Learn how to make the BEST Instant Pot Refried Beans! No soaking required, and they taste so much better than canned. Vegan.
Whether you make simple refried bean burritos, or use them as a side dish to enchiladas, tofu tacos, cauliflower fajitas or vegan chik’n burritos, these instant pot refried beans are going to blow your mind!
Refried pinto beans are the most kid-friendly bean I know. For some reason, my kids can be resistant to eating whole beans, but they LOVE mushy beans. Grab some tortillas, maybe a little shredded vegan cheese and you’ve got an easy dinner the whole family will enjoy. Of course, I’d probably add lettuce, avocado chunks, salsa and tomatoes, but you get the point.
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What Instant Pot should I get?
I purchased the 6-Quart Instant Pot a few years ago and it’s the perfect size for my family of 5. If you are cooking for 1 or 2, you may want to consider the 3-Quart or for large batch cooking, I’d get the 8-Quart. The cooking times will be the same using each one, but be aware if you have the smaller Instant Pot (3-quart) you may need to cut recipes in half.
How do you make Refried Beans in the Instant Pot?
- Saute an onion and a few cloves of garlic in the Instant Pot for a few minutes. To de-glaze the pot and prevent the dreaded “burn” message, add a small amount of water and scrape off any stuck bits of food.
- Add rinsed pinto beans, water, chili powder, cumin and a teaspoon of salt. Give it a little stir. Seal, and cook at high manual pressure for 40 minutes. Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 20 minutes, then vent any remaining pressure.
- Remove the lid. The beans will be very watery. Remove 2 cups of the liquid and reserve it. Drain the beans and discard the rest of the liquid.
- Using an immersion blender, puree the beans, adding in the reserved liquid until the desired consistency is reached.
Special Tips & Considerations
- BURN Message: If your Instant Pot easily give you the burn message, you can skip sautéing the onion/garlic and simply add everything together in the pot and cook.
- Don’t have an immersion blender? You can mash them by hand using a potato masher, or transfer in small batches to a food processor/blender and process until smooth.
- How to store refried beans: Store in covered containers in the refrigerator for 5 days. They can also be frozen. To freeze flat, place the beans in a large, freezer safe bag, seal, then flatten and freeze. When ready to use, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and re-heat on the stove.
- If you wish to soak the beans, you can. Decrease the cooking time to 15 or 20 minutes.
Instant Pot Refried Beans
- 1 pound dry pinto beans (about 2 1/4 cups)
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups water
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1-2 teaspoons salt, to taste
- Rinse the pinto beans in a large colander, picking out any misshapen beans. Set aside.
- In the Instant Pot, turn on the Saute feature and warm the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn off the Instant Pot for a moment. Pour a small amount of water into the Instant Pot, and scrape along the bottom to remove any bits of food (this will help prevent the BURN message).
- Add the dry pinto beans, the rest of the water, spices and 1 teaspoon of 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 40 minutes.
- Once the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release naturally for 20 minutes, then vent any remaining pressure manually.
- Keep 2 cups of the liquid from the cooked beans in a bowl, then drain the rest of the liquid. Return the beans back to the pot.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the beans to the desired consistency, adding some of the reserved liquid as needed. The beans will continue to thicken as they cool. Add more salt to taste. Serve with any desired toppings and enjoy!
- How to store refried beans: Keep in covered containers in the refrigerator for 5 days. They also freeze well. To save space, freeze flat in large freezer ziplock bags. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before warming on the stovetop and serving.
- If your Instant Pot gets the burn message easily: Instead of sauteing the onion and garlic in oil, simply skip the sauteing and add everything together in the pot.
- If you wish to pre-soak the beans, you can decrease the pressure cooking time t0 15-20 minutes.
- Don't have an immersion blender? You can leave the beans whole, use a potato masher, or transfer in small batches to a food processor/blender and process until smooth.
- For a change, use black beans instead!
This recipe was originally posted in December 2017 and has been updated with newer photos and writing.