Instant Pot Refried Beans are the easiest and tastiest way to make homemade refried beans ever! Made with dried beans and the perfect blend of spices, these refried beans come together effortlessly and taste better than anything canned.
Serve up a side of these refried beans along with Mexican Rice and Chicken Enchiladas or Pork Carnitas and feel like you are dining at your favorite Mexican restaurant. Or use these beans for the base of a creamy Taco Dip or to make Bean Burritos.
Instant Pot Refried Beans are creamy, smooth, and full of flavor–just like you get at your favorite Mexican Restaurant!
But why make homemade refried beans when canned refried beans are so affordable?
For starters, the flavor of Instant Pot Refried Beans is SUPERIOR to anything canned.
These beans are creamy, soft, and perfectly spiced. They are incredibly easy to make at home and they are actually much more economical than even the inexpensive canned beans.
Plus, you can control the quality of ingredients. No lard. No MSG. Lower in sodium.
Homemade is definitely the way to go when it comes to refried beans–especially when it is such an easy process when done in the instant pot.
Ingredients for Refried Beans
- Rinsed Beans–I use pinto beans for this recipe, but if you want refried black beans, feel free to use black beans and follow modifications.
- Water or Stock–I use a combination of stock and water. Feel free to use all water if you don’t have stock on hand. Both vegetable broth and chicken stock work in this recipe.
- Onion–A quartered yellow onion will add so much flavor to these refried beans. The onion will completely soften and mellow in flavor as it cooked.
- Spices–I use a blend of spices that are found in my taco seasoning. If you have a batch of the homemade taco seasoning on hand, add that in once the beans have been cooked. You don’t want to add salt to the beans before cooking. I like to add dried spices, except for salt, to the beans while cooking to help them absorb flavor. But this recipe is adaptable.
- 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 help the beans to break down.
How To Make Instant Pot Refried Beans
- Place dry beans in a strainer/colander and give them a good rinse–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 in water, stock, garlic, onion, jalapeno, and seasonings.
- Place lid on Instant Pot and set cook time for 50 minutes. This is DOUBLE the cook time than 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 over a large bowl, reserving the cooking liquid.
- Discard Jalapeno for mild beans, or leave 1/2 the jalapeno for a bit of spice.
- Return the beans to the inner pot and season with salt. Begin to blend with an immersion blender, adding in 1/2 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 to prevent steam from building and popping the lid off the blender.
Instant Pot Refried Black Beans
The process for making refried black beans is a bit different than using traditional pinto beans.
- Use 6 cups liquid, instead of 7 cups.
- Cook for 40 minutes instead of 50 minutes.
How to Store Refried Beans
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 6 months. I prefer to make a large batch of refried beans and then freeze for future use.
To freeze refried beans:
- Prepare beans as recipe directs and then allow to cool.
- Place in 1 cup portions in either a freezer safe bags or small plastic containers.
- You can thaw refried beans in the refrigerator overnight or remove from plastic container/bag and defrost in the microwave.
- You can also put frozen beans into an oven-safe bowl (remove from plastic bag/container first) and place in your instant pot’s inner pot on a rack. Pour in 1.5 cups of water under the rack and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes, this will defrost and heat 1 cup portions of refried beans.
- Refried beans will keep in the freezer for 4-6 months.
Recipes that use Refried Beans
The next time you have Mexican food, be sure to serve up these Instant Pot Refried Beans–they make a perfect side dish to all your favorites!
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
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar optional
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon kosher salt to taste
- Rinse dried beans and remove any rocks or broken beans.
- Place rinsed beans in inner pot. Add in stock, water, onion, jalapeno, garlic cloves, vinegar, chili powder, paprika, cumin, onion powder, and garlic powder.
- Close Instant Pot and be sure 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 inner pot or blender. Add in 1/2 teaspoon salt and vinegar if using.
- Blend with an immersion blender or food processor, adding 1/2 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 1/2 tablespoon of prepared homemade taco seasoning and adjust to add in more if needed.
- For Instant Pot Black Beans, use only 6 cups liquid and 40 minutes cook time.
This post has been modified in 2020 with a video, the original post and recipe were posted in 2018.