Instant Pot Refried Beans

refried beans from the Instant Pot
Diana Rattray
  • 80 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins,
  • Cook: 65 mins
  • Yield: 10 Servings
Ratings (4)

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 a 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. 

What You'll Need

  • 1 pound dried pinto beans (2 cups)
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 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, lard, or olive oil
  • dash cayenne pepper, optional

How to Make It


  1. 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. Rinse the beans thoroughly and discard the water.
  2. 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.
  3. Cover the pot, lock the lid, and set the steam valve to "sealing."
  1. Choose the bean/chili button and add 15 minutes for a total of 45 minutes cooking time. Or use the manual setting, 45 minutes.
  2. When the beans have finished cooking, let the pressure drop naturally for about 20 to 25 minutes and then release the steam vent.
  3. Place a colander or large sieve over a large bowl and drain the beans. Set the liquids aside. Put the beans in another bowl or put them in the empty pot. Puree them with an immersion blender. 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.
  4. Taste the beans and add more salt, as needed. 
  5. 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.
  6. The recipe makes about 10 servings.

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 them to burrito or taco fillings.

Tips and Variations

  • Saute the onions in the drippings or oil until lightly browned before you add the beans, water, garlic, and seasonings.
  • Replace half of the water with unsalted or low sodium stock.
  • Add extra heat and flavor with a chopped jalapeno pepper or milder chile peppers.