Instant Pot Refried Beans — Learn how to make homemade refried beans in your Instant Pot in a fraction of the time it takes on the stove or in a slow cooker. So much EASIER, FASTER, and more FLAVORFUL! Mash them up for the best refried beans you can ask for! So versatile and can be used in a ton of other recipes!
Instant Pot Refried Beans Recipe
Beans you cook yourself from dry beans are wonderful and do have better texture and flavor than canned beans.
I am not opposed to canned beans and have tons of recipes to make with a can of beans! But for a little bit of extra effort, if you make scratch beans you will fall in love.
And you would never guess how easy beans are to make from scratch in an Instant Pot. As in, it does all the work for you in a fraction of the time that it takes to cook dried beans on either the stove top or a slow cooker!
You don’t have to make refried beans with your batch of beans and can simply enjoy them as whole pinto beans.
However, this recipe makes a lot of beans so you can keep half the batch as whole beans and mash the other half for Instant Pot refried beans.
The other thing I want to point out is that the name “refried beans” is a bit of a misnomer because these beans aren’t fried at all.
There is no oil nor frying involved. Simply mash them by hand or blend in a blender.
Instant Pot Refried Beans Ingredients
To make beans from scratch in an Instant Pot, you don’t need many ingredients at all!
In fact, to make beans and then refried beans in an Instant Pot, you’ll only need to following easy to find and very common ingredients including:
- Dry pinto beans
- White onion
- Chili powder
- Chicken or vegetable broth
How to Make Refried Beans in an Instant Pot
What I love about making beans and refried beans in my Instant pot pressure cooker is that it’s literally so ridiculously easy! Simply follow these basic and straight forward steps:
Step 1: Add all ingredients to your Instant Pot, place the lid on top, and seal it.
Step 2: Set the timer on High or Bean Cycle for 30 minutes.
Step 3: Do a Natural Release for 20 minutes.
Step 4: Finish with a Quick Release, check for doneness, and if done you can move on to mashing. If not, cook on High for 10 more minutes and do a Quick Release.
Step 5: Mash the beans with a masher or pulse in a blender and serve!
What Type of Instant Pot is Best to Make Refried Beans?
While the brand name Instant Pot is probably the most widely known in recent years, most any brand of pressure cooker will work.
Since many people have jumped on the Instant Pot bandwagon, that is what I use for sake of ease.
I use the 6-quart Instant Pot with the 7-in-1 Functions but there are “fancier” models now that are fine, too.
Do I Have To Make Refried Beans in an Instant Pot?
Obviously, no, you can cook beans the old fashioned way on the stove top before blending them into refried beans.
Add the seasonings and a bit of onions like I call for in this Instant Pot recipe for proper flavor balance before pulsing everything together.
Can I Make Refried Beans in my Slow Cooker?
For those interested in how to make this into a slow cooker recipe, I have this Borracho Beans recipe that I make in the slow cooker.
Follow the basic gist of the recipe for how to cook dried beans in a slow cooker, making sure to add onions and the seasonings called for in the Instant Pot recipe, cover with water by about 2 inches, and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
It is so much faster cook dry beans from scratch in an Instant Pot compared to a slow cooker but as long as you’re prepared for the cook time, they turn out nicely in a slow cooker.
Ways to Use Refried Beans
I want to make sure you know that you don’t have to make refried pinto beans with your batch of Instant Pot beans.
You can eat them as is without mashing them. Or you can mash half the batch into refried beans and keep the other half as intact pinto beans.
Refried beans are good in so many recipes!
Specifically I like to use refried beans in these recipes:
- Loaded Smothered Beef Burritos – Everyone’s favorite juicy beef burritos just smothered in cheese!
- Layered Beef Taco Salad – Classic layered taco salad that is perfect for cookouts, get-togethers, and casual events.
- Easy Loaded Chicken Tostadas – Easy and healthy crunchy tostados with chicken, refried beans, and more.
- Mexican Taco Pizza – Kids and adults alike enjoy this pizza with ground beef and refried beans.
- Or serve them along side a plate of scrambled eggs and tortillas or with Salsa Verde Chilaquiles for the best Mexican-inspired breakfast!
- Garnish your beans with cilantro, limes, diced onions, avocado, queso fresco, diced tomatoes, sliced jalapenos, red onions, and more!
How Long Do Refried Beans Last?
Beans of all kind, including Instant Pot vegetarian refried beans, keep well in both the refrigerator or freezer. In the fridge, beans will keep airtight for up to 5 days and in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Can You Freeze Refried Beans?
Yes! These refried pinto beans will last up to 4 month if stored correctly.
You can store them in either airtight plastic containers or ziptop bags. I like to store them in single-serving sized portions, or the portion that I know my family and I will consume at one time or in a day or two.
Especially if you are freezing your refried beans, smaller portion sizes thaw much quicker.
Tip: Spray your plastic containers and ziptop bags with cooking spray to ensure the beans will “plop” right out and not stick.
Tips for the Best Instant Pot Refried Beans
I always soak my beans to save time later. You can soak them for anywhere from a couple hours to overnight. Rinse and drain them after soaking.
You don’t have to soak your beans but if you don’t, it’s more than likely than not that you will need to cook them the extra 10 minutes on High that I call for in the recipe. Not a big deal, just something worth pointing out.
If you’re new to Instant Pot or pressure cooking, there are a couple things that surprised me when I first forayed into it:
- First, it takes awhile for the machine to build up pressure and actually start “cooking”. In the case of high pressure, at least 10 minutes so don’t be surprised.
- Secondly, when you do any kind of steam releasing, make sure to wrap a kitchen towel over the machine and/or use hot mitts on your hands because the steam that escapes is incredibly hot and can burn you.
If you plan to mash your beans by hand, a basic potato masher is all you need. I prefer hand mashing because I like some texture in my refried beans. I don’t mind the bit of extra work but some people want quicker, faster, easier.
For those that want to blend your beans in a blender, today’s high-speed blenders are incredibly powerful and it only takes a couple very quick pulses to get the beans blended.
Be careful not to overdo it or you will end up with an ultra-smooth puree resembling baby food. Some people like this but I don’t care for it so I am flagging this in case you’re like me and want some texture in your Instant Pot refried beans.
Pin This Recipe
- 3 cups dried pinto beans, sorted and rinsed; soaked optional* (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 1/2 large white onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 to 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon salt (not teaspoon)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 5 cups water
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I use reduced sodium)
- Add all ingredients to your 6-Quart Instant Pot or similar sized pressure cooker, place the lid on top, and secure it.
- Set the timer for 30 minutes on High power or the Bean Cycle. Note - It will take time for the pressure to begin building, at least 10 minutes, so don't be surprised the machine does that before it starts cooking and the timer starts counting down.
- After 30 minutes, do a Natural Release (slow release) for 20 minutes, making sure to use caution any time you start releasing the pressure and steam since it it extremely hot and can burn you. Wrap a kitchen towel around the value and/or use hot mitts.
- Finish with a Quick Release.
- Check for doneness. Test more than one bean to make sure. If the beans aren't done, place the lid back on and seal, and cook for an additional 10 minutes on High. Notes - A. If you didn't soak your beans in advance, it's more likely than not that they will need the extra 10 minutes to cook. B. After the beans are fully cooked, it's likely that no liquid will remain. However, if there is, you can let the beans stay in the Instant Pot on simmer mode for a couple of minutes if they seem too soupy. Any remaining liquid cooks out quickly this way.
- After the beans have fully cooked, you can mash them with a potato masher by hand or pulse them briefly in a blender until the desired consistency has been achieved. Tips - Make sure not to overdo it in the blender because they can turn into a baby food style puree very quickly, which for me isn't desirable. You don't have to mash or blend the whole batch and can keep half the batch as whole pinto beans and make refried beans with the other half.
- If desired, garnish your beans with cilantro, limes, diced onions, avocado, queso fresco, diced tomatoes, sliced jalapenos, red onions, and more.
*I always soak my beans to save time later. You can soak them for anywhere from a couple hours to overnight. Rinse and drain them after soaking.
Storage: Beans will keep airtight for up to 5 days in the fridge or for up to 4 months in the freezer. Tips - Spray either your plastic containers or ziptop bags with cooking spray to ensure the beans slide right out and don't stick. Freeze in smaller batches for faster thawing and less overall waste so you are only thawing what you need at a sitting or for a particular recipe.
Serving Size:1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 107Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 465mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 3gSugar: 0gProtein: 9g
More Mexican-Inspired Bean Recipes:
Borracho Beans — These “drunken beans” are simmered with a can of BEER and can be made in your SLOW COOKER OR INSTANT POT! The bacon, sausage or chorizo, jalepenos, tomato, onion, garlic, herbs, and beer make these the BEST beans ever! A wonderful side for any Mexican-themed meal!
Mexican Corn and Black Bean Salad — An EASY corn salad with black beans, zucchini, red onions, cilantro, lime juice, and more!! So much Mexican-inspired FLAVOR in every bite of this family favorite recipe that’s sure to be a hit!!
Easy Black Bean Soup — Smoky, savory, creamy black bean soup with roasted poblano peppers and an array of spices for layers of rich flavor! Hearty, comforting, and naturally vegan and gluten-free, this soup makes a great HEALTHY meal or robust starter or side!
Mexican Bean Salad — Such a fast and easy recipe to make! Plus, it’s loaded with flavor and textures galore. Two kinds of beans, juicy corn and tomatoes, crisp peppers, and green onions are tossed in a lime-chili-cumin vinaigrette that’s perfectly light!!
Mexican Rice, Beans, and Quinoa Medley – Hearty enough to be a meal or makes a FANTASTIC side dish with loads of textures in every bite!! A super FLEXIBLE recipe that’s HEALTHY and makes a big batch for planned leftovers!!
Avocado, Black Bean and Corn Salad with Lime-Cumin Vinaigrette – Everything tastes better with avocado! Easy, healthy and tons of flavor!
Very Veggie Rice and Beans — EASY, ready in 15 minutes, and amps up rice and beans with an abundance of vegetables!! Healthy, Mexican-inspired food that tastes like comfort food and keeps you satisfied for hours!!
15-Minute Salsa and Black Bean Chicken Skillet — Fast, EASY, family-friendly, healthy yet hearty, naturally gluten-free, Mexican-inspired meal!! The PERFECT recipe to jazz up your usual weeknight chicken dinner!!
Lime Cilantro Chicken with Rice and Beans — This 15-minute recipe is made in a single skillet and tastes even better the next day! You can use it as a taco filling or enjoy as is. You’re going to love all that lime-cilantro flavor!
15-Minute Salsa Verde Chicken, Rice, and Beans — Fast, EASY, one skillet recipe!! Between the salsa verde, lime juice, and cilantro mixed with juicy chicken, rice, and beans, you’ll be hooked! Perfect for busy weeknights and meal prepping!!
Chicken Black Bean Avocado Salad — A Mexican-inspired salad with tender chicken, black beans, creamy avocado, juicy tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice and more! EASY, ready in 20 minutes, HEALTHY, and packed with fiesta FLAVORS galore!