These Instant Pot refried beans are seriously the best! I love refried beans, and if you have ever had homemade refried beans, you will not want to go back to canned. When you make them yourself, you can add so much more flavor and texture. This recipe is made with pinto beans, but you can use black beans instead if you desire. I have not tested it with black beans yet, but plan to.
There are a couple of keys to making this recipe in a way that will make truly outstanding beans. First, use dried beans. Sure, you could cut corners with canned, but I can’t guarantee that the flavor or texture will be nearly as good. I’m not even putting a canned option in the recipe, but if you insist on it, use two cans of pinto beans and pressure cook for maybe 5 minutes or so. That is just a guess. I have not tested this recipe with canned beans.
Second, make these with broth, not water. Use a good chicken stock or, if making vegan beans, use a vegetable stock.
Third, be sure to save the liquid when you drain the beans from the Instant Pot! This is added back in for full flavor as you mash the beans!
I am giving the recipe using 1/2 pound of dried pinto beans. That is 1/2 of a bag. It makes a good amount. Feel free to double the recipe. You might not need to fully double the spices or onion if doing so. You can freeze refried beans if you desire to make a lot.
Start by either presoaking the beans over night or doing an Instant Pot bean presoak. Presoaking helps assure that the beans will have a good soft texture and it also assists in removing some of the properties of beans that leave you bloated and gassy. If you do not wish to presoak, then increase the pressure cooking time to at least 40 minutes for firmer beans and 50 minutes (recommended time) for softer.
Saute up the onion, garlic, and spices. I live to do so in bacon fat for maximum flavor. For a vegan option, use olive oil. You can give the beans a bit of kick with a dash of Cayenne pepper. Give them a strong kick with a bit more or with some hot sauce.
Drain the beans well, add them to the pot, and pressure cook on high for 30 minutes with natural release for 25 minutes. Drain the beans and save the liquid. That liquid is your flavor!
Mash your beans with an immersion blender or a hand-held potato masher. I like slightly lumpy beans, so I use a hand-held masher.
As you mash the beans, stir back in the liquid. This will make them smooth and full of flavor.
Serve your Instant Pot refried beans with tacos, other Mexican dishes, or as a dip with chips. You can garnish the beans with items such as cheese, cilantro, sour cream, jalapenos, or salsa. I love adding salsa to mine for further flavor.
Enjoy your Instant Pot refried beans!
- ½ pound (1/2 bag) of dried pinto beans
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 gloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegan beans)
- 2 Tablespoons bacon fat or olive oil (vegan option use olive oil or other oil)
- ½-1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- dash of cayenne pepper or to taste
- salt to taste
- Presoak beans overnight or use Instant Pot quick soak method (see link in post) OR see recipe cooking line for increased cook time if not presoaking and are simply using rinsed beans.
- Drain the presoaked or rinsed beans.
- Set Instant Pot to saute mode and add bacon fat or oil.
- Saute onion until soft and translucent.
- Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, and garlic and saute for one minute.
- Deglaze the pot with a bit of stock
- Add the beans and remaining stock. If needed, add a bit more stock to cover the beans with liquid.
- Pressure cook on high pressure for 30 minutes with 25 minutes natural release or if not presoaking beans, cook for 50 minutes with 25 minutes natural release.
- Drain the beans through a strainer, reserving the liquid.
- Place the beans back in the Instant Pot or a bowl and mash with an immersion blender or hand-held masher, adding the liquid back in slowly as you mash the beans.
- Stir in any remaining liquid until the desired consistency is reached and salt to taste.
- Garnish with items such as salsa, cheese, cilantro, sour cream, or jalapenos