Instant Pot Refried Beans

Instant Pot Refried Beans

The Spruce

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 65 mins
Total: 80 mins
Servings: 10 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
190 Calories
1g Fat
34g Carbs
12g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 190
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 2mg 1%
Sodium 270mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 34g 13%
Dietary Fiber 9g 33%
Protein 12g
Calcium 125mg 10%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These refried beans are a snap to prepare in the Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. There's no soaking required, and you'll have refried beans in a fraction of the time they would take on the stovetop or in the slow cooker.

You can infuse some extra flavor into the beans by replacing one-third to one-half of the water with vegetable stock or chicken stock (low sodium or unsalted). Or add chopped jalapeño peppers to the beans along with the onion and garlic. Use olive oil for vegetarian refried beans or use lard or bacon drippings for a more classic flavor. To boost the flavor even more, brown the chopped onions in a small amount of vegetable oil before adding the remaining ingredients.​

Note that the cook time can vary depending on the age of your beans, your altitude, and other factors. If the beans are not tender after pressure cooking for 45 minutes, cook again for another 10 minutes using a natural release. Feel free to use black beans instead of pinto beans. 


Click Play to See This Instant Pot Refried Beans Recipe Come Together


  • 1 pound dried pinto beans (about 2 cups)
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 cup onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (plus more for seasoning)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons bacon drippings (or lard or olive oil)
  • Optional: dash cayenne pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Instant Pot refried beans
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  2. Put the dried pinto beans in a large bowl and cover them with water; pick them over, discarding any malformed or damaged beans. Look for bits of stone or debris.

    Put beans in bowl and look through for debris
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  3. Rinse the beans thoroughly and discard the water.

    Rinse of bowl of beans in water
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  4. Transfer the beans to the pressure cooker. Add the water, onion, garlic, salt, cumin, oregano, pepper, bacon drippings (or lard or oil), and a dash of cayenne pepper, if using.

    Transfer beans to Instant Pot and add other ingredients
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  5. Cover the pot, lock the lid, and set the steam valve to "sealing."

    Cover the Instant Pot
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  6. Choose the bean/chili button and add 15 minutes for a total of 45 minutes of cooking time. Or use the manual setting for 45 minutes at high pressure.

  7. When the beans have finished cooking, let the pressure drop naturally for 20 minutes and then release the steam vent. Test the beans to make sure they are tender. If not, return to pressure for 10 minutes.

    Testing beans after they've finished cooking
    The Spruce
  8. Place a colander or large sieve over a large bowl and drain the beans. Set the liquids aside.

    Draining the beans
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  9. Put the beans in the empty pot. Puree them with an immersion blender. Add some of the reserved liquids, as needed for the desired consistency, and reserve the rest for another use.

    Puree beans with immersion blender
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  10. Taste the beans and add more salt, as needed. 

    Add salt to beans for taste
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  11. Dish out into bowls and serve.

    Refried beans with cilantro and jalapeños
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  • An alternative to the immersion blender is a standing blender. If you choose to use the blender, let the beans cool slightly before blending and crack the lid to avoid any hot splashes.
  • Refrigerate the refried beans for up to three days or freeze them in freezer bags or containers in single-serving size or meal-size portions for longer storage.

How to Use

  • Serve refried beans as a side dish with a garnish of shredded cheese, chopped red or green onions, sliced jalapeños, chopped cilantro, diced tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, or guacamole.
  • Thicken soups, stews, or chili with refried beans.
  • Use them as a topping for nachos.
  • Add refried beans to burger or meatloaf mixtures. These burrito burgers are assembled with refried beans.
  • Add the refried beans to burrito or taco fillings.