These Instant Pot refried beans are rich, smooth, and so much better than the kind you buy in a can. They’re so easy to make, and only take a little over an hour to make.
Refried beans are one of my favorite foods to have around. They’re a key ingredient in so many Mexican recipes, and also incredibly healthy. And while most people just buy canned refried beans at the store, I think they’re so much better if you make them at home.
There’s a myth that refried beans are difficult to make, but thanks to Instant Pots, that’s not really the case. This Instant Pot refried beans recipe is incredibly easy. It only uses a few ingredients, it barely requires any work, and it only takes an hour and 5 minutes to make. And best of all? The difference in quality is very noticeable. These rich and aromatic refried beans taste so much better than any of the canned versions. You’ve got to try making them.
What You’ll Need
Here are the ingredients that you’ll need if you want to make refried beans at home. Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the page to see the exact amounts for each ingredient.
- Dried pinto beans – You can also use black beans if you prefer, or a combination of the two.
- Thick-cut bacon – This is an optional ingredient but it adds a ton of flavor to the beans.
- Olive oil – You don’t need to use oil if you’re using bacon.
- Onion – A yellow onion is best for this recipe, but a white or red one will work too.
- Sea salt
- Chicken broth – Use low-sodium broth for this recipe. Vegetable broth works fine as a substitute.
- Dried oregano
How to Make Instant Pot Refried Beans
Here’s how to make these smooth and flavorful beans. This recipe really couldn’t be easier!
- Rinse. Rinse the beans in a colander or strainer, and pick out any that look weird.
- Turn on the Instant Pot. Set your Instant Pot to the sauté setting.
- Cook the bacon. Add the diced bacon to the Instant Pot and sauté until crispy. Remove the bacon, but keep the fat in the Instant Pot. If you’re not using bacon, add olive oil to the Instant Pot.
- Add the aromatics. Add the onion and salt and sauté until the onion is translucent. Then add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Pour in the rest of the ingredients. Add the beans, chicken stock, and oregano to the Instant Pot, and stir to combine.
- Cook. Set the Instant Pot to high heat, seal the lid, and cook for 45 minutes. When the beans are done cooking, let the pressure naturally release.
- Blend. Add the beans, but not the liquid to a blender. Pulse the beans until they’re a perfect consistency. If the beans are too dry, add some of the cooking liquid.
Tips for Success
Here are some tricks and tips for when you make these beans in the Instant Pot.
- Make your own broth. Anytime I’m making a recipe that uses broth, I like to make my own. Homemade chicken stock will take these refried beans to the next level, and so will my Instant Pot Mushroom Vegan Bone Broth.
- Blend in batches. It can be hard to get the beans to the right consistency if you overload your blender. So I like to blend the refried beans in batches. It might take a few extra minutes, but you’ll end up with a much better result.
- Adjust the seasoning. After you’ve blended the refried beans, give them a quick taste. They might need a little more salt. Adjust the seasonings in your beans until they taste perfect.
I use this recipe for any dish that calls for refried beans, such as burritos, pupusas, and Refried Bean Dip. It’s also great to eat these beans as a side dish with your favorite Mexican foods, like Cilantro Lime Black Bean Tacos with Quinoa, Baked Sweet Potato and Black Bean Taquitos, and Vegan Jackfruit Enchiladas Verdes.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Store leftover refried beans in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can reheat them on the stove over low heat, stirring constantly, until they’re warm all the way through. Or you can reheat them in the microwave at 80% power in 20-second increments.
Can You Freeze Refried Beans?
You can definitely freeze these beans. Make sure they’re cooled completely before storing them in an airtight container and they’ll last in the freezer for 6 months. Thaw or defrost completely before reheating.
More Easy Instant Pot Recipes
If you liked this recipe, then don’t worry: I’ve got plenty more easy and healthy Instant Pot recipes for you to make. Here are a few of my favorites.
Instant Pot Refried Beans
- Rinse and drain the pinto beans in a colander. Sort through them, picking out any “ugly” beans.
- Activate the sauté setting of your Instant Pot, and allow it to come to temperature.
- OPTIONAL: Add the diced bacon. Sauté in the bowl of the Instant Pot until crispy, then remove with a slotted spoon.
- If not using the bacon, add the olive oil to the Instant Pot and let it warm up for about 15 seconds.
- Add the diced onion and the sea salt and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant.
- Add the drained and sorted beans to the pot. Add the chicken stock and oregano and stir to combine.
- Set the Instant Pot to high heat for 45 minutes, seal it, and let it do the work. When the cooking cycle is done, allow the pressure to naturally release.
- Using a large slotted spoon, transfer the beans to a blender (I prefer to do half of the beans at a time). Do not throw out the cooking liquid yet.
- Pulse the beans in the blender until the desired consistency is reached. If the mixture is too dry, add cooking liquid (¼ cup at a time) and pulse to mix.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 days or the freezer for 6 months.
- Reheat on the stove over low heat while stirring until warm throughout, or in a microwave at 80% power in 20-second increments.