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
- 2 cups (453 g) dry pinto beans soaked for 8 hours (see 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)
- You can watch the short video for visual instructions.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.
- Check out my Mexican Pizza Recipe With Refried Beans.
- Recipe serves 6. Nutrition facts are for one serving.
Nutrition information is an estimate and has been calculated automatically
If you are using Pinterest, feel free to pin the following photos:
The outer coatings of many varieties of beans contain sugars called oligosaccharides. When beans aren’t soaked, these sugars can bypass your stomach and small intestine without being fully digested. When these sugars enter your large intestine, bacteria breaks them down, producing intestinal gas in the process. Soaking dried legumes dissolves the membranes that cover beans and releases their oligosaccharides. After soaking, discard water and rinse beans to remove sugars. According to the Science of Cooking website, small red, navy and lima beans have more gas-producing potential than most other varieties.
Additionally, Beans go through threshing and cleaning processes before they’re marketed to consumers. However, they are not washed because moisture would encourage sprouting. Soaking beans removes their coating of field dust, which may contain residue from pesticides or other contaminants. Before soaking, remove visible particles and sprouted beans. After you’ve soaked dried beans, drain and rinse them again to remove the remaining contaminants and sugars.. Thirdly, Phytic Acid, a compound in many legumes and grains, may reduce the bioavailability of zinc and other minerals, Zinc is an essential element that supports cellular metabolism and promotes healthy neurological function, growth, immunity and wound healing.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises.to remove gas-producing starches, boil 1 lb. of beans for two to three minutes, cover the pot and allow beans to soak overnight. This method removes 75 to 90 percent of the beans’ indigestible starches. While harder beans like navy, pinto and kidney beans require soaking, soft legumes like lentils, split peas and black-eyed peas may be thoroughly rinsed rather than soaked before cooking. Check the preparation instructions on the package before soaking or cooking beans. At the very least, rinse ALL beans to remove field dirt and pesticides!
This was one of the first instant pot recipes I ever tried, and the only refried beans recipe I’ll ever need. We’ve been making this about (at least) once a month for a couple of years now. The only problem is, canned refried beans are forever spoiled for us, they just pale by comparison.
Thanks for your amazing feedback, Susan! 🙂
I love this recipe! I make these twice a month, but tonight I’m going to half the recipe. So should I half the time?
So happy you love it! No, the cooking time is the same. 🙂
Do I use “low pressure” or “high pressure”?
Hi Heather, my IP has just one setting (MANUAL) and I assume it’s high pressure. 🙂
I am ready to start my instant pot, but I don’t understand what you mean by cook on “manual”. What pressure do I use? The instruction manual says it only takes 8-9 minutes to cook pinto beans, so I’m worried these are going to turn to mush… or is that the goal?
If you have DRY pinto beans, they definitely need 35 minutes and not 8-9. I have this Instant Pot: https://amzn.to/2D5kTUR which has the manual setting (check the photos on amazon).
hmmm… Thank-you for the quick reply! I will try the “Bean/Chilli” setting and hope for the best! Looking forward to trying this with your Mexican Pizza recipe this evening. I will let you know how it goes! Looks delicious! (BTW, this is the cooker I have:
I think the button “Manual” does the same as the button “Pressure Level” on your cooker.
I hope the refried beans will turn out great. 🙂
One of the best delicacies loved in my house. I also use coconut oil for a change.. very delicious.
Sounds amazing! Thanks for your feedback, Irene. 🙂
Dee | Green Smoothie Gourmet
Wow Ela, I have steered away from cooking beans from scratch for this reason, the digestive discomfort family-wide. Your tips are incredibly helpful, I so appreciate them. I will now make sure I soak at least eight hours and I will discard that water and use vegetable broth. Do you have a recommended brand? Thank you! Dee xx
Great! I hope it works for you as well. Let me know if you give it a try, Dee. I don’t have a particular brand which I recommend.
Much love, Ela 🙂
Just an FYI, those “digestive issues” lessen over time the more beans one eats. If beans have never really been a big part of one’s diet before, the gut biome needs time to adjust.
Exactly, that’s what I also noticed! 🙂
I am in love with this!! Any recommendations for someone who doesn’t have a crockpot ?
you can cook the beans on the stovetop. I have included the instructions in the recipe notes. 🙂
Such a great Recipe ? now I want an instant pot too ?
Lots of love
Thank you, Bianca! I hope you will give the recipe a try (also without an Instant Pot). 🙂