Made with dried beans and the perfect blend of spices, Instant Pot Refried Beans are creamy, flavorful, and super easy to make.
Just like my recipe for Instant Pot Beans, this recipe for Instant Pot Refried Beans starts with dried beans that don't need to be soaked before pressure cooking, making this simple Tex-Mex side dish exceptionally easy to prepare.
When it comes to side dishes for Shredded Chicken Tacos, Beef Tacos, and Chicken Enchilada Casserole, what is better than refried beans?
Homemade Refried Beans! Specifically Instant Pot Refried Beans!
Starting with dried beans that are pressure cooked with onions, jalapeno, and the perfect combination of seasonings, Instant Pot Refried Beans are creamy, flavorful, and superior to anything canned.
Pair these Instant Pot Refried Beans with a side of Instant Pot Mexican Rice, and now we are really talking!
why you will love this recipe
- Ridiculously Simple Recipe. This recipe for Instant Pot Refried Beans is the easiest and tastiest way to make homemade refried beans ever! No soaking, no sauteeing, just dump and cook!
- Super Affordable. Because this recipe starts with dried beans, this recipe costs pennies per serving.
- Restaurant-Flavor. Instant Pot Refried Beans are just as delicious as anything you get at your favorite Mexican restaurant. They are super creamy and super flavorful.
- Better for You. While this recipe produces crave-worthy results, it is made with good-for-you ingredients. No lard. No MSG. And MUCH lower in sodium than anything you can buy or get at a restaurant.
Notes on Ingredients
- Dried Beans: As I stated earlier, this recipe starts with dried beans. Pinto beans are the classic choice for preparing refried beans, but I provide instructions for using black beans as well.
- Cooking Liquid: Use a combination of water and low-sodium or salt-free store-bought or homemade chicken stock or vegetable broth to cook the rice and beans. I often use just water to keep this dish really economical.
- Onion: Use a yellow or white onion, not a red onion or sweet onion for the best flavor.
- Spices: To flavor the refried beans, use a combination of paprika, cumin, chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder, which is very similar to the spices found in taco seasoning. However, you want to wait to salt your beans until after they are pressure cooked, as salt can interfere with the beans softening.
- Garlic: Garlic cloves add a lot of additional depth of flavor. No need to mince the garlic, it will break down as the beans cook.
- Jalapeno (optional): A jalapeno adds a great amount of flavor. Remove the stems, ribs, and seeds to keep these beans on the more mild side, or leave the seed in the jalapeno for REALLY spicy refried beans.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: The vinegar really helps the flavors pop and helps the beans to break down. Feel free to replace it with white distilled vinegar.
How To Make Instant Pot Refried Beans
While this recipe is incredibly simple to make, if you are unfamiliar with cooking in an instant pot or the functions of your instant pot, be sure to start with How to Use an Instant Pot for the best results on this and future recipes.
- Place dry beans in a strainer/colander and give them a good rinse as they often can have residual dirt on them. Be sure to check for broken beans or rocks and discard them. You would be surprised how many times I find a small pebble in my beans, so don't skip this step!
- Place rinsed beans in the inner pot. Add water, stock, garlic, onion, jalapeno, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.
- Place lid on Instant Pot and set cook time for 50 minutes. This is DOUBLE the cooking time that dried beans require, but this is so the beans get SUPER tender and are really easy to blend.
- Once the cooking time has elapsed, let pressure NATURALLY release. This can take up to 30 minutes. It is really important to NOT do a quick release, as this will change the texture of the beans. If you are short on time, wait at least 15 minutes before doing a quick pressure release.
- Drain the beans in a large bowl, reserving the cooking liquid.
- Discard the jalapeno for mild beans, or leave ½ the jalapeno for a bit of spice.
- Return the beans to the inner pot and season with salt and add in the vinegar. Begin to blend with an immersion blender, adding ½ cup of cooking liquid at a time to reach the desired consistency for refried beans. If you do not have an immersion blender, feel free to use a high-power blender, just let the cap vent prevent steam from building and popping the lid off the blender as shown in the video.
Instant Pot Refried Black Beans
If using dried black beans cook for 40 minutes on high pressure instead of 50 minutes on high pressure.
Store leftover cooked beans in the refrigerator for 5 days or in 1 to 2-cup portions in freezer-safe bags/containers in the freezer for up to 3 months. I prefer to make a large batch of refried beans and then freeze them for future use.
Instant Pot Refried Beans make the perfect side dish for entrees like Chicken Enchiladas or Instant Pot Carnitas. However, they also are a star ingredient in the following recipes:
If you tried this recipe for Instant Pot Refried Beans, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below.
Instant Pot Refried Beans
- 1 pound dried pinto beans 2 cup of pinto beans
- 4 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 small onion peeled and quartered
- 3 cloves of garlic peeled
- 1 jalapeno seeded and de-stemmed (optional)
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar optional
- ½ to 1 teaspoon kosher salt to taste
- Rinse dried beans and remove any rocks or broken beans.
- Place rinsed beans in the inner pot. Add in stock, water, onion, jalapeno, garlic cloves, chili powder, paprika, cumin, onion powder, and garlic powder.
- Close the Instant Pot and be sure the valve is turned to "seal." Set to cook on high pressure for 50 minutes. Hit manual or pressure cook and use +/- buttons to adjust cook time to 50 minutes.
- Once cook time has elapsed, allow pressure to release naturally for at least 15 minutes.
- Remove lid drain beans over a large mixing bowl, to reserve cooking liquid. Discard jalapeno, then return beans, onions, and garlic to the inner pot or blender. Add in ½ teaspoon salt and vinegar, if using, and stir well.
- Blend with an immersion blender or food processor, adding ½ cup of the reserved liquid at a time until beans are smooth and the desired consistency is reached. Taste and adjust seasoning/salt if needed.
- If you are using taco seasoning, wait until AFTER beans have cooked. Use only ½ tablespoon of prepared homemade taco seasoning and adjust to add in more if needed.
- For Instant Pot Black Beans cook for 40 minutes on high pressure.
Made this a few days ago. I had to switch out the jalapeno for a medium spicy Hatch Chile because that's what I had. Otherwise made as written. 45 minutes was a little too soon. Next time maybe 50-55? I was on the fence about adding the vinegar but I'm so glad I did. The vinegar really adds to the flavor. Thank you for this recipe.
The written recipe says to add the vinegar with the salt after the beans are cooked. Above the recipe and in the video it says to add the vinegar with the broth. Can you correct the recipe for those of us who jump straight to the recipe. Made it with black beans and it was tasty even without the cider vinegar. Thanks fit the easy recipe.
Hey Karen! The video adds the vinegar when the beans are in the blender and the written recipe above the recipe card states the same. I am sorry if it was confusing in some way, but I appreciate you pointing it out in case something needed changed 🙂
I had leftover dried pintos from making chili so I searched a bunch of recipes for refried beans which I’ve never made before. So many of them require lard and/or bacon fat. I don’t keep those in the house and wanted to try to be more healthy. I came across your YouTube video and made the beans exactly as directed except I used 1 full teaspoon of salt. They were delicious in a lunch burrito and I can’t wait to try making tostadas with them tonight. One comment for anyone else trying this is I noticed a lot of the spices ended up in the bottom of the bowl with the discarded cooking water. Next time I’ll try to scoop from the bottom when I add back the reserved water. Thanks and I look forward to trying your other recipes!
YAY! I love hearing you enjoyed Lisa and this recipe was exactly what you were looking for. I hope you find many other recipes to enjoy here.