by Olena

Instant Pot Refried Beans

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Olena Osipov
5 from 5 votes

Forget the canned stuff because this delicious Instant Pot Refried Beans Recipe is easy so to make in just 1 hour with dried beans that require no pre-soaking! Made without lard, this vegan-friendly, high fibre, high protein pressure cooker refried beans recipe is as simple and hands-off as it gets.

I LOVE making healthy versions of comfort foods, especially when it takes me back to my days of traveling! Mexican night is one way to bring the taste adventures to your home, so why not include Mexican bean salad or Instant Pot rice and beans too!

Instant Pot Refried Beans

Pressure Cooker Refried Beans

Instant Pot refried beans are just one of the amazing dishes I can throw together in a pinch for a fun Mexican-themed night! I also make Instant Pot shredded chicken tacos, Instant Pot pork carnitas, Instant Pot chili, and Instant Pot tortilla soup in my pressure cooker because not only is it super simple comfort food in the winter, using an Instant Pot is also the perfect way to keep your kitchen cool during the summer.

Making refried beans from scratch is so much better than store-bought. The fresh taste and the immense flavours make a huge difference, plus you can customize the seasoning to how you like it! Also, let’s be honest, refried beans out of a can look pretty unappealing to anyone that’s not a cat.

Being raised in Ukraine, meant that homemade food was a way of life! Sure there are times when buying store-bought is convenient, but when organic brands are too expensive, and canned refried beans have so much added junk in them (sugars, preservatives, etc) and are made with lard, I prefer making my own recipes, just like we did when I was growing up. Same goes for other ‘canned’ items too, Instant Pot baked beans are just so much tastier (and healthier!) then the canned version.

Inspired by our many trips to Mexico and trying and falling in love with refried beans, this Ukrainian girl is happy to share her healthy, vegan-friendly, high fibre, version of refried beans in Instant Pot with you!

What Are Instant Pot Refried Beans?

Despite what it sounds like, they are not beans that have been fried twice. In fact, in this Instant Pot refried beans recipe, it’s not even once! What results is a blend of pureed pinto beans, seasoned with chili, cumin, onion, garlic, and green chiles for a very mild kick. This incredibly flavorful dish can then be used as a dip for veggies, crackers, and tortilla chips, and used as a topping or filling in all kinds of traditional Mexican and Tex Mex dishes like tacos, quesadillas, burritos, and more! It is so good!

Ingredients

  • Dried pinto beans are a traditional choice. They are pink beans. No need to soak, I just rinse them.
  • Water: You can also use low sodium veggie/chicken broth for added taste.
  • Diced onion & minced garlic: Classic aromatics that always add incredible flavour.
  • Small can of diced green chiles: I always keep a few on hand for spontaneous Mexican cooking. They are not spicy, so a good substitute would be seeded and minced jalapeno.
  • Seasoning: Cumin, chili powder, dried bay leaves, salt & pepper.
refried beans ingredients

How to Make Instant Pot Refried Beans

Generally, beans in Instant Pot like pinto beans, black beans and white beans take about 12 minutes to cook (with exception of like Instant Pot garbanzo beans that need 25 minutes). However, Instant Pot refried beans require about 40 minutes for maximum creaminess and flavor.

New to Instant Pot? Check out my Instant Pot guide. Need one? See which one I recommend to buy.

  • Rinse and drain dried beans. No need to soak them, which if you’ve ever worked with dried beans before, you’ll know how much time this saves.
  • Add all ingredients to Instant Pot. No need to stir. I told you refried beans in Instant Pot was easy!
  • Cook on high pressure for 40 minutes.
  • Release pressure right away and drain the beans.
  • Reserve the liquid. We need about a cup for pureeing.
  • Puree beans with reserved liquid until desired consistency is reached.
Pressure cooker Refried Beans in red bowl with cilantro and japaenos

Serving and Pairing Refried Beans

I don’t know about you but Taco Tuesday happens in our household whenever I feel like it. I’m making Taco Monday a thing! And here is what we whip out based on stock. Don’t worry, I never make it all. Although, if you’re feeding a very hungry crowd or hosting a party, why not?! 🙂

Please enjoy and I would love to hear how you like this recipe!

FAQs

What type of beans are best for this Instant Pot refried beans recipe?

Pinto beans are a classic. They’re creamy and almost buttery, which makes them a great choice. Plus, they taste amazing. However, black beans are more common in stores and pantries and are also used to make healthy refried beans. So, you can definitely choose either.

Can I use canned beans?

I really want to say yes, but also I reeeeally want to say no! It is a short cut, and can possibly save you time, but honestly, the freshness, the creaminess and the downright deliciousness starts from using dried beans. Plus you are already saving time not having to pre-soak them. This Instant Pot refried beans recipe is already so much faster than other methods that it’s totally worth using dried beans!

Can I use a mix of different beans?

I have never tried using a blend of both pinto and black beans, so I have no idea! I suppose you could give it a shot. Let me know how it works out.

What can I do with leftover pinto beans?

Pinto beans are such a healthy, filling, high fibre, high protein ingredient. If you have leftover beans, don’t worry there will be no shortage of ways to use them. This delicious homemade bean mushroom soup is a start. Toss them in your vegetarian chili or add them to your Instant Pot beef and barley soup.

More Tips

  • Serve with a garnish of chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime for added zest!
  • Perfect as a filling for vegetarian versions of all of the above-mentioned Mexican dishes.
  • No immersion blender? Mash with a potato masher for a chunkier texture or transfer to a regular blender. If using a regular blender, remember to keep the lid slightly open and use a hand towel to release the steam but not burn yourself.
  • Substitute black beans. It’s a different flavour, but just as good. If you love black bean soup, you’ll love this version.
  • More spice. The green chiles aren’t spicy at all, so if you are looking for some heat, you can use jalapenos leaving in as many seeds as you can handle.
  • Sprinkle in chipotle seasoning or smoked paprika for a smoky note.
  • If you miss the added fat for flavor, you can drizzle in some olive oil, or swirl in some butter or ghee (if you are not worried about keeping it vegan) before blending.

How to Store and Reheat Refried Beans

Refrigerate: Once completely cooled, store refried beans for up to 5 days in the fridge. I like to store my food in glass containers. If using plastic, allowing your food to completely cool before transferring it to the container is extremely important in minimizing exposure to chemicals. The heat releases the toxins from the plastic which then seeps into your food.

Freeze: Use any airtight container and keep frozen for up to 3 months. You can also freeze portions in resealable silicone bags which saves so much space. Thaw overnight in the fridge or for 6 hours on the counter.

Reheat: Simmer on low. Cold refried beans thicken, so it’s a good idea to add a splash of water, broth, or any remaining cooking liquid.

More Easy Instant Pot Side Dishes

Instant Pot Refried Beans garnished with crema and sliced jalapenos and diced tomatoes
Instant Pot Refried Beans

Instant Pot Refried Beans {Easy No Soak Recipe}

Forget the canned stuff because this delicious Instant Pot Refried Beans Recipe is easy so to make in just 1 hour with dried beans that require no pre-soaking! Made without lard, this vegan-friendly, high fibre, high protein pressure cooker refried beans recipe is as simple and hands-off as it gets.
5 from 5 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Pressure Build Up Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 181kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 2 cups 1 lb pinto beans dried & rinsed
  • 5 cups water or low sodium veggie/chicken broth
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 4 oz can diced green chiles
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 bay leaves

Instructions

  • To any size Instant Pot, add beans, water/broth, onion,  garlic, diced green chiles, cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper and bay leaves.
  • Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 40 minutes.
    Instant Pot Refried Beans
  • When Instant Pot says Off or switches to Keep Warm mode, do Quick Release by turning sealing valve to Venting position until the pin drops down.
    Instant Pot Refried Beans
  • Open the lid and drain the beans over a colander set over bowl (we need some of the liquid). Return beans to Instant Pot along with 1 cup liquid.
    Instant Pot Refried Beans
  • Using an immersion blender, puree until desired consistency. You can adjust thickness with more broth, if you wish.
    Instant Pot Refried Beans
  • Serve as a side dish with your favorite Mexican dishes like chicken tacos, quesadilla or carnitas. Make full taco bar with guacamole and pico de gallo.
    Instant Pot Refried Beans

Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Freeze for up to 3 months.

    Reheat: Reheat by simmering on low on the stove or in Instant Pot with a splash of that broth or water. If frozen, thaw on the counter for hours first.

      Video

      Notes

      • Canned beans? I really want to say yes, but also I reeeeally want to say no! It is a short cut, and can possibly save you time, but honestly, the freshness, the creaminess and the downright deliciousness starts from using dried beans. Plus you are already saving time not having to pre-soak them. Plus you will need different amount of water which I have not tested.
      • No immersion blender? Mash with a potato masher for a chunkier texture or transfer to a regular blender. If using a regular blender, remember to keep the lid slightly open and use a hand towel to release the steam but not burn yourself.
      • Substitute black beans. It’s a different flavour, but just as good. If you love black bean soup, you’ll love this version.
      • More spice. The green chiles aren’t spicy at all, so if you are looking for some heat, you can use jalapenos leaving in as many seeds as you can handle.
      • Sprinkle in chipotle seasoning or smoked paprika for a smoky note.
      • If you miss the added fat for flavor, you can drizzle in some olive oil, or swirl in some butter or ghee (if you are not worried about keeping it vegan) before blending.
      • I used broth for more flavor. In fact, it was water + bouillon cube.
      • If you don’t have a can of green chiles, use minced seeded jalapeno.
      • Save broth leftovers for a bean soup.
      See Recipe Post for more Tips and FAQs.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 181kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 350mg | Potassium: 708mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 100IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 3mg
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      olena osipov in the studio

      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

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