Instant Pot Refried Beans Recipe

recipe for refried beans made in the instant pot in a white bowl with cilantro

Better than a restaurant, these Homemade Pressure Cooker Refried Beans made in the instant pot are a healthy meatless meal made easy with only a few ingredients and no ‘re-frying’ required perfect for tacos, burritos, nachos, on their own, more!

Pressure Cooker Refried Beans

When I first got my pressure cooker and was learning how it worked I looked through all of my slow cooker recipes to see which ones would be the best to convert over. Guess what the best converted recipe is??

That’s right my REFRIED BEANS.

My Slow Cooker Refried Beans recipe has always been a family favorite. And now it takes waaaaay less time to make in the pressure cooker.

The refried beans take 8-9 hours in the slow cooker while the whole process is done in 90 minutes with the pressure cooker, talk about a time saver.

And the best part, this ‘refried’ bean recipe really isn’t fried at all. Actually the complete opposite which means, yes these beans are a healthy plant based option that the whole family will absolutely LOVE.

refried beans freshly mashed in a white bowl

Refried Beans in the Instant Pot

Refried beans in the pressure cooker is the epitome of why people own a pressure cooker.

I own the Mealthy 6 quart Multipot (aff. link) and totally love it. It has all the features you need and makes recipes like these refried beans happen at a fraction of the price of what some other brands sell pressure cookers.

(Note even though my pressure cooker is a 6-quart you should be able to use this recipe in any size pressure cooker.)

Refried beans work so well in a pressure cooker because you make them from dried beans.

Now don’t let the thought of dried beans scare you off (because to be honest a few years back it would have frightened me) but they are actually really easy to use and end up tasting sooo much better than anything from a can.

The power of the pressure cooker the beans get done in a fraction of the time (especially compared to my slow cooker version) and come out tasting delicious every. single. time.

white bowl full of homemade refried beans with cheese and cilantro

What you need to make Pressure Cooker Refried Beans

So how easy is this recipe really? Lets start with the ingredients.

One of my favorite things is that this recipe is mostly pantry items with the exception of garlic & onion, which in my opinion should always be stocked in the house.

So even when I haven’t been to the store I am usually able to whip up these delicious beans with the following:

  • 1 pound dried pinto beans (one bag)
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 4oz can minced green chilies (these come in mild or hot, I always use mild because of little kids but use what you would enjoy)
  • 8 whole cloves of garlic or 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 teaspoon salt (I always feel like this is so much but it is a lot of beans to season)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • water (about 8 cups or enough to cover the beans 1-2 inches)
ingredients for refried beans with kid trying to grab the beans

So besides the ingredients and pressure cooker there are a few other things that can help make a big difference in the recipe the first is a steamer basket for in your pressure cooker pot.

If you have the Mealthy Multipot, your pot comes with one, or if not there are tons of pressure cooker steamer baskets on Amazon you can purchase.

By placing your ingredients in a steamer basket when the beans are done it will literally take two seconds to drain the beans from the bean water simply by lifting the steamer basket and the contents out of the water.

If you don’t have a steamer basket no worries this recipe is still easy to make, just follow the instructions on draining out the water with a ladle or colander, the biggest difference is it just takes a few more seconds to do this step.

The second accessory you will need is something to mash/blend the beans.

I highly recommend using a good old potato masher. Sounds weird but it is definitely my favorite way to make them, it gives them a good mash but leave just enough chunkiness. If you are looking for super smooth refried beans you will want an immersion or stand blender to blend the beans smooth.

You will also want a bowl and mostly likely a tongs and spatula handy too.

The Method for Pressure Cooker Refried Beans

If available place steamer basket in pot of pressure cooker for easy draining.

Rinse beans and check for any particles and rocks. Add pinto beans, onion, green chilies, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin to the pot. Add 8 cups of water to the pot.

kids adding beans and spices to the pressure cooker pot

P.S. Kids love helping pour things into pots.

kids adding onions, chilies, and garlic to the pressure cooker
boys looking at all of the ingredients in a pressure cooker pot

Once all of the ingredients are in seal the lid, turn steam vent to sealing, and select manual/pressure cook. Set to high pressure for 60 minutes.

With the large amount of water the pressure cooker will take between 20-30 minutes to preheat before cooking depending on your pot.

When the timer goes off quick release the steam vent carefully. Once the float has dropped carefully open the lid. If the beans are in a steamer basket, very carefully lift the basket out and transfer contents to a large bowl (use tongs and silicone oven mitts), reserving the bean water to add back in as needed.

steamer basket filled with freshly cooked pinto beans

If you did not use a basket you need to remove the remaining liquid from the beans but reserving some of the liquid to add back in if needed. Either ladle it out of the pot carefully or place a colander into a large bowl and pour the contents of the pot into the colander, returning the beans back to the pot once drained. Anyway you’ll want to make sure you reserve the bean water in case you need to thin the beans out.

Now you will mash/blend the beans adding back bean water if needed, depending on how thick you like your beans I would say you will probably add back between 1/4 to 3/4 cup of the bean water.

My preferred method is using a potato masher to mash the beans, this method leaves them chunkier. You can use an immersion blender for an easy smooth version of the beans. Or you can use a stand blender but using this method you will want to blend the beans in batches as to not overcrowd the blender.

3 pictures showing the cooked beans in a bowl and being mashed

Note, the beans will continue to thicken as they cool.

Serve immediately, best topped with cheese. Refrigerate in an airtight container, keeps up to a week in the fridge. Or freeze in portions in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Hint for freezing: A typical can of refried beans in approximately 1.5 cups, so I like to freeze that portion size to easily thaw and use those instead of from a can.

overhead photo of refried beans made in the instant pot

How to serve & what to pair with Pressure Cooker Refried Beans

Often for a quick meatless weeknight meal I simply serve these beans on a plate next to a large helping of my Mexican Rice covered in Queso Fresco cheese.

Or these beans are great spread on a tostada with some cheese, cilantro, and salsa.

Of course these would make great burritos and nachos.

And make sure you save some to make my famous Slow Cooker Black Bean Tortilla Soup!

side view of pressure cooked refried beans
close up of homemade refried beans in a bowl made in the pressure cooker
Pressure Cooker Refried Beans

Pressure Cooker Refried Beans

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Pressure & Release Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Better than a restaurant, these refried beans made in the instant pot are a healthy meatless meal made easy with only a few ingredients and no 're-frying' required perfect for tacos, burritos, nachos, on their own, more!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 4oz can minced green chilies
  • 8 cloves of garlic (or 2 tablespoons minced garlic)
  • 3 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • water

Instructions

  1. If available place basket in pot of pressure cooker for easy draining. Rinse beans and check for any particles and rocks.
  2. Add pinto beans, onion, green chilies, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin to the pot. Add 8 cups of water to the pot.
  3. Seal lid, turn steam vent to sealing, and select manual/pressure cook. Set to high pressure for 60 minutes. With the large amount of water the pressure cooker will take between 20-30 minutes to preheat before cooking.
  4. When the timer goes off quick release the steam vent carefully. Once the float has dropped carefully open the lid. If the beans are in a basket, very carefully lift the basket out and transfer contents to a large bowl, reserving the bean water to add back in as needed. If you did not use a basket you need to remove the remaining liquid from the beans but reserving some of the liquid to add back in if needed. Either ladle it out of the pot carefully or place a colander into a large bowl and pour the contents of the pot into the colander, returning the beans back to the pot once drained. Any way you'll want to make sure you reserve water in case you need to thin the beans out.
  5. Now you will mash/blend the beans adding back bean water if needed, depending on how thick you like your beans I would say you will add back between 1/4 to 1 cup of the bean water. My preferred method is using a potato masher to mash the beans, this method leaves them chunkier. You can use an immersion blender for an easy smooth version of the beans. Or you can use a stand blender but using this method you will want to blend the beans in batches as to not overcrowd the blender. Note, the beans will continue to thicken as they cool.
  6. Serve immediately, best topped with cheese. Refrigerate in an airtight container, keeps up to a week in the fridge. Or freeze in portions in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 133 Total Fat: 1g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 1070mg Carbohydrates: 26g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 8g Sugar: 2g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 8g
Nutritional data is automated, final nutritional information will depend on ingredients used and any changes made.

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Peace & Love

Lauren, The Schmidty Wife

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