These Instant Pot Refried Beans are flavorful and delicious. They are easy to make in a pressure cooker and cook so much faster than on the stovetop! With this method, you will never want to buy canned beans again. Use refried beans as a dip for nachos or for any of your favorite Mexican dishes, such as tacos, burritos, fajitas or taquitos!
Healthy Instant Pot Refried Beans
Have you ever eaten refried beans in a restaurant and thought I would love to make them at home? Now it’s time! Because making these refried beans in an Instant Pot at home is a breeze. And, they are so much healthier than the restaurant version! Cook the pinto beans from dry and say no to canned beans.
I am sure you will love these easy refried beans because they are:
- Flavorful, spicy, and delicious
- Much healthier than the restaurant version
- Easy to make with simple ingredients
- Better digestible than canned beans
- Perfect for your favorite Mexican dishes such as tacos, enchiladas, burritos or taquitos
How To Make Instant Pot Refried Beans?
This recipe has less than 10 steps which are very simple. First, you need to soak the pinto beans for at least 8 hours. I will explain soon why soaking is beneficial for our health!
The pinto beans will expand in size and cook faster. Cook them in the Instant Pot on “Manual” for 35 minutes and quick release.
Finally, you will saute the onion, garlic, and spices until softened and fragrant. Add the beans back to the Instant Pot with the vegetable broth. Mash with a potato masher or with an immersion blender. And you are done! Check the easy instruction pictures below:
How To Cook Beans? Soaking or Not?
First of all, it’s up to you if you want to skip the soaking part or not, however, I highly recommend it! Soaking makes the beans better digestible, from my experience! And let me tell you, I cook beans very frequently, so I really noticed the difference. I have much less bloating and gas when I soak the beans.
I know there are lots of recipes out there which say “Instant Pot Refried Beans without soaking…”. And yes, you CAN make refried beans in an Instant Pot without soaking (just cook them 20 minutes or so longer) but it’s really not the best option. You might feel bloated and gassy after eating beans which haven’t been soaked overnight.
To me, it’s now a routine to soak the beans in the morning on days when I want to eat beans for dinner. Sometimes I soak them overnight for more than 8 hours and cook them at lunch time. But even the 8 hours DO make a significant difference.
Also, you might have seen refried beans recipes which say to save the cooking water for later use! Please, DON’T DO IT! I noticed the cooking water is causing all the bloating and gas and I don’t want that. So discard it and add vegetable broth. It’s so much better in my opinion!
I love using refried beans for all kind of Mexican dishes, whether it is taquitos (see pics below), or fajitas, tacos, etc. And since I eat Mexican food (well rather Tex-Mex) on a regular basis I always make sure to have enough refried beans on hand!
Pinto Beans VS Black Beans
Refried Beans are typically made with pinto beans (in Spanish: “frijoles pintos refritos“) because they turn out creamy and mash easily. However, if you prefer black beans over pinto beans, you can, of course, use black beans.
Can Refried Beans Be Frozen?
Yes! Freeze (in zip-lock bags) for up to 3 months. Let the refried beans thaw overnight in the fridge, then reheat gently on the stove with a splash of vegetable broth. You can also store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
These Instant Pot Refried Beans Are:
- Vegan (no need for bacon!)
- Easy to make with simple ingredients
- Healthy and nutritious
- Perfect as a dip for nachos
- Great for your favorite Mexican dishes, such as tacos, burritos, fajitas or taquitos
Should you recreate this flavorful Mexican recipe, please leave a comment below and don’t forget to tag me in your Instagram or Facebook post with @elavegan and #elavegan because I love to see your remakes! If you love Mexican (Tex-Mex) food, definitely also check out the following recipes:
- Buffalo Chickpea Taquitos
- Homemade Gluten-Free Tortillas
- Vegetable Fajitas
- Chickpea Tacos
- Black Bean Quesadillas
- Spinach Eggplant Quesadillas
- Oven Baked Spinach Tacos
- Chili Sin Carne
- Vegan Chili Cheese Fries
- Breakfast Burritos
Instant Pot Refried Beans
- 1 pound (2 cups) dry pinto beans soaked for 8 hours (*see recipe notes)
- 1/2 tbsp oil or water (if oil-free)
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 6 cups of water
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 2 tsp sea salt + more to taste
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp chili
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- cayenne pepper. to taste
- black pepper to taste
- For serving: chopped fresh cilantro, lime juice (from fresh limes)
- Place the beans in a bowl with water and remove any damaged beans which float on top of the water. Soak the beans overnight, then drain the water (check the recipe notes to read why soaking is important and DOES make a difference!).
- Transfer the drained beans into the Instant Pot, add 6 cups of fresh water, and salt.
- Close and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on "MANUAL" for 35 minutes. Once the time is up, quick release. Check the recipe notes for the stovetop instructions.
- Carefully open the lid and drain the beans into a large sieve. Quickly rinse out the Instant Pot.
- Add oil to the Instant Pot and press the "SAUTE" button.
- Once the oil is hot, add the onion and sauté for about 6-8 minutes. Stir in garlic, all spices and sauté for a further 1 minute.
- Return the beans to the Instant pot and add 1 cup of vegetable broth.
- Puree the beans with a potato masher or with an immersion blender until they reach your desired consistency. You can leave some beans chunky or puree everything until completely smooth.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as desired, add more salt, pepper, chili, cayenne to taste. Garnish with fresh cilantro and lime juice. Serve, and enjoy!
- I definitely recommend soaking the beans for at least 8 hours because it DOES make the beans better digestible and reduces gas! Read the blog post above for further information about soaking.
- Discard the cooking water! I know, there are recipes online which say to save the cooking water and add it back to the beans, however, I don't recommend it! It contains anti-nutrients and substances which produce gas and that's not what I want.
- Stovetop instructions: If you want to make this recipe on the stovetop, you will need to add more water. Cook covered in a large pot on low until the beans are tender (which will take more than one hour).
- Slow Cooker instructions: Cook for about 8-10 hours on low.
- How to store: Refrigerate leftover refried beans for up to 4 days or freeze (in zip-lock bags) for up to 3 months. Let them thaw overnight in the fridge, then reheat gently on the stove with a splash of vegetable broth.
- Recipe serves 6. Nutrition facts are for one serving.
If you are using Pinterest, feel free to pin the following photos: