Learn how to make Instant Pot Refried Beans in this pressure cooker recipe using dried pinto beans without having to soak the beans.
These are the most flavorful refried beans and they come out perfect every time.
Instant Pot Refried Beans
- Cutting Board
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing spoon
- Immersion blender
- Thoroughly rinse the beans in a strainer, being sure to remove any stones or damaged beans.
- Turn your Instant Pot on Saute mode, then add the bacon grease and onion and saute until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic in and cook for 30 seconds, then turn of the heat.
- Add the water, chicken stock, taco seasoning, salt, bay leaf and rinsed beans to the Instant Pot and stir to combine.
- Put the lid on your Instant Pot and cook on high pressure (or Bean mode) for 60 minutes, then allow the pressure to release naturally. When the pressure is released, remove the lid and throw away the bay leaf.
- Strain the liquid into a bowl, reserving it. Don't toss it!
- Mash the beans and slowly add the reserved liquid back until you get the consistency you like. They'll keep getting thicker as they cool. I use an immersion blender to make my beans smooth, but still have texture.
- Serve your refried beans as a side dish with your favorite Mexican dinner.
- Sprinkle with shredded cheese and other toppings before serving, if desired.
Nutrition Information Per Serving
Tips and Tricks for the Best Instant Pot Refried Beans
Below you’ll find some very useful tips and tricks for how to cook your beans. We also have some other great recipes that pair fantastically with them… such as our Spanish Rice (which is absolutely fantastic) or when you make our Instant Pot Carne Asada, Chicken Enchiladas or Homemade Tamales, you’ll definitely want these refried beans to go along with them.
1. I thought you had to soak beans?
While you do need to soak beans in many recipes, that’s not necessary with the Instant Pot. When using a pressure cooker, the beans will cook evenly without being soaked. As a bonus, pressure cooking removes most of the anti-nutrients from beans, which can often mean less gas!
Learn more about cooking beans in the Instant Pot.
2. My beans are over or undercooked…
There are all sorts of factors that can affect Instant Pot cooking times. Things like altitude and the model of your pressure cooker can change things a bit. Beans always take an hour to cook in my Instant Pot, but it may take more or less time in yours. If you find that your beans are under or overcooked, adjust the cooking time next time until you find the right timing for your preferences.
3. Are these like the refried beans at Mexican restaurants?
Absolutely! I find that at most Mexican restaurants, the refried beans are a bit runnier than I make them at home (it stretches them farther!). If you’re looking for that texture, just keep adding more cooking liquid as you blend until the beans are thin enough. If you need more liquid, I recommend chicken stock over water.
4. Can I use black beans?
You can absolutely make refried black beans using the exact same method. Black beans don’t take as long to cook as pinto beans – see my Instant Pot Black Beans recipe for more info!
5. Can I double or triple the recipe?
As long as you can fit the ingredients into your Instant Pot without them reaching the halfway line, then absolutely. Do not fill it up past the halfway line as you need to leave room for the beans to expand. If you fill it too full, you could also end up with liquid spraying out the steam vent.
6. How do I make them fluffier?
The secret to fluffy refried beans is lard (just like with tamale masa)! You’ll want to whip some extra lard into the beans at the end to make them fluff up more, but it’s not necessary. They taste amazing as is.
7. I like spicier beans!
We love spicy beans, so I often will toss a diced jalapeno in with the onion in step 2. Be sure to taste the jalapeno before adding as some are spicier than others!
8. Can I use a regular blender?
If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender. It will make the beans smoother with less texture. When blending hot ingredients, be extra careful as pressure can build up in the blender from the heat… which can lead to hot beans being sprayed all over your kitchen. Leave the lid slightly cracked, blend a small amount at a time and transfer the beans to a bowl as you go.
9. How long do refried beans store?
Refried beans will typically last for about 3 days in the fridge, so they can be prepared ahead of time. You can also freeze refried beans in single-serve or meal-sized portions and just re-heat for dinner.
10. How to re-heat refried beans?
Refried beans dry out when refrigerated, so be sure to save the leftover liquid from the Instant Pot for when you need to reheat your beans. Add the beans with extra liquid to a small pan and stir constantly until warm, adding more liquid as needed. Do not reheat them under pressure in your Instant Pot or you’ll likely get a burn notice.
BONUS: Great Pairings
- Instant Pot Spanish Rice
- Instant Pot Carne Asada Tacos
- Keto Taco Cups
- Chicken Enchiladas
- Homemade Tamales
- Instant Pot Barbacoa
- Homemade Sour Cream
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