This Instant Pot Refried Beans recipe will teach you how to cook dry black beans and turn them into flavor-packed, creamy refried goodness using the Pressure Cooking and Saute functions. Serve as a dip or a side with your favorite toppings and corn tortilla chips.
ℹ️ What Are Refried Beans?
Refried beans are a traditional Mexican dish made from cooked and mashed beans. Despite their name, refried beans are not typically fried twice, as the name suggests. The term "refried" actually comes from the Spanish word "refritos," which means "well-fried" or "well-cooked."
The most common type of bean used for making refried beans is the pinto bean, although other varieties such as black beans, which is what we are using, or kidney beans can also be used. The beans are usually soaked overnight and then cooked until tender. They are then drained and mashed or pureed to create a smooth consistency.
To prepare refried beans, the mashed beans are typically sautéed in a pan with a small amount of oil or lard, along with various seasonings and ingredients. These can include onions, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt. The mixture is cooked over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the beans are heated through and the flavors are well combined.
Instant Pot Refried Beans
This Instant Pot refried black beans recipe includes ingredients and instructions for cooking black beans from dry (you could use Pinto beans if you wish) and then turning them into creamy, delicious semi-pureed beans using the Saute function of the IP.
These Instant Pot refried black beans can be served as a side dish or used as a filling for various Mexican dishes such as burritos, tacos, or enchiladas. They have a creamy texture, rich flavor, and versatility in complementing other ingredients. You can top them up with cheese, sour cream, or fresh herbs to enhance their taste.
For cooking the beans: Dry black beans (we are using 1.5 cups of uncooked dry black beans, unsoaked, which should yield about 4.5 cups of cooked beans), ½ onion, bay leaves, garlic, stock cube (vegetable or chicken), salt and water.
For refried beans: cooked black beans and liquid, olive oil, onion, ground cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, lime juice, and toppings like raw onion and cilantro.
👩🍳 How To Make Refried Beans In The Instant Pot
You will find the full recipe with ingredients and nutritional breakdown in the recipe card below. Let’s break it down with step-by-step photos and video. You can use a 6-quart or 8-quart Instant Pot. You can see our more details post on how to cook black beans in the Instant Pot here, however we have included the steps below as well
Cook The Beans
Step 1. Add beans, water, stock cube, salt, bay leaf, garlic clove, and ½ onion (uncut is fine as it’s easier to remove). These additions will flavor the cooking stock and the beans.
Step 2. Secure the lid. Set to Pressure cook on HIGH for 35 minutes (it will take about 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to pressurize before cooking begins). Once done, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15-20 minutes.
Step 3. Remove the lid. Remove onion, garlic, and bay leaf. Strain and rinse if you like. If making refried beans or using black beans in a stew or soup, you can reserve excess cooking liquid to add to those dishes.
Make Refried Beans
Step 1. Using a clean Instant Pot, press the saute setting. Add the olive oil and onion and cook for 2 minutes to soften. Then add the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and salt and stir for a few seconds.
Step 2. Add the cooked beans and ⅔ cups of the cooking liquid (if not enough available, add extra water). Bring to a simmer and use a potato masher to mash the beans to a chunk but creamy consistency. Keep cooking until some of the liquid evaporates and you reach that thick almost dip-like consistency. You can add a little more cooking liquid as you go.
Step 3. Finish with a little lime juice and stir through. Taste for salt. Serve with a little chopped onion, cilantro and extra lime wedges on top (maybe with corn chips on the side).
By the way, you can do this step in a skillet on a stovetop.
💭 Storage Tips
To store refried beans, here are some tips:
Refrigerate: Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 to 5 days. Cool completely before transferring them to an airtight container
Freeze: First, let the beans cool completely. Transfer them to freezer-safe containers or freezer bags, leaving some space for expansion during freezing. Label and store in the freezer for up to 3 to 4 months.
Thaw out: Thaw them in the refrigerator overnight or use the defrost setting on your microwave. Once thawed, reheat the beans in a saucepan on the stovetop, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
Reheat: It’s best to reheat refried beans on the stovetop. Warm them over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. You may need to add a small amount of water or broth to adjust the consistency if the beans have thickened during storage.
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Instant Pot Refried Beans - Full Recipe
To Cook The Beans
- 1 cup black beans dry
- 2.5 cups water
- 1 stock cube veggie one
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1-2 bay leaves if available
- 1 garlic clove, for added flavor
- ½ onion white, for added flavor
For Refried Beans
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ onion white, very finely diced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt or more to taste
- 2 cups black beans cooked
- 1 cup cooking liquid from the beans
- ½ lime juice
- Add ingredients. Add beans, water, stock cube, salt, bay leaf, garlic clove, and ½ onion (uncut is fine as it’s easier to remove).
- Cook: Pressure cook on high for 35 minutes (it will take about 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to pressurize before cooking begins). Allow the pressure to release naturally for 15-20 minutes.
- Strain: Remove the lid. Remove onion, garlic, and bay leaf. Strain the beans into a bowl as we will need to use ⅔ cups of the cooking liquid in the next steps.
- Saute: Clean the pot. Press the saute setting. Add the olive oil and onion and cook for 2 minutes to soften. Then add the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt and stir for a few seconds.
- Refry beans: Add the cooked beans and ⅔ cups of the cooking liquid (if not enough available, add extra water). Bring to a simmer and use a potato masher to mash the beans to a chunk but creamy consistency. Keep cooking until some of the liquid evaporates and you reach that thick almost dip-like consistency. You can add a little more cooking liquid as you go.
- Finish with a little lime juice and stir through. Taste for salt. Serve with a little chopped onion, cilantro, and extra lime wedges on top (maybe with corn chips on the side).