This easy recipe for Instant Pot refried beans lets you make delicious, healthy, refried beans. This side dish is creamy, flavorful, inexpensive and makes the perfect side dish for taco Tuesday and any other Mexican meals.
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My family and I enjoy Mexican dishes because they are so quick and easy to make. Tacos, burritos and quesadillas are all staple foods in my house. And these easy Instant Pot refried beans make an excellent side dish for a Mexican meal.
Traditionally refried beans are made by cooking the beans and then frying them in lard. That makes them pretty unhealthy and fatty, so for this recipe the beans are cook and mashed, but not fried in lard.
This recipe is very easy to make and tastes much better than beans you get from a can. It gives you all the traditional Mexican refried bean flavor without much effort.
What Kind of Beans Should You Use?
Most of the time refried beans are made with pinto beans, and that is what I use in this recipe. It is also delicious to make pressure cooker refried beans with black beans. I use a slightly different recipe for making Instant Pot black beans, which I will post soon. Black beans cook a little faster than pinto beans, so if you decide to use black beans in this recipe you can reduce the pressure time to 30 minutes.
Do I Need to Soak the Beans?
No, you don’t need to soak the beans if you are using a pressure cooker. Eliminating the presoak is a huge advantage of cooking them in the Instant Pot. The beans take some time to cook, but they don’t need to be presoaked.
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How to Make Instant Pot Refried Beans
Even though these beans aren’t fried in lard they aren’t completely fat free. A little bit of fat in the beans gives them a deep, rich flavor. So the first step in making the beans is to put some oil in the Instant Pot and saute onion and garlic.
One of the advantages of using the Instant Pot to make these refried beans is that you can brown the onions and garlic and then pressure cook right in same appliance. Use the Saute setting on the Instant Pot to heat up the olive oil and then saute the aromatics that will help flavor the beans. I used onion and garlic to flavor the beans, but you could also add some jalapenos if you want to spice things up.
After doing this it is important to deglaze the Instant Pot to reduce the chance of getting a Burn error. To deglaze add chicken broth and water and scrape the bottom of the Instant Pot insert to remove any stuck pieces of food. Don’t skip this step!
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If you want to make your pressure cooker refried beans vegetarian then replace the chicken broth with either vegetable broth or water. The beans will not be as flavorful if you use all water though!
Pressure Cooking the Beans
After that making the Instant Pot refried beans is mostly effortless. Just put all the remaining ingredients – the dry beans and spices – into the pressure cooker, stir well and put the lid on.
Then cook the beans on Manual mode, high pressure, for 45 minutes. Once the beans are done cooking let the pressure release naturally.
Once all the pressure has released take the lid off the Instant Pot and drain the beans, reserving about 1/2 cup of liquid. Put the beans back into the Instant Pot along with the reserved liquid and mash the beans until they reach the consistency that you prefer.
You can use either an immersion blender or a potato masher to mash the beans. You could even pour them into a food processor if you want them to be extra smooth. Personally I like my beans to have a little bit of texture, so I like to use a potato masher.
Once the beans are mashed you can serve them right away or put the lid back on the Instant Pot and let them sit until dinner time.
Why do These Instant Pot Refried Beans Need to Be Drained?
The pressure cooker needs a certain amount of liquid to reach high pressure. If you just put enough liquid in the pressure cooker to make the beans soft the Instant Pot will not reach pressure. This is why the recipe calls for draining the beans after cooking.
Can I Freeze these Pressure Cooker Refried Beans
These Instant Pot refried beans freeze extremely well. If you want to make extra to freeze this is a great recipe to double. The best way to freeze them is to put any leftovers in a freezer bag and flatten them for easy storage. If you have a Foodsaver you can also vacuum seal them in bags.
They keep well in the freezer for about 3 months. Before you use them simply thaw them overnight in the refrigerator or microwave them until they are thawed. Then reheat the thawed beans in a sauce pan with a little bit of water or broth.
How to Serve Instant Pot Refried Beans
These pressure cooker refried beans are delicious on their own. You can garnish the beans with cheese, cilantro or green onions and use them as a dip for tortilla chips. They are also great on nachos or served as a side dish to almost any Mexican meal you make.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 ½ cup water
- 1 pound dry pinto beans, rinsed and sorted
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Set the Instant Pot to Saute mode and add the olive oil. When the pot is heated, add the diced onion and minced garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent. Turn off the Instant Pot.
- Add the chicken broth and water. Using a spatula, scrape off any stuck-on onion or garlic bits from the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Add the beans and season with chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set to Pressure Cook for 45 minutes. Do a natural release when the cook time is over.
- After the pressure has been released, remove the lid and carefully drain the beans, reserving some of the liquid. Add the beans back to the Instant Pot and pour in ½ to ¾ cup reserved liquid. Using a potato masher or immersion blender, mash the beans until they are smooth, adding more liquid if needed.
Instant Pot recipes are made and tested in a 6 quart Instant Pot. Using a different size or brand of pressure cooker might effect results.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 293 Total Fat: 3g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 1mg Sodium: 602mg Carbohydrates: 49g Fiber: 12g Sugar: 2g Protein: 17g