These taste so much better than store-bought canned refried beans, it’s unbelievable! Vegan Refried Beans are made in the Instant Pot in under an hour and are super affordable. No need for lard or oil in these babies. Just pure plants.
I have been making these Instant Pot Vegan Refried Beans a lot lately. My kids aren’t crazy for all kinds of beans (they are getting there), but they have always loved refried beans. I guess they are less scary because they are mushy and creamy? I don’t know.
After buying vegetarian canned refried beans for many years, I only recently decided to try making my own from scratch in the Instant Pot. And OMG, I am hooked! They really do have a different taste altogether. No aftertaste from a can. They taste like the refried beans you would get served in an authentic Mexican restaurant, except they are vegan, oil and lard-free, and good for you!
You do not need to soak your beans first for this recipe, but if you want to, that’s fine. I suggest reducing the cooking time to 25 minutes if you do.
The other trick to remember is that when the beans are finished cooking, drain and reserve a few cups of the water BEFORE you blend them. Then, use an immersion blender and add back in the reserved water if you need to, to make them less thick. I prefer them to be a little more on the soupy side, because they thicken up pretty quickly as they cool.
If you don’t have an immersion blender, you could transfer them to a food processor, or just mash with a potato masher.
Inspired by this recipe.
These Vegan Refried Beans taste 100 times better than the canned version and are so affordable to make. The Instant Pot makes them a breeze; no soaking needed and they are ready in under an hour! Freeze leftovers for another week.
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound dry pinto beans
- 6 cups water
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
In the Instant Pot, turn on the Saute feature. Add the onion, garlic and a few tablespoons of water. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until translucent and fragrant. Turn off the Instant Pot for a moment.
Add the dry pinto beans, water, spices and salt to the pot. Give it a little stir.
Place the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure the valve is set to "sealing". Set to manual, high pressure for 35 minutes.
Once the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release naturally for at least 10 minutes. Then, you may manually release the rest of the pressure.
Drain about 2 cups of the liquid, but reserve it in a bowl.
Use an immersion blender to blend the beans to the desired consistency. Add in more of the cooking liquid if you need it. The beans will appear runny at first, but will thicken considerably as they cool.
The beans freeze well. Freeze in containers (glass or plastic), leaving a little room on top for expansion.
If you want thicker refried beans, drain even more liquid before blending, but reserve it so you can add more if they are too thick.
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