Instant Pot Refried Beans

Instant Pot refried beans are a quick way to make them from scratch, without the hours of soaking! They’re irresistibly tasty: and healthy too!

Instant Pot Refried Beans

Do you make your own refried beans? Alex and I buy canned for a quick fix, but we’ve also started making our own at home. Homemade refried beans taste so seriously good, it’s worth making them when you have the time! We’ve also been trying to cook with more dried beans lately. The Instant Pot is actually perfect for homemade refried beans, because it skips the soaking time! Just throw the beans in with some seasoning, and in 1 hour they come out perfectly tender. Keep reading for our Instant Pot refried beans recipe.

Instant Pot Refried Beans

How to make Instant Pot refried beans

Homemade refried beans taste so much better than canned: and they can also be healthier than many canned versions. Many canned versions use lots of lard, but this Instant Pot refried beans recipe has a healthy spin: it uses only 2 tablespoons of butter or olive oil for an equivalent of two cans of beans. And it results in beans that are so full of flavor, you’ll find yourself buying bags and bags of canned pinto beans.

The great thing about the Instant Pot is that there’s no soak time and it’s completely hands off! Many methods for cooking dried beans call for soaking them overnight, and then checking the pot quite a bit to taste and see if the beans are done. With the pressure cooker method, you throw in all the ingredients and pressure cook for 60 minutes. Then you’ll transfer the cooked beans to the stovetop for a quick 5 minutes to mash them into that signature refried bean texture.

Here’s how to make Instant Pot refried beans:

  1. To an Instant Pot, add finely chopped onion, garlic, jalapeño pepper, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, water, and dried pinto beans.
  2. Pressure cook on high for 60 minutes. Then quick release.
  3. In a large saucepan or skillet, melt butter or olive oil. Add the cooked beans and cook until thickened, then mash them down with a spoon or potato masher until the desired texture is reached.
Instant Pot Refried Beans

What type of beans for refried beans?

This Instant Pot refried beans recipe uses dried pinto beans, which is the type of bean commonly used for refried beans in the US. There’s actually a lot of variation in the beans labeled as “pinto beans” – there are lots of different types with a range of colors. Feel free to use any type of pinto bean you like.

We also have a great recipe for refried beans using black beans. In contrast to this recipe, it’s a quick and simple recipe that starts from canned beans, not dried. Here’s our Refried Black Beans recipe.

A healthy spin on refried beans

Refried beans can have quite a bit of fat added: typically lard. Of course this results in incredibly tasty beans! However, these Instant Pot refried beans are incredibly delicious without a lot of added fat. They have just 2 tablespoons of butter or olive oil added for a total of 3 cups of refried beans, the equivalent of 2 15-ounce cans. Adding butter makes for a creamier overall consistency, so we’d recommend it. If you’d like a fully plant-based recipe, olive oil is very tasty too (or experiment with a neutral oil).

The way to add flavor but still keep things healthy? Onion, garlic, jalapeño, and spices! These ingredients are low calorie but big on flavor. The cumin and smoked paprika in particular add complexity and depth that keep these beans seriously satisfying.

Try them in our easy Refried Bean Dip

How to serve these Instant Pot refried beans

If you’re making this recipe, we’d guess that you’re already a pro at serving refried beans! But if you need some suggestions, we’d love to help! Alex and I recently served these refried beans as a dip for a taco night on the patio, and they were superb. Here are a few of our suggestions:

What’s an Instant Pot? Which do you recommend?

An Instant Pot is a programmable digital pressure cooker (Instant Pot is the brand name; Instapot is a slang variation). Here’s the Instant Pot we have. However, there are many other brands of electric pressure cookers. The concept is to cook foods at high pressure, which cuts down on cooking time (versus a crock pot or slow cooker, which is the opposite). 

For more tips on using an Instant Pot and all our recipes, head here.

Instant pot refried beans

Looking for Instant Pot recipes?

Outside of this Instant Pot refried beans recipe, here are some of our favorite things we’ve made in our Instant Pot:

This Instant Pot refried beans recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free (using the olive oil option).

Print

Instant Pot Refried Beans


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (3 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: About 3 cups 1x

Description

Instant Pot refried beans are a quick way to make them from scratch, without the hours of soaking! They’re irresistibly tasty: and healthy too!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups dried pinto beans
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or olive oil for vegan)

Instructions

  1. Finely chop the onion. Mince the garlic. Remove the pith and seeds from the jalapeño pepper, then finely chop it.
  2. In the Instant Pot, place the onion, garlic, jalapeño pepper, cumin, chili powder, pinto beans, water and kosher salt, and give them a stir. Lock the lid and place the vent in the “Sealing” position.
  3. Cook on high pressure for 60 minutes: Press the Pressure Cook button (making sure the “High Pressure” setting is selected) and set the time for 60 minutes. Wait while the Instant Pot cooks. (Note: It takes about 5 to 10 minutes for the pot to “preheat” and come up to pressure before it starts cooking. During cooking, avoid touching the metal part of the lid.)
  4. Quick release: Vent the remaining steam from the Instant Pot by moving the pressure release handle to “Venting”, covering your hand with a towel or hot pad. Never put your hands or face near the vent when releasing steam. Open the pressure cooker lid.
  5. Melt the butter in large saucepan or skillet. Add the cooked beans and their liquid. Cook for 5 minutes until they thicken, stirring occasionally. Then mash with a wooden spoon or potato masher until the desired texture is reached. Remove from the heat and serve.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: Instant Pot refried beans, Refried beans, Pressure cooker, Instant pot

Subscribe for free weekly recipes & more!

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.