Instant Pot Refried Beans

If you love the flavor of refried 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.

If you love the flavor of refried 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

Mexican night happens at least once a week in my house, whether it’s tacos, enchiladas, tostadas and more! These healthy refried beans are the perfect side dish for any of these dishes.

If you love the flavor of refried 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.

For every post using the #InstantPotChallenge hashtag, Instant Pot will provide a new Instant Pot Duo Nova to a family in need, in partnership with Save the Children, The world’s leading charity for children for 100 years.

How It Works: Share what’s cooking in your Instant Pot, hashtag it #InstantPotChallenge and for every hashtag, Instant Pot will donate an Instant Pot Duo Nova to a family in need (for a total of up to $1 million in value).

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

If you love the flavor of refried 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.If you love the flavor of refried 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.If you love the flavor of refried 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.

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If you love the flavor of refried 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.
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4.84 from 30 votes
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Instant Pot Refried Beans

0
3
0
SP
50 Cals 5 Protein 16.5 Carbs 0.5 Fats
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 55 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Yield: 6 servings
COURSE: Side Dish
CUISINE: Mexican
If you love the flavor of refried 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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

Video

Nutrition

Serving: 1/2 cup, Calories: 50kcal, Carbohydrates: 16.5g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 0.5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 155.5mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 1.5g
Blue Smart Points: 0
Green Smart Points: 3
Purple Smart Points: 0
Points +: 2
Keywords: Fat Free Refried Beans, Healthy Refried Beans, Instant Pot Refried Beans, Refried Beans, Refried Pinto Beans

Photo Credit: Jess Larson

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119 comments

  1. Made these a few weeks ago. Now my wife wants them in our rotation of side dishes every week! Soooo good!

  2. Used slow cooker, 10+ hours to get cooked, but after blending with an emersion blender they came out great. I tried them with a low cal tortilla mild Taco Bell sauce and a velvetta signal, almost spot on for a Taco Bell bean burrito. Needed he diced onion, but Very happy with this recipe. 

  3. This was great! Easy and tasty. We are on the Purple WW plan. Zero points. 🙂

  4. I followed everything but made a few changes. I doubled and cooked in 4 cups of chicken stock and 2 cups of water. Add 1 chipotle pepper and 3 teaspoons of Adobe sauce when cooking beans. Remove pepper. Only add 1/4 cup water at end. Amazing. 

  5. I doubled and cooked in 4 cups chicken stock and 2 cups water and added 1 chipotle pepper and 3 teaspoons of Adobe sauce when cooking beans. Remove pepper before straining.  Only add 1/4 cup water at end. Otherwise followed everything else in recipe. Amazing. 

  6. A tad too much cumin for my liking, but that’s easily adjusted. Great consistency and super easy to do! Loved how clear the recipe was for using the Instant Pot. I have never used one before and was a bit intimidated, but no problems! We’ll be making this again! 

  7. Thank you so much for this delicious and easy to follow recipe. I usually make my refried beans in a crock pot but needed a quicker version. I was excited to find your recipe as it had all the ingredients that I usually use in those. I quick soaked mine (forgot to do it the night before) and then followed your directions. They were great. Thank you!

  8. I do not have an instanpot. How would you make this without one. 

  9. Since a couple people asked… I just wanted to chime in on my experience making this in the slow cooker. (I don’t have an Instant Pot because I live in Italy and I’m scared of the voltage difference.) I doubled this recipe and made it in the slow cooker. I cooked the beans on low overnight for about 9-hours then blended with an immersion blender. They turned out perfectly! 

  10. 5 stars. Tastes like restaurant quality, but less salt and no lard and chemicals. Very healthy and nutritious. I doubled the recipe and made a pound of beans and cooked in 6 cups water, doubled all other ingredients/spices except salt. Cooked on HP for 32 min NR for 15 they turned out absolutely perfect. My picky toddler ate an entire bowl to my delight. I can’t get her to eat beans but she loves these. Win!! We will be eating these with tacos, omelets, quesadillas, fish tacos etc.

  11. Is there another way to make them if I don’t have an instapot?

  12. I’m confused by the points. When I put the nutritional info you listed per 1/2 cup serving into the WW calculator, it comes up as 1 point (on Green) yet you have it listed as 3 points. Can you clarify that for me?

  13. Oooh ooh ooh! 
    While this recipe won’t help on the points (I’m on green), I love the idea of making my own beans for Mexican meals. The can of beans in my pantry (3 pts/.5 cup also) has all kinds of Blech in it! 

  14. This dish is really good. I will double it next time though as I only got 4 servings 1/2 cup each. 

  15. This is a staple in our house🙌🏻 Do you know how many 🟩 points these are?

  16. For those who have double and tripled the recipe, was the cook time adjusted at all?

    • I triple it because that is one bag of beans. The time is the same. However, I do not triple the water because it made a huge mess when it was time to release. I double the water and it turns out fine.

  17. This is delicious!!!! Thank you!!

  18. This may seem silly, but I’ve used the seasoning listed plus onion powder to season a drained can of pinto beans then mashed in pan. I forgot to do dry brans so I just opened can. My hubby loved them. Great w tacos. Thanks Gina

  19. Hi…I really wanted to make this for later today but realize you have to soak the beans over night.  Is there a way to make them without overnight soaking??  Maybe cook them longer?  I’m excited to try this recipe and never have to buy canned refried beans again!

    Thanks!

    • I did a quick soak (rinse beans, pick out pebbles, place beans in pan and cover with water at least 3 inches above beans, bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat for 1 hour, they are now ready to cook in any recipe).

  20. Can you use a crockpot

  21. These beans are delicious, and easy!!!

  22. Question for those of you who made extra to freeze – Can any of you comment on how that worked? Was the texture the same after defrosting? Thanks!

  23. So delicious. I cooked them for 25 minutes because I like my beans super soft. I used mostly chicken broth instead of all water and was easily able to smash the beans up with a spoon. We put these on as the bottom layer to your Salsa Verde Chicken Tostadas and it was perfect. I made a double batch hoping to freeze a serving but there was barely any left for the leftovers😟. My 11 year old will only eat beans from Rubios and El Pollo Loco (never canned) and he was eating it up with no complaints. Will never buy canned retried beans ever (which always reminds me of dog food anyway).

  24. Just made this in my new Instant Pot. It will be on our rotation. It is much better than canned and zero points on WW!

  25. These are DELICIOUS!  I doubled the recipe and froze several baggies for future use. 

  26. I have a ton of canned pinto beans. I saw the comments above about using canned beans but didn’t see a response. How much water in IP if you’re substituting canned beans for dry? 

    • Any response on how to modify it using canned pinto beans?

      • If I were to use canned beans I would skip the instant pot method. Use a pot on the stove, skip the water and use the same seasonings.

      • I use canned beans all the time. Just open the can and dump the pinto beans into a nonstick frying pan. Cook on medium heat until they’re warm and then start mashing and season. If there’s too much liquid, continue to cook without a lid and it will steam off (or you can take 1-2 tablespoons off at the beginning before dumping into the pan). 

  27. Just made. Delicious and so easy! Definitely a keeper. 

  28. Do you think I could freeze these??

  29. I’ve made these twice and they are delicious. I always use a whole bag of dried pinto beans, and just double the ingredients…we love them so much!! 

  30. I really feel lucky that I found this page! I am addicted to good vegetarian food and looking forward to try all the recipes here! 

  31. Do I change anything if I cook the entire 1 pound bag of beans?  Amount of water or cook time?  Thanks!

  32. I made this tonight and loved it. No more mystery can of refried beans for me!

  33. How would you cook this with a slow cooker if we don’t have an instant pot?

  34. I use sale sense a reduced sodium salt.  How much do you think I should substitute for the fine sea salt?  I’m on a reduced sodium diet for health reasons.  Help please, I really want to make this.  Thanks so much.

  35. I love your recipes and cookbooks and can’t wait to try this one.  I’m on a low sodium diet and use a salt substitute.  I noted this calls for fine sea salt.  I use a salt substitute that is lower in sodium.  Why did you decide on fine sea salt in this recipe and how do you think my salt substitute will work?  Also how much as it measures the same as regular salt, teaspoon for teaspoon.

    Thanks so much

    Marcia

  36. These beans were amazing! 5 thumbs up from the family – will definitely put in the rotation

  37. I’m a long time Skinnytaste receipe user and lover! I had pinto beans cooking on the stove and was trying to think of something to do with them. In comes my rescue! I made this receipe without the insta pot, I cooked the beans as I normally would til tender on the stove then drained them and added the garlic and onion to the pot with oil to saute. Added the beans back in with the spies and water and did my immersion blender right in the pot. Came out so good! Loved it! will definitely use it again

  38. What Instant Pot do you recommend?

  39. Do you add more water than 3 cups to the instant pot if tripling the recipe?

  40. Thank you Gina, these are the best! I triple and make using equal amount of pinto and black beans and freeze in leftover yogurt containers. So wise to add seasoning after cooking or the salt can make beans tougher. I also follow a tip I read somewhere to save some liquid to add to the thawed beans which can be too dry when thawed and reheated. Often I pour a bit of the reserved liquid on the top of the beans prior to freezing so there will be adequate amount later. Love your recipes! Down 66 pounds on WW with your delicious recipes as a big part of the plan!

  41. If canned beans used are 3 cups of water still required?
    Stephanie

  42. These are amazing. Thankyou Gina for providing wonderful recipes which are also healthy !

  43. I was really hoping that these would-be good, but they ended up undercooked and a little crunchy. I followed the recipe exactly, any idea why these didn’t work?

    • You just need to cook them longer. I like my beans soft so I cook for 35 minutes with 20 minutes natural release. It just requires experimenting with time until it gets to the consistency you like

    • You just need to cook them longer. I like my beans soft so I cook for 35 minutes with 20 minutes natural release (but this is the first time I am soaking them).  It just requires experimenting with time until it gets to the consistency you like.

  44. Gina,
    I apologize for asking this since instant pot is in the title. I do not have an instant pot but I have a couple crockpots. Have you ever tried this in a crockpot?

  45. Loved this! The sodium in canned refried beans is through the roof! These were incredible! I served them along side of your turkey taco recipe. Yum!!

  46. This was SO easy to make and so delicious!! Tastes so much better than the canned stuff. Definitely a recipe I will use frequently! 

  47. Doubled the recipe and it was delicious – a hit with a group I had over for dinner. Will be making often – thanks for this simple and delicious recipe.

  48. These are great and easier to control the ingredients than can beans. Gina, I’m wondering why the points were not included in the new cookbook “One and Done”. I have tried several recipes from it and so far we like them all. Thanks for doing the hard work of coming up with great ideas for dinners.

  49. The recipe is perfect as is. Taste so much better than canned refried beans. I used this in your Turkey Taco soup recipe. 

  50. This is an excellent recipe with room to make it your own. It was really good the first time I made it as written and the second time I made some modifications for our tastes. I used fat free chicken broth instead of water and added some tajín. Delish!

  51. There is wayyyyyyyy too much water for 1 cup of beans. Mine was a bowl of soup at the end.

  52. I bought the Pinto beans but mine did not turn out the pretty red color.  I’m remaking it .  First time I added spices and it was okauchee so now I made just cooking with garlic and onion like recipe says (duh).  

    How did yours turn out red? Did I buy wrong beans?

  53. I am having a taco party for my son’s birthday. I have never used dried beans before and completely overbought. I have a ton of soaked beans. I am making this recipe in triples batches and am going to freeze it. About how long can I keep it in the freezer? 

  54. Mine turned into a big soupy mess.
    That may have been my fault. These were not presoaked beans but partly cooked leftover beans from a previous recipe and I should have cut the liquid by half. Trying to salvage now 🙁 On the plus side, they still taste great!

  55. You didn’t find that presoaked beans disintegrated after pressure cooking?

  56. Hi! Do you think the beans would be okay if I soaked them the day before then put them in the refrigerator? I don’t have an instapot so I will be doing this in my crockpot (or stove if I do it over the weekend). I am planning on making these to go with youe homemade enchilada sauce and zucchini enchiladas. Thanks!! 

  57. Very easy, inexpensive to make, and delicious! My 10yo told me it was one of the best things I’ve made in the instant pot.

  58. These look delicious! If cooking on the stove, would you add the spices at the beginning? And does double the cooking time mean double the 20 minutes for the instant pot? Thanks!

  59. Can I use my pressure cooker instead of the instant pot and get the same results?

    • instant pot is just a brand of pressure cooker, though cooking times may vary from cooker to cooker it’s pretty much the same rule of thumb this is a good general guide if necessary you can cook and additional amount of minutes for the consistency you prefer. I would suggest keeping a notebook with your own info for your future guide, i find it to be very helpful as i have the power cooker, happy cooking

  60. Speaking of no longer buy canned beans.  I ccok a bag of beans in Instant Pot as per directions for specific type of beans seasoning with 1/2 t salt, 1-2 cloves garlic, 2 bay leaves. When finished as per instructions drain & repack (4 packages per pound of beans which is about equal to 1-15.5 can beans) & freeze in individual ziplock bags I use 1 bag in place of 1 can beans. I can control what’s in my beans. 

  61. Speaking of no longer buy canned beans.  I ccok a bag of beans in Instant Pot as per directions for specific type of beans seasoning with 1/2 t salt, 1-2 cloves garlic, 2 bay leaves. When finished as per instructions drain & repack (4 packages per pound of beans which is about equal to 1-15.5 can beans) & freeze in individual ziplock bags I use 1 bag in place of 1 can beans. I can control what’s in my beans. 

  62. SO excited!!  Thank you!  I can now stop buying the canned beans!!!

  63. This sounds great! I will try this week. My question is, are you able to swap out pinto for black beans? Wasn’t sure if there would be an adjustment to cook time or ingredient amounts.

  64. Hi Gina,

    This recipe looks wonderful. I LOVE your new cookbook! Will you please publish on your blog the WW freestyle points for each recipe in Skinnytaste One and Done as you have done in your other cookbooks.

    • Yes it’s up in the cookbook tab/cookbook index!

      • Thank you so much for that information! I have been looking all over for the freestyle points everywhere! I guess I didn’t understand it was on your website vs the cookbook itself.

  65. Just curious, is there any particular reason for soaking the dried beans first before then cooking them in the IP?  I normally IP dried beans for between 20-25 mins (depending on size) then natural release for 20 mins.  So I guess this takes about 15 mins more time than as described in the recipe but it avoids having to remember to soak the beans. Is there some other benefit to soaking them?

  66. I wish whenever you posted a recipe for the instant pot, you would also include directions for the slow cooker. These beans sound great, but I don’t have an instant pot. A lot of your other recipes for the instant pot sound good too and it would be nice to have the slow cooker option.

  67. Hi Gina! Love the idea of making my own refried beans, however, I do not have an Instant Pot. Any ideas for doing these in a slow cooker or on the stove? Thanks!

    • For the stove, you can add a little more water, cover and cook on low until the beans are tender, usually about double the cook time. For the slow cooker, about 8-10 hours on low should work.

  68. I love Refried beans and want to make this! Can I do this in a CrockPot or stove? How long would I boil on stove? Just until soft?

    • For the stove, you can add a little more water, cover and cook on low until the beans are tender, usually about double the cook time. For the slow cooker, about 8-10 hours on low should work.

  69. Can you do a slow cooker / stovetop version of this recipe??! Would love a 0sp side like this but I haven’t quite jumped on the instapot bandwagon yet!

    • For the stove, you can add a little more water, cover and cook on low until the beans are tender, usually about double the cook time. For the slow cooker, about 8-10 hours on low should work.

      • I do mine over night in my slow cooker. Just make sure they have plenty of water before you go to bed.

  70. Do you think these would freeze ok? 

  71. I love this recipe!  I about tripled the recipe (whole bag of beans), and added a fresh jalapeño and a smidge of chipotle powder with the beans, because I like them a bit smoky/spicy.  It’s also freezer friendly!