Instant Pot Refried Beans

instant pot refried beans | refried beans instant pot | pressure cooker refried beans | refried pinto beans | homemade refried beans

Step-by-Step Guide on how to make Instant Pot Refried Beans from scratch with a few healthy pantry ingredients. Easy refried beans instant pot recipe using no soak method. These creamy rich homemade refried beans are great as a tasty side dish, dip, topping, or filling for your Mexican meal.

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how to make refried beans

What are refried beans?

Refried Beans, frijoles refritos, is a classic favorite Mexican and Tex-Mex mashed beans dish.

These creamy refried beans are often served on the side to complement a Mexican meal. You can also spread it onto a tortilla to make tasty burritos, enchiladas, tacos, quesadillas, or tostadas. Others have enjoyed it as delicious dips or on nachos. Yum!

refried beans recipe

Instant Pot Refried Beans

When making homemade refried beans, some people like to cut short the cooking time and hassle by using canned beans.

But with our refried beans Instant Pot recipe, making creamy refried beans from scratch with dried beans is easy!

No Canned Beans . No Soaking . No Standing by the Stove

We love how these refried beans come out creamy smooth like a hearty thick spread with a satisfying mouthfeel.

We tested 2 mashing methods with these pressure cooker refried beans. So you can customize it to your desired thickness and texture:

  • With Potato Masher: yields a coarser, chunky paste
  • With Immersion Blender: yields a thick, fluffy, more creamy smooth paste – smooth like thick peanut butter spread with a satisfying texture

If you’re looking to make refried beans with bacon, try our Loaded Refried Beans.

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How to Make Instant Pot Refried Beans

refried beans instant pot

Prepare ingredients for making refried beans in Instant Pot.

refried beans ingredients

Pinto Beans

We crafted this refried beans Instant Pot recipe with dried beans. Plus, you can make refried beans from scratch without soaking the beans.

Prepare by picking, rinsing, and draining the beans, then you’re good to go!

  • Substitute with Black Beans: If you’re substituting the pinto beans with black beans, pressure cook at High Pressure for 50 minutes, then Natural Release.
  • Soaked Pinto Beans: If you like to soak your pinto beans, remember to drain them really well. You can use the same amount of cooking liquid and pressure cook at High Pressure for 22 minutes, then Natural Release.
Amy + Jacky’s Tips – Use Fresh Dried Beans: Though beans have a relatively long shelf life, older beans may take a much longer cooking time to soften. Sometimes the beans can get so old and stale (even on store shelves) that they won’t cook properly even after a long cooking time. Try to use fresh dried beans if you can.

Olive Oil vs. Bacon Fat vs. Lard

We tested different batches of refried beans in Instant Pot with Olive Oil vs. Bacon Fat. The bacon fat added a tasty hint of smoky aroma and flavor to the refried beans.

  • Vegan or Vegetarian Option: You can use olive oil to make vegetarian or vegan refried beans.

Other Ingredients

Chili Powder: You can adjust the spicy level by using more or less chili powder in your refried beans.

  • For a hint of spiciness: use ½ tsp chili powder
  • For mild spicy: use 1 tsp chili powder

Unsalted Chicken Stock: We develop recipes with unsalted ingredients so we can better control the flavors. If you’re substituting with salted chicken stock, keep in mind that the sodium level can vary a lot between different brands. Always taste and adjust accordingly.

  • Vegan or Vegetarian Option: You can substitute the unsalted chicken stock with vegetable stock.

Cumin: We like to freshly ground our cumin seeds with a mortar and pestle because the flavors are more intense and fresh. But you can use store-bought ground cumin seeds to make these pressure cooker refried beans.

how to ground cumin seeds with mortar and pestle

Tools for Refried Beans Instant Pot Recipe

Step 1

Saute Onion, Spices, and Garlic

First, press “Saute” button to “Sauté More” function to heat up your Instant Pot.

Note: It’ll switch to “ON” on the screen.

Instant Pot Saute More

Wait until it says “HOT” on the screen (takes roughly 8 minutes).

Now, add 2 tbsp (30ml) olive oil, bacon fat, or lard in Instant Pot.

bacon fat or olive oil

Add roughly diced onions in Instant Pot, then cook until softened (takes roughly 3 minutes).

saute diced onions

Add ½ to 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp dried oregano, and minced garlic in the Instant Pot. Then, cook for another minute until fragrant.

Amy + Jacky’s Spicy Tips!

saute aromatics

Step 2

Deglaze Instant Pot

Pour ½ cup (125ml) unsalted chicken stock into Instant Pot.

Then, completely deglaze the bottom of the pot by scrubbing the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Keep the brown bits because they are very flavorful. Give it a quick mix.

deglaze

Step 3

Pressure Cook Refried Beans

Add the well-drained pinto beans in Instant Pot, then pour in the remaining 3½ cups (875ml) unsalted chicken stock.

Amy + Jacky’s Tips! Make sure all the pinto beans are submerged in the cooking liquid.

refried pinto beans instant pot

With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position.

Pressure Cooking Methods:

  • Option 1 – For Tender with a Bite Pinto Beans: Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 40 minutes, then Natural Release for 25 minutes
  • Option 2 – For Silky Smooth & Tender Pinto Beans: Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 50 minutes, then Natural Release for 25 minutes

Instant Pot Pressure Cook at High Pressure 40 minutes

After 25 minutes of Natural Releasing, carefully turn the Venting Knob to Venting Position to release the remaining pressure.

Once the Floating Valve drops, remove the lid.

Step 4

Drain Beans Liquid

Strain the beans liquid with a strainer. Place the pinto beans back in the Instant Pot.

Then, reserve the pinto beans liquid in a mixing bowl.

drain pinto beans

Step 5

Mash Beans

Make Instant Pot Refried Beans by mashing the pinto beans with a potato masher or immersion blender until desired consistency.

Amy + Jacky’s Tips! From our experiments, the potato masher yields a coarser, chunky paste. While the immersion blender creates a thick and creamy smooth paste. See the below photo for a comparison.

refried beans in instant pot

Taste and season the pressure cooker refried beans with salt. For reference, we used 4 pinches of salt.

Add the drained beans liquid back to the refried beans in instant pot until desired consistency.

Amy + Jacky’s Tips! You can adjust the thickness of the refried beans according to your preference and what you’re serving it with (i.e. rice vs. inside a burrito).
Step 6

Garnish & Serve Instant Pot Refried Beans

Give the homemade refried beans a final taste, then garnish.

You can garnish it with feta cheese for some umami cheesy flavors, sliced green onions refreshing crunch, diced tomatoes and squeeze of lime to brighten up the colors and flavors, plus a sprinkle of finely chopped fresh cilantro.

If you want an extra spicy kick, garnish the refried beans with some jalapeno.

pressure cooker refried beans

What to Serve with Refried Beans

There are many ways you can serve these deliciously creamy Instant Pot Refried Beans!

Craft a Mexican one plate meal by serving refried beans as a side dish with rice or Mexican rice, with protein like Instant Pot Chili Verde or Instant Pot Salsa Chicken, and veggies or Homemade Salsa.

These creamy smooth refried beans also make a tasty party dip or topping for your nachos.

You can also spread it over a tortilla with some Instant Pot black beans to make yummy burritos, quesadillas, enchiladas, tacos, tostadas, and more!

Or you can serve refried beans on the side with some tasty tacos like Birria Tacos, Instant Pot Carnitas, Instant Pot Barbacoa Beef, or Instant Pot Chicken Tacos.

You may also enjoy an epic Mexican feast and make some tasty Mexican Street Corn, and Arroz con Leche!

How long are homemade refried beans good for?

You can safely store these homemade refried beans in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.

Storage: Let the refried beans cool to room temperature, place them in an airtight container, then store them in the refrigerator.

Can you freeze refried beans?

Yes! You can freeze homemade refried beans into smaller serving portions for later. If stored properly with completely sealed air-tight freezer storage containers or freezer bags, they can keep well in the freezer for a few months.

Freezing: Let the refried beans cool to room temperature, then place them in freezer storage containers or freezer bags. With freezer bags, try to remove as much air as possible, then lay them flat in the freezer to freeze.

When you’re ready to serve the refried beans, thaw them in the refrigerator, then reheat and enjoy~

Enjoy your Creamy Instant Pot Refried Beans!

4.97 from 32 votes

Instant Pot Refried Beans

Author: Amy + Jacky
Easy to make Instant Pot Refried Beans from scratch with healthy pantry ingredients and no soak method. Creamy rich homemade refried beans are great as a tasty side dish, dip, topping, or filling for your Mexican meal.
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Servings 4 - 6
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
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Ingredients

  • 1 pound (454g) pinto beans , rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil, bacon fat, or lard
  • 1 (323g) large onion , roughly diced
  • ½ - 1 teaspoon (1.3g - 2.7g) chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon (2.7g) ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon (1.1g) dried oregano
  • 4 cloves (13.7g) garlic , minced
  • 4 cups (1L) unsalted chicken stock (vegan option: use vegetable stock)
  • Salt to taste

Optional Garnish:

  • Cilantro , roughly chopped
  • Jalapeno , sliced or diced
  • Green onions , chopped
  • Tomatoes , diced
  • Lime , sliced or lime wedges
  • Feta cheese

Share this Recipe so We can create more yummy recipes for you.  Thank you 🙂

Instructions 

  • Saute Onion, Spices, and Garlic: Press “Saute” button to “Sauté More” function to heat up your Instant Pot. Wait until it says "HOT". Add in 2 tbsp (30ml) olive oil, bacon fat, or lard.
    Add in roughly diced onion, then cook until softened. Add in ½ to 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp dried oregano, and minced garlic. Cook for another minute until fragrant.
  • Deglaze: Pour ½ cup (125ml) unsalted chicken stock in Instant Pot. Completely deglaze the bottom of the pot by scrubbing the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Keep the brown bits because they're very flavorful. Give it a quick mix.
  • Pressure Cook Beans: Add in well-drained pinto beans and remaining 3½ cups (875ml) unsalted chicken stock. Make sure all the pinto beans are submerged in the cooking liquid.
    With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position.
    Pressure Cooking Methods:
    Option 1 - Tender with a Bite Pinto Beans: Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 40 minutes, then Natural Release for 25 minutes
    Option 2 - Silky Smooth & Tender Pinto Beans: Pressure Cook at High Pressure for 50 minutes, then Natural Release for 25 minutes
  • Drain Beans Liquid: Carefully open the lid. Strain beans liquid with a strainer. Place beans back in Instant Pot. Keep the beans liquid in a mixing bowl.
  • Mash Beans: Make refried beans by mashing the beans with a potato masher or immersion blender until desired consistency.
    Potato Masher: yields a coarser, chunky paste.
    Immersion Blender: yields a thick and more creamy smooth paste.
    Taste and season with salt. For reference, we used 4 pinches of salt.
    Adjust the thickness by adding the drained beans liquid back to the refried beans until your desired consistency.
  • Garnish & Serve: Give it a final taste, then garnish with your favorite toppings. Serve & enjoy~ 🙂

Notes

1. Pinto Beans: We used dried pinto beans to develop this recipe. No need to presoak them before pressure cooking. Best to use fresh dry beans if you can.
  • Substitute with Black Beans: Pressure cook black beans at High Pressure for 50 minutes, then Natural Release.
  • Using Soaked Pinto Beans: Remember to drain them really well. Use the same amount of cooking liquid and pressure cook at High Pressure for 22 minutes, then Natural Release.
2. Olive Oil vs. Bacon Fat vs. Lard: Using bacon fat will add a tasty hint of smoky aroma and flavor to the refried beans.
3. Chili Powder: Adjust the spiciness by using more or less chili powder.
  • For a hint of spiciness: use ½ tsp chili powder
  • For mild spicy: use 1 tsp chili powder
4. Unsalted Chicken Stock: If you’re substituting with salted chicken stock, keep in mind that the sodium level can vary a lot between different brands. Taste and adjust accordingly.
5. Cumin: We like to freshly ground our cumin seeds with a mortar and pestle because the flavors are more intense and fresh. But you can use store-bought ground cumin seeds.
6. Texture: Choose the mashing tool depending on the texture you want.
  • Potato Masher: yields a coarser, chunky paste
  • Immersion Blender: yields a thick, fluffy, more creamy smooth paste
7. Storage: You can safely store homemade refried beans in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. You can also freeze them into serving portions in air-tight freezer containers or freezer bags. If stored properly, they can keep well in the freezer for at least a few months.
Rate Amy + Jacky's Recipe: If you've tried our recipe, rate the recipe in the Comments section. Thank you!
Calories: 202kcal
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican, Tex-Mex
Keyword: homemade refried beans, how to make refried beans, instant pot refried beans, pressure cooker refried beans, refried beans in instant pot, refried beans instant pot, refried beans recipe, vegan refried beans, vegetarian refried beans

Nutrition

Calories: 202kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 54mg | Potassium: 558mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Vitamin C: 5.3mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 2.4mg
instant pot refried beans | refried beans instant pot | pressure cooker refried beans | refried pinto beans | homemade refried beans
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