These Instant Pot Refried Beans are so full of flavor and easy to make, with no soaking required! Tastes way better than canned, and every bit as delicious as the beans from your local Mexican restaurant!
This is one of my Mexican-inspired recipes I know you’ll want to keep on hand!
If you think you aren’t a refried beans fan, you might want to try this recipe first.
The canned refried beans are honestly, well, not that great. There’s no real flavor there you know?
But once you make a homemade version that’s flavored with onion, jalapeño, garlic, and plenty of tex-mex seasonings, you’ll be craving these beans all the time!
Not only are they amazingly delicious, they’re also extremely customize-able. You control the salt level, whether it’s made vegetarian/vegan or not, the heat level, and the consistency.
Refried beans are great as a classic side dish alongside any tex-mex style recipes, but also amazing on nachos, in tacos, burritos, and more!
How to make homemade refried beans?
This is just an overview; the full ingredients and directions are in the recipe card toward the bottom of this post.
- Sauté. This softens up the onion, garlic and jalapeños and maximizes their flavor.
- Add all other ingredients. No particular order, and give it a stir.
- Pressure cook. This recipe calls for a long cook time, about an hour.
- Pressure release. Naturally release the pressure (by doing nothing) for 30 minutes.
- Pureé. Remove some of the cooking liquid, then blend, adding some of the liquid back in until desired thickness is reached.
Don’t let working with dried beans scare you, I promise it’s easy! Just give the dried beans a quick rinse to get rid of any dust/dirt, and run your hand through them to remove any small pebbles. Hopefully there aren’t any, but you never know, so it’s good to check.
Variations of this recipe
- Spicier – if you love some spicy heat, try using a fresh jalapeño, increasing the amount of jalapeños, or increasing the cayenne pepper amount.
- Other bean varieties – while I haven’t tested this recipe with any other bean type, I think it would work well with black beans.
- Canned beans – if you have some cans of pinto beans on hand, I wouldn’t bother with pressure cooking them, and would just follow the quick and easy stovetop directions in the recipe card below.
- Other cooking methods – no instant pot? No problem! I’ve also included slow cooker and stovetop directions in the “Chef Tips” section right below the written recipe below.
Nope! That’s what makes this recipe so great, you don’t have to soak the beans at all, just give them a quick rinse.
No, I don’t make any claims of the authenticity of this recipe. This is just the way myself and my family like to enjoy refried beans.
Making refried beans ahead of time
Refried beans are great to make ahead of time, since they reheat really well.
Beans will get thick after being refrigerated, so add a little water or broth as you reheat.
Beans can also be cooled completely, transferred to freezer-safe containers, and frozen for up to 3 months.
Thaw in the refrigerator, then reheat.
Leftover beans should be refrigerated in an airtight container and enjoyed within 5-6 days.
Reheat gently on the stovetop with a splash or two of water to loosen them back up to the consistency you’re looking for.
Immersion or stick blenders are so handy to have in the kitchen. You can blend the beans right in the instant pot, so you don’t have to worry about messy transfers between containers.
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @the_chunky_chef on Facebook and Instagram!
- 1 lb dried pinto beans rinsed
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion peeled and diced
- 1/3 cup sliced pickled jalapeños
- 5 cloves garlic minced (or approximately 2 Tbsp)
- 4 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth chicken broth may be substituted
- 2 cups water
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano Mexican oregano is amazing if you have it
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 dried bay leaf
- After you've rinsed the beans, give them a quick check and remove any stones or pebbles.
- Select “Saute” on the Instant Pot, and add oil. Once hot, add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add garlic and jalapeños and cook another 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in the vegetable broth and water, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to release any browned bits that may be there.
- Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, parsley, salt, and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine.
- Add rinsed beans and stir again, scraping the sides. Add bay leaf to the top of the liquid.
- Select “Cancel”. Secure lid and select “Pressure Cook” or “Manual” and hit the +/- buttons until you select 60 minutes.
Natural pressure release
- Once pressure cooking time has elapsed, don’t do anything and let the pot naturally release the pressure for 30 minutes, then turn the knob to release any remaining pressure.
- Open the lid and remove the bay leaf.
- Use a measuring cup to remove about 1 – 1 1/2 cups of liquid and set aside.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the beans until smooth, using the reserved liquid to achieve the consistency and thickness you'd like.
- ** If you don't have an immersion blender, you can transfer the beans to a traditional blender, food processor, or use a potato masher.
- Serve hot, or cool and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to about a week.
Want to save this recipe for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own recipe box!
- Recipe makes approximately 6 cups.
- Pickled jalapeños are the ones found in jars and cans, rather than the fresh peppers in the produce section.
- Beans can be pureed/mashed until smooth, or left with some texture, it’s up to you.
- The thickness of the beans can be adjusted by adding more or less of the cooking liquid.
- If you prefer a very thick refried bean consistency, remove more of the cooking liquid, and only add a little at a time until it’s a thickness you like.
Slow Cooker Directions:
- Keep all ingredients the same, but add an extra cup of water or broth (so you have 7 cups total).
- Sauté onion, garlic and jalapeño in a skillet, then transfer to a slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 9 hours. I know this seems long, but they really do need that amount of time.
- Remove 1 – 2 cups of cooking liquid, then puree as directed, adding reserved cooking liquid back as needed.
- For the stovetop version you’ll be using canned pinto beans that have been drained and rinsed well.
- You’ll only need about 1 cup of broth.
- In a large pot, sauté onion, garlic, and jalapeño in oil over MED heat.
- Add beans, 1 cup of broth, and all seasonings, stirring well to combine.
- Cover and cook on MED heat for 5-10 minutes.
- Uncover and puree beans to desired consistency, adding additional broth or water as needed.
- Keep the lid off and continue cooking, on MED LOW, for about 3 minutes or so.
The Chunky Chef is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.