If you love the flavor of re-fried beans but would rather avoid the lard they are typically cooked in, you’ll love this easy, fat-free version made in the Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Refried Beans
Instead of cooking the beans twice, as you would with traditional refried beans, you simply cook pinto beans until tender and then mash them until creamy. These make a flavorful and filling side dish. If you enjoy leftovers, double the recipe so you can use them in burritos or tacos later in the week.
This recipe is adapted from The Fresh & Healthy Instant Pot Cookbook by Megan Gilmore. I followed her recipe exact with the exception of the added toppings, and a squeeze of lime juice. They were delicious!
What beans are used to make refried beans?
Pinto Beans are most often used to make refried beans, which are tender, creamy and have a slightly sweet, earthy flavor. They mash easily which makes them the perfect bean for refried beans. Black beans, however can be used in place of pinto beans if you desire.
How To Make Instant Pot Refried Beans
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Instant Pot Refried Beans
- 1 cup dried pinto beans, soaked for 8 hours and drained
- 3 cups water
- ½ yellow onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Optional garnish: Chopped fresh cilantro, Lime wedges, diced tomato, sliced jalapeño, diced avocado, crumbled queso
- Combine the drained beans, water, onion, and garlic in the Instant Pot.
- Stir well, making sure the beans are submerged. Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to Sealing. Select
- Manual/Pressure Cook to cook at high pressure for 20 minutes.
- When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then move the steam release valve to Venting to release any remaining pressure. When the floating valve drops, remove the lid and drain the beans, reserving the liquid.
- Return the cooked beans to the Instant Pot, and stir in ½ cup of the reserved cooking liquid, along with the cumin, chili powder, black pepper, cayenne, and ½ teaspoon salt. Use a potato masher to mash the cooked beans until smooth, leaving some texture if you like. (You can use an immersion blender for pureed beans, if you prefer.)
- Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt as needed, and serve warm with a garnish of cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.
- Store leftover beans in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week.
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Photo Credit: Jess Larson