Instant Pot refried beans are incredibly creamy and flavorful with just the right amount of seasonings. They are super easy to throw together, with just 10 minutes of prep and no pre-soaking needed for the beans.
Earlier this year I shared Instant Pot black beans, which was one of the very first recipes I made when I got my Instant Pot.
They are easy and seriously delicious. Light years beyond what you get in a can.
Today is another homemade version that’s going to blow the store-bought can out of the water.
Instant Pot refried beans are insanely creamy, smooth and flavorful.
They are perfectly seasoned and really pretty hard to resist.
You’ll be eating spoonful after spoonful as soon as they’re made, they’re that good!
(You might also want to check out these easy creamy white beans, a delicious, comforting side dish made in just 30 minutes - and no heavy cream!)
Plus, you can adjust the level of heat and puree these to your desired consistency. I’m a bit of a control freak, so I like being able to control things like this about my food.
And, these only take about 10 minutes to prep, then you just set it and forget it. That makes these refried beans really easy to make anytime.
They’re also a great candidate for meal prepping, especially because they store and reheat great.
OK, let’s get cooking so you can taste the difference yourself!
Now, I’ve got some notes and tips coming up below on how to make pressure cooker refried beans. Just tryin’ to be helpful.
If you want to jump on down to the recipe, simply scroll right on through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.
Notes on making Instant Pot refried beans:
- You do not need to pre-soak your pinto beans for this recipe. Just rinse them off, remove any broken pieces or errant beans of another variety, and they are ready to add. (Keep reading below if you want to use pre-soaked beans; it's just a different cook time.)
- Use vegetable broth to keep these vegetarian. Otherwise, it’s fine to use chicken broth.
- You can add a second finely chopped jalapeño to the beans for an extra little kick. Or add some extra cayenne. As is, these are not spicy.
- Once cooked, you’ll drain the beans but reserve about 1 ½ cups of the liquid, to help with blending. Add as much as you need to help get the beans to your desired consistency.
That being said, preferences can vary, so you might want to leave your refried beans a little chunky or get them completely pureed and smooth, like I do.
There’s no right or wrong, just what you like best.
(Do keep in mind though that the beans will thicken up a bit as they cool and sit.)
In fact, you could skip the pureeing and just make Instant Pot pinto beans using this same recipe! It’s a two-for-one deal here today!
But wait, you say, I did presoak my beans.
If you have pre-soaked pinto beans, you’ll want to follow the recipe as written but cook them at high pressure for 20 minutes, instead of 45 minutes. And you’ll still do the natural release.
I, myself, can never remember to pre-soak beans. So that’s why I’ve learned how to cook them straight from the bag in the pantry. 😉
As for the timing, that’s the most common question, let’s just call it out right now for those of you just scrolling to get this info. (Not a problem, I do it too.)
How long do you cook refried beans in the Instant Pot?
- One pound of pinto beans will cook in 45 minutes in the Instant Pot, followed by a natural release. No pre-soaking needed!
The recipe also requires some initial sautéing and the blending at the end to puree the beans.
A disclaimer: Some Instant Pot recipes fail to mention the time it takes for the pot to come to pressure or to release it.
I have found it misleading when trying to plan, so I wanted to be sure to include it here.
I’ve listed “additional time” as 30 minutes to account for the amount of time it will take for the pot to come to pressure and then the time for the natural release. The exact amount of time can vary, but that’s at least a rough estimate.
In case you’re in the market for one, I have and love this 6-quart Instant Pot.
OK, let’s get ready to eat!
You can definitely jazz up these beans with any of the following that you might want to serve them with.
Topping ideas for Instant Pot refried beans:
- Shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
- Diced avocado or a dollop of guac
- Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Salsa or pico de gallo
- Sliced green onions
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Hot sauce or sriracha
These creamy beans make a great side dish for so many recipes, from tacos to fajitas to casseroles.
Or, if you are looking for some ideas of how to incorporate them into your main meal, here’s some ideas to get you thinking.
Serving ideas for Instant Pot refried beans:
- Use in tacos, quesadillas, burritos, enchiladas or tostadas (see baked shredded chicken tacos)
- Make bean and rice bowls or wraps
- Use in soups or stews (adds a lot of creaminess)
- Use as the base of an appetizer dip
Or just use as a substitute for any recipe that calls for canned refried beans. You’ll be making an instant flavor upgrade!
I’m sure you’ll find new ways to use these as you make them over and over. 😊
Finally, let’s talk what to do with the leftovers. This recipe makes a lot, which is great for meal prepping and having extras on hand.
How to store leftover cooked refried beans:
- The pureed/mashed beans will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week.
- You can also freeze the leftovers. Place in a freezer-safe bag, label and date it, and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight then reheat and use as desired.
I hope you give these a try soon. You’ll be amazed at how much more flavorful they are than what comes in a can.
- 1 lb. dried pinto beans, washed and picked over
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeds and membranes removed, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 3 cups water
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne (less for less heat or sub black pepper)
- Shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, diced avocado or a dollop of guac, Greek yogurt or sour cream, salsa or pico de gallo, sliced green onions, chopped fresh cilantro, hot sauce or sriracha
- Set the Instant Pot to the Sauté mode and add oil.
- Add the onion and jalapeño and sauté in the oil for 5-6 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and sauté for another 30 seconds.
- Add the beans, broth, water, salt, cumin, oregano and cayenne. Stir well to combine and scrape the bottom well to avoid a burn notice.
- Seal the pot and set to cook on high pressure for 45 minutes. Once the cook time is up, allow the pot to do a natural release.
- Once the pressure has been released, open the pot and stir the beans. Drain the mixture, reserving about 1 ½ cups of the liquid. Return the cooked beans to the pot and use an immersion blender to puree the mixture until it reaches your desired consistency, adding a few splashes of reserved liquid as needed. We like ours super smooth, but you could also leave them a little more chunky for texture, if desired. Keep in mind though that the beans will thicken up a bit as they cool and sit.
- Serve with desired toppings or use in desired recipe.
- Cooked refried beans will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze the leftover cooked beans for up to 6 months.
Broth: Use vegetable broth to keep these vegetarian. Otherwise, it’s fine to use chicken broth.
Spicy: You can add a second finely chopped jalapeño to the beans for an extra little kick. Or add some extra cayenne. As is, these are not very spicy.
Consistency: Once cooked, you’ll drain the beans but reserve about 1 ½ cups of the liquid, to help with blending. Add as much as you need to help get the beans to your desired consistency. Preferences can vary, so you might want to leave your refried beans a little chunky or get them completely pureed and smooth, like I do.
Pre-soaked beans: This recipe is written for beans that have not been pre-soaked. However, if you did pre-soak your beans, no worries. You’ll want to follow the recipe as written but cook them at high pressure for 20 minutes, instead of 45 minutes. And you’ll still do the natural release.
Serving Size:½ cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 99Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 532mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 4gSugar: 1gProtein: 10g