Instant Pot Refried Beans

Instant Pot Refried Beans

The Spruce

Ratings (84)
  • Total: 80 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 65 mins
  • Yield: 10 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
190 Calories
1g Fat
34g Carbs
12g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 Servings
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 and cook 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 half of the water with vegetable stock or chicken stock (low sodium or unsalted). Or add chopped jalapeno 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.​

Feel free to use black beans instead of pinto beans. 

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried pinto beans (2 cups)
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 cup onion (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf 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.

    Instant pot refried beans ingredients
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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, 1 teaspoon of salt, cumin, oregano, pepper, bacon drippings, 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 cooking time. Or use the manual setting, 45 minutes.

  7. When the beans have finished cooking, let the pressure drop naturally for about 20 to 25 minutes and then release the steam vent.

    Beans have finished cooking
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  8. Place a colander or large sieve over a large bowl and drain the beans. Set the liquids aside.

    Drai the beans
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  9. Put the beans in another bowl or put them in the empty pot. Puree them with an immersion blender.

    Puree beans with immersion blender
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  10. Add some of the reserved liquids, as needed for the desired consistency. Alternatively, you may use a blender to puree them, but let them cool slightly before blending.

  11. Taste the beans and add more salt, as needed. 

    Add salt to beans for taste
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  12. Refrigerate the refried beans for up to 3 days or freeze them in freezer bags or containers in single-serving-size or meal-size portions for longer storage.

    Refried beans with jalapenos
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  13. Serve and enjoy when ready to eat!

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve refried beans as a side dish with a garnish of shredded cheese, chopped red or green onions, 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.