What tips do you have for being hospitable as an introvert?

Money is another big obstacle to hospitality. Be sure to read this post for ideas on ways you can show hospitality on a budget.

Jen Schmidt has new book out called (affiliate links used) Just Open the Door. She’s the queen of hospitality and loving those around her. To hear her story and glean from her years of experience you’ll want to read her book!

two ladies drinking coffee on a picnic table

Originally published April 3, 2018. Updated August 17, 2020.

Dining Room table, hospitality as an introvert.

Coffee mug talking about hospitality and introverts. coffee mug on table. Hospitality and introverts.


Easy Small Batch Sugar Cookies

Star and tree sugar cut out cookies on a plate

Do you have kids that love making sugar cookies? The only probably is that nearly every recipe out there makes an exorbitant amount. That’s fine when your kids are older or you are giving them away, but for all those other occasion you need this small batch sugar cookie recipe!

This is manageable. I no longer have to spend hours supervising mixing, rolling, cutting, baking, and frosting. Instead sugar cookies are actually an enjoyable small project!

Score! We don’t need more stress, am I right?

If sugar cookies are your jam and you actually enjoy the whole process (I’m not that person), by all means double or triple this small batch sugar cookie recipe! Otherwise, make your kids excited and still keep thing simple for you.

We enjoy Christmas sugar cookies but the kids love to make them many other times during the year:

  • Birthdays
  • Easter
  • Autumn
  • Thanksgiving
  • Valentine’s Day hearts
  • Dinosaurs

The possibilities are endless! If you want to go down a rabbit hole, just search online looking at all the types of cookie cutters there are.

white frosted round sugar cookies on plate

Time to get into the particulars of this small batch sugar recipe! It’s simple and easy (because it’s what I need in my life) and everyone gobbles these up.


  • Flour
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Butter
  • Egg
  • Salt
  • Vanilla
  • Lemon Juice
  • Baking Soda
  • Cream of Tartar

Small batch sugar cookie dough on a floured counter


This recipe is put together like most other sugar cookies.

  • Cream the butter and sugar.
  • Add the egg, vanilla, and lemon juice.
  • Add the dry ingredients.
  • Let chill in the refrigerator.
  • Roll out, cut, bake, cool, and frost!

Depending on how thick you roll out the dough and what size cookie cutters you use, this should make between 16-20 cookies.

Baked sugar cookies on a cooling rack

Sugar Cookie Frosting:

Once again, I want easy and I want them to taste good. So I have two recommended options for you, both of which we use.

  1. A buttercream type of frosting. Combine butter, powdered sugar, and a drop of vanilla. Add cream until desired consistency. Color with food coloring of choice. Of course buttercream is delicious, but you won’t be able to stack these cookies.
  2. A thinner powdered sugar and milk/cream/water icing. Put powdered sugar in a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of milk or cream and food coloring. Add additional liquid of your choice until it has your desired consistency. It will drizzle from the spoon when you lift it but still be spreadable on the cookie. It will dry firm. This is what I used in the cookies in these photos.

christmas sugar cookies on a plate

If you don’t have time to chill the dough, increase flour by another 2 tablespoons and be sure to keep your counter well floured.

Small Batch Sugar Cookie Recipe

Easy Small Batch Sugar Cookies
Recipe type: Dessert/Cookies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18
These small batch sugar cookies are easy and so yummy - the perfect cut out sugar cookie recipe! You will love these and cut in shapes for anytime of year.
  • 1½ cup + 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • scant ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cup powdered sugar
  • milk/cream/water
  • drop of vanilla extract, optional
  1. Cream room temperature butter and sugar together. Add the egg, vanilla, and lemon juice and beat well.
  2. Add the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt to the bowl and mix well to combine.
  3. Form dough into a ball and put in bowl. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  5. Roll dough out on a floured counter to desired thickness. Between ⅛ and ¼ of an inch. Cut out with desired cookie cutters and place on baking sheet. (Will make 16-20 cookies depending on thickness of dough and size of cookie cutters)
  6. Bake for 7-9 minutes (depending on thickness and size of cookies). Cool on pan a few minutes and transfer to a wire rack.
  7. Cool completely and frost.
  1. See notes in post for another frosting options.
  2. Put powdered sugar in a bowl and add 1 tablespoon of your desired liquid and a small drop of vanilla, if desired. Stir. Add additional liquid one teaspoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. Frost and decorate the cookies.
If you don't have time to chill the dough, increase flour by another 2 tablespoons and be sure to keep your counter well floured.


white frosted sprinkle sugar cookies on a plate

Is Swagbucks Worth It and How to Earn Gift Cards

If you’ve ever heard of Swagbucks before, you might be wondering “Is Swagbucks worth it?”

My answer: it depends. What are your finances like? What is your life like? Do you have more time or more money? Some budgets might make Swagbucks not necessary. Especially if you are busy.

Please know, you can also put as much or little time into earning Swagbucks as you’d like. Don’t feel like you need to spend even an hour a day.

Affiliate links are used in these posts. See the disclosure page for more information.

[If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so here with my referral link and receive a bonus 300 swagbucks when you earn 300 swagbucks your first month!]

What is Swagbucks:

Maybe you’ve never heard of Swagbucks and are wondering what exactly we are talking about so you can determine if Swagbucks is worth it for you.

Using Swagbucks you can earn PayPal cash or gift cards to countless places for doing things online or through apps on your phone! Some of these are things I’m sure you are doing already (internet searches, anyone?) or things you can be doing simultaneously as you work (letting videos stream in the background).

So let’s talk about when gift cards would make a difference for you.

Swagbucks is AMAZING! I earn gift cards all year for web searches and streaming videos. The PERFECT way to afford presents when the budget is tight.

Is Swagbucks Worth It?

It’s time to get one thing out of the way. You aren’t going to become rich earning Swagbucks, but they can really make a difference in your budget. Especially when finances are tight.

For instance, we had an extended spending freeze and cut our spending by over a fourth as we worked hard to pay off our house.

Gifts that we wouldn’t otherwise have been able to purchase were made possible. I also used Swagbucks to buy supplements and other supplies on Amazon.

When we were in that 18 month spending freeze, spare time wasn’t something I had much of (spoiler, I still don’t have much of it 😉 ) so my Swagbucks goals were pretty simple and easy: 5 days a week I earned at least 50 Swagbucks. The other 2 I just got 5. If I earn more, great but if not that’s okay.

That put me at 280 Swagbucks a week or 14,560 a year. Buying the gift cards that are on sale with a 12% discount is the best deal. A $5 Amazon gift card (not on sale) is 500 Swagbucks.  So over the course of a year, I can earn around $160 in Amazon gift cards. Not too bad.

You could easily earn more than that if you dedicated more time but you have to find what is appropriate for you and your life needs so you can make Swagbucks worth it for you.

How can you reach those daily Swagbuck goals?

Ways to Earn Swagbucks Every Day:

1. Searches

As you are doing internet searches throughout the day, simply use the Swagbucks’ search engine. That’s easy enough and adds zero time! (Every once in a while I don’t get the results I need from Swagbucks and have to switch to Google, but I always try first). You won’t get Swagbucks every search. It will more likely be every 10 or more. I normally get Swagbucks from doing 1-3 searches each day and the searches typically give me 6-11 bucks. Sometimes, I’ll get 23!

2. Watch

On the left side of the screen, you can click watch. You will have to watch a series of videos (17 videos 1 minute each) and can earn 2 Swagbucks. You will have to click next after each video, but you don’t have to actually watch the video.

3. Daily Poll

This takes literally a second to do and will get you a Swagbuck.

4. Daily To Do List

On your Swagbucks’ homepage on the left column you’ll see a check list of 8 things to do each day. Completing all of the tasks will get you bonus Swagbucks. I don’t stress about getting everything on this list done – some tasks are simply too time consuming (or require making purchases).

5. Play

If I find myself a few Swagbucks short, I go over to the games and play a couple. They don’t take very long and if you happen to select one that seems to go on endlessly, know that you don’t have to finish a game to get credit. You get 2 Swagbucks for every other game you play – up to 10. Make sure you play games that are completely free. Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll find the 3 free Swagbucks’ games.

6. Swag Codes

If you already have the handy SwagButton downloaded that gets you a Swagbuck everyday. It also notifies you every time a new Swag Code is available and tells you were to find it. I’m only at my computer a few times a week when they pop up, but they take seconds to redeem and are worth watching for.

7. Daily Discover

Every once in a while I’ll click on Daily Discover to see if there are any easy offers or in store deals that don’t require me to purchase anything I wasn’t already planning on.

8. Surveys

I have a love hate relationship with the surveys. It takes entirely too much of my time for the survey to determine if I qualify or not. I wish they’d have a way to let you know within 3 questions instead of many minutes worth of questions. But, on the occasion that I actually do qualify for the survey I can get a descent number of points and the surveys are pretty enjoyable.

However, they are another thing I don’t always do because they can be a time suck for not many points depending on how many tries it takes to get a survey you qualify for.

9. Shop

If you are ordering online, be sure to check out the shop section to see what you can earn back in Swagbucks. Before you choose to shop through Swagbucks, be sure to check and see what the cash back is at Rakuten! (Join Rakaten using my link and spend $25 and you will get $10) Use the one that will give you more bang for your buck.

[Sign up today with my referral link and receive a bonus 300 swagbucks when you earn 300 swagbucks your first month. Score! The bonus just might make Swagbucks worth it for even just a month as you try it out.]

10. Coupons

Be sure to check out the coupon section and see if there are coupons available for products you already buy! You earn Swagbucks for printing coupons and for redeeming coupons. Navigate there by clicking shop on the left side of their website. You’ll then click where it says grocery coupons.

11. Swago

Swago is Swagbucks’ version of Bingo. This is available once a month for a week. You have to do tasks on the board and creating certain patterns will earn you points. Definitely worth checking out to see if you can get some extra Swagbucks for tasks you are already doing.

12. Follow Swagbucks

Be sure to follow Swagbucks on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to catch when they release codes to get a few bonus Swagbucks. Check out their blog for more codes and extra information as well.  Don’t forget, having the SwagButton installed on your web browser will help you get these time sensitive codes (and give you a Swagbuck each day just for having it)!

13. Swagbucks Apps

Check out this post for 3 Swagbucks apps I have on my phone to earn even more points! Playing videos on my phone is simpler and a way better deal than the computer. You can also submit pictures of your receipts and more.

Don’t forget, If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so here with my referral link and receive a bonus 300 swagbucks when you earn 300 swagbucks your first month

What is your answer to the “is Swagbucks worth it” question?

What are you favorite ways to earn everyday?

Swagbucks logo

Originally published February 19, 2015. Updated August 13, 2020.


Swagbucks is AMAZING! I earn gift cards all year for web searches and streaming videos. The PERFECT way to afford presents when the budget is tight.



Swagbucks is AMAZING! I earn gift cards all year for web searches and streaming videos. The PERFECT way to afford presents when the budget is tight.

Linking up to these fun parties!


How to Stock a Pantry for the First Time on a Budget

glass jars filled with food on a pantry shelf

Whether you are moving across country and starting from scratch or branching out into your own place and needing to fill the cabinets, you might be wondering just how to stock a pantry for the first time from scratch on a budget!

Obviously, if money wasn’t an issue it wouldn’t be bad to go out and just buy everything you might need.

Moving typically costs money, though, and spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars purchasing all those little things that make up a full pantry might not be top priority.

So let’s share ideas on how to stock a pantry for the first time and not go broke doing it.

When stocking a kitchen you typically have baking supplies, cooking supplies, packaged foods, and condiments of various types. Some go in the pantry and others need to be stored in the fridge. That’s a lot of different supplies that can quickly add up when stocking a pantry from scratch.

How to Stock a Pantry for the First Time on a Budget:

  1. Don’t Buy Everything at Once
    Buy just what you actually need for the next couple weeks. Then each of the following weeks purchase a couple of extra items to work towards getting your pantry fully stocked. It won’t be as overwhelming or as expensive.
  2. Buy in Bulk
    Buying in bulk costs more upfront, put the per ounce/unit price is often times way less. Check with local friends or family and see if anyone is interested in splitting the bulk package of pasta, meat, salt, grains etc with you.
  3. Buy on Sale
    Wait to purchase  certain items until they go on sale. Salt and spices don’t go on sale, so buy those at any time. Things like pasta, butter, meat etc wait for the prices to drop before you stock your pantry for the first time.
  4. Store Brands
    Utilize store brands to buy things on a budget. Especially the items that don’t go on sale. You probably already know which items you much prefer to have have from name brands, but other than those branch out and go for same quality but cheaper as you stock up. Many store brands are just repackaged name brands anyway!
  5. Shop at Cheaper Stores
    Look at Aldi, check Dollar Tree’s food aisle (pound bags of brown basmati for $1), look around for discount grocery stores in your area. You might be surprised at what you can find.
  6. Accept Food From Others
    Keep your ears open. If someone offers up extra staples from their pantry or garden, take them up on it!
  7. Keep Food Simple
    As you get situated and start cooking, make simple recipes. You want things that will use common ingredients and not require you to go buy 10 new items for your pantry. You can do a lot with a basic list of ingredients like I have below. As your pantry grows and you have more wiggle room in your budget, start adding in recipes with other ingredients.
  8. Use Substitutes
    Baking is a little harder to make substitutes in, unless you are a seasoned baker. So use caution. Cooking tends to be a lot simpler to make changes. Switch the seasonings around to use what you have, use rice instead of pasta, swap the veggies, use a different kind of meat or bean. Try to use what you already have instead of having to buy more ingredients.
  9. Make a List
    Sit down and take time to make a list of the pantry staples you absolutely have to have. Make a list of items that would be good to have. Make a third list of things you want but can wait a while before buying. If you go to the grocery store without a list, it will be very easy to put everything in your cart and quickly go over your budget.

As you consider how to stock a pantry for the first time and do it on a budget, remember to take baby steps! The longer you live in one location the pantry staples you have on hand will continue to grow.

To help you make your list of pantry essentials, below is a list of supplies to start your planning.

pantry shelves filled with food in jars.

Pantry & Kitchen Essentials to Stock Your Pantry

Ignore the items you don’t use and add the ingredients you always use. Everyone’s cooking and families are different, so use this list to inspire you and help you to not forget anything. You can have a stocked kitchen without having all of these supplies.

Beyond pasta, chips, and canned tomatoes I don’t buy many boxed/packaged foods. If those are a part of what you cook and feed your family, add them to the list!

    • flour (which ever type you use)
    • sugar (granulated, brown, powder, or the less refined alternatives)
    • salt
    • baking powder
    • baking soda
    • yeast
    • cocoa powder
    • cinnamon
    • vanilla extract
    • syrup (we like maple syrup)
    • honey
    • coffee or tea
    • rolled oats
    • rice
    • pasta
    • dry beans and/or canned beans
    • canned tomatoes (diced, sauce, puree, paste etc)
    • dried spices: basil, oregano, parsley are the most used
    • cumin powder
    • chili powder
    • onion powder
    • garlic powder
    • paprika
    • beef and chicken broth/base
    • pepper
    • oil (coconut, olive, or whatever you use)
    • vinegar
    • soy sauce
    • peanut butter
    • popcorn
    • other snacks
    • salad dressing (or make your own using the oil and vinegar!)
    • onions
    • garlic
    • condiments: ketchup, mustard, mayo, bbq sauce, pickles
    • bread/tortillas (or make your own – homemade tortillas, english muffin bread, french bread)
    • butter
    • milk
    • eggs
    • meats
    • cheese (start with one kind)
    • fresh produce
    • frozen veggies

Those 40+ items will get your pantry stocked and you’ll be able to feed your family a variety of recipes for breakfasts and suppers! Soups, pasta, stirfry, pancakes, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, sandwiches, etc.

You don’t even have to buy all of those ingredients at once. Make a menu, and just buy what you’ll need for the next week. Over a month you will have ended up purchasing most of them.

What tips do you have for someone asking how to stock a pantry for the first time? What are the essentials pantry items I missed and need to add to the list?

Freezing Refried Beans and an Easy Refried Bean Recipe

close up of a bowl of homemade refried beansI love making large batches of recipes (cook once eat multiple times is my motto). So when I whip up my easy refried bean recipe, it makes a lot! Freezing refried beans is the answer.

I use what we need for a meal or two and the rest of the refried beans go straight into the freezer.

If you have not yet tried to make your own refried beans, know that you can also freeze leftovers of the canned variety!

Freezing Refried Beans

Let’s start with freezing refried beans and then we’ll get to the recipe.

There are multiple ways to do this. First off is what I do not recommend. I don’t recommend simply filling a gallon freezer bag with the beans and sticking it in the freezer. It’s just not practical. In the next few months when you need refried beans to make burritos, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you won’t need a gallons worth.

Freeze the refried beans in individual portions or recipe sizes!

That way when you need to defrost some, you can take out exactly what you need.

crockpot of cooked pinto beans and onions

The beans, onions, garlic, and jalapenos after cooking


When the beans are completely cool, transfer to storage containers.

Store in the freezer.


  • Glass Jars (make sure to not fill all the way to the top)
  • Quart sized freezer bags with 2 cups in each bag. Spread flat after sealing for more space effective storing in the freezer (and quicker thawing).
  • Plastic storage containers in desired sizes. Probably between 1 cup and 4 cups depending on how your normally use your refried beans.
  • 1/2 cup “blobs” in freezer bag. Line a baking sheet with wax paper, parchment paper, or silicone baking mats and drop the beans onto the sheet using a 1/2 cup measuring cup. Flash freeze by placing baking sheet into the freezer. Once beans are frozen, transfer to a freezer storage bag and double bag. It’s now very easy to pull out exactly what you need!


Put frozen refried beans in the fridge the day before you want to use them.

When mostly thawed, put beans into a pot on the stove and gently reheat. If they have dried out, add a touch of water to return them to your desired consistency.

Use as you would fresh refried beans.

(Of course you can always defrost the beans if you forgot to pull them out the day before.)

What are your tips for freezing refried beans?

Now we’ll move on to the recipe for these super easy homemade refried beans!

Yes, these would actually be called unrefried beans and not be considered authentic as there is nothing fried about them. But none the less, they have become a staple in our home the last several years.

I always cook 1 to 2 pounds of pinto beans up when I’m making these and freeze them as we discussed above.

This is how simple the recipe is:

  • Dump everything into the slow cooker.
  • Cook until very, very tender.
  • Mash.


  1. Now, the recipe does have fresh onion and garlic (and deseeded jalapeno too if you like a kick) in it, but you are welcome to omit them. If I’m out, I’ll still make up the beans with no seasonings in the cooking liquid and add extra onion powder, garlic powder, and salt when I’m smashing them up.
  2. These beans can also be made on the stove instead of the crock pot. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes and then cover and turn to low. Cook until falling apart. You’ll just want to watch the water level and add more if needed.


bowl of cooked pinto beans for freezing homemade refried beans

The beans and veggies after being scooped out of the slow cooker.

Homemade Refried Beans


  • Dried pinto beans
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Jalapeno
  • Seasoned Salt
  • Cumin
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder


If you are looking up this post, you probably already have a lot of ideas. Beans make a great side dish topped with cheese and cilantro.

They also make a perfect fast and cheap lunch. Make bean tostadas or a bean and cheese burrito or quesadilla.

Use them in any recipe that calls for refried beans.

Easy and yummy refried beans in the crock pot. I love making a huge batch and freezing the leftovers!

I always use my potato masher to smash the beans. An immersion blender also works well.

Side note: There are concerns of toxins not being removed from the beans when cooked in the crock pot because it doesn’t get them hot enough long enough. I’ve found that on high my pot gets the beans up to a full boil. If yours doesn’t, you can boil them on the stove for 10 minutes and then return to the crock pot to finish cooking or boil for 10 minutes at the end of cooking.

bowl of finished homemade refried beans on a napkin

5.0 from 1 reviews
Easy Crockpot Homemade Refried Beans
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: Tex Mex
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5 cups
These homemade refried beans are easy and freezer friendly. Great for making a large batch for side dish, burritos, tacos and more.
  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 deseeded jalapeno
  • 1 T. cumin
  • 2 t. seasoning salt
  • Optional, ½-1 teaspoon garlic and onion powder
  1. Rinse and soak the pinto beans overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse beans and place in the crock pot and cover with water.
  3. Add a peeled and quartered onion and peeled and smashed garlic cloves if you are using (and a deseeded jalapeno if you like a little kick).
  4. Cook on low for around 5 hours.
  5. Turn to high for the last hour to allow beans to come to a boil for at least 10 minutes and finish cooking.
  6. When the beans are tender and falling apart use a slotted spoon and scoop beans, onions, and garlic into a bowl. Reserve the cooking liquid.
  7. Add cumin powder and seasoning salt. Add garlic and onion powder if you didn't use fresh in the cooking process or if you need a little extra flavor.
  8. Use a potato masher and stir and mash the bean mixture until it is as smooth as you like. Add some of the reserved cooking liquid to make it as soupy as you like. It will thicken up as it sits at room temperature.
  9. Cool and separate into storage containers and freeze what you won't use the first week.
You can also cook the beans on the stove top for several hours until tender and falling apart.

If you don't have time to soak the beans the night before, simply increase the cooking time.


overhead shot of a bowl of refried beans topped with cheeseEasy and yummy refried beans in the crock pot (or on the stove). I love making a huge batch and freezing the leftovers!Originally published July 29, 2014. Updated August 10, 2020.