My childhood self would have never believed that as a grown-up Instant Pot Refried Beans would be the building block of so many favorite meals. Versatile, easy, and healthy, these pressure cooker refried beans are the bomb!
Sometimes it's the simple, basic recipes that just really steal your heart. Such is the case with these Instant Pot Refried Beans.
I will happily eat these beans wrapped up in a tortilla, as a chip dip, or straight up off of a spoon.
Does that sound gross? I sure thought so, but seeing my kids happily eat them with just melted cheese over top assures me that these beans really are “SPOON LICKING” special.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE THESE INSTANT POT REFRIED BEANS
- So very simple! There is no sauteing onions, cooking up bacon, or frying beans. Just throw everything into the pot, cook, mash, DONE. Flavorful, addictive beans, at your service
- HEALTHY! Minus the typical lard bath, these beans are an incredibly nutritious appetizer, side dish, or entree
- Versatile! Nachos, quesadillas, tamales, burritos . . . whatever Mexican food you're craving, these beans are the perfect match
- They freeze and reheat like brand new which makes homemade refried beans nearly as convenient as opening a can
WHAT ARE REFRIED BEANS?
Unlike the name implies, “RE“fried beans are not actually beans that have been fried multiple times.
Refried beans are cooked, mashed beans (most commonly pinto beans) that have been fried in some type of fat like lard, butter, or oil. They are very popular in Tex-Mex and Mexican dishes and just so happen to be my favorite thing to dip a chip in.
The magic of this particular recipe is that there is zero frying involved, making them incredibly simple and healthy.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST REFRIED BEANS IN THE PRESSURE COOKER
- Place beans, onions, garlic, chilies and water in the pot
- Pressure cook for 50 minutes, until very soft
- Drain the beans, reserve the cooking liquid, blend until they reach the desired consistency, adding the cooking liquid if needed to help with blending. Beans will become stiffer as they sit so don't be scared to add plenty of cooking liquid
HOW TO MASH BEANS
I tried every reasonable tool in my kitchen to mash beans including a fork, potato masher, potato ricer, food processor, high-speed blender and immersion blender. Conclusions:
- Fork: Takes too long
- Potato Masher: Perfect for refried beans that still have plenty of texture
- Potato Ricer: BIG MESS! Don't do it
- Food Processor: Beans appear smooth, but the texture is a bit grainy as if the skins didn't get blended completely
- High Speed Blender: My favorite choice for silky, smooth refried beans. You can also blend half the beans and add it back to the whole beans for a nice dip/spread
- Immersion Blender: The best for less mess, smooth or chunky refried beans. I highly recommend!
HOMEMADE REFRIED BEANS – WHICH BEANS ARE BEST
MEXICAN REFRIED BEANS/PINTO BEANS
- These are the most common beans used for refried beans because they cook up soft and mash with ease. This will create the smoothest, creamiest refried beans.
REFRIED BLACK BEANS
- Black Beans don't produce the smoothest refried beans, but they are absolutely delicious and just as versatile. They are harder to mash with a potato masher, but a high speed blender will have them perfectly creamy in under a minute. Reserve the cooking liquid, black beans tend to get pasty, be ready to add plenty of the cooking liquid when blending.
BEAN SOUP MIX
- You can find a bag of Bean Soup Mix beans near the other beans and this works amazingly well for refried beans. The variety of beans ensures an array of nutrients and the taste and texture is very unique.
- In truth, any bean can be cooked until very soft and blended into a creamy dip. The taste and texture will vary slightly with each variety.
HOW TO SERVE REFRIED BEANS
- In a bowl, topped with melted cheese, and a spoonful of sour cream or yogurt. Add a side of chips – YES!
- Quick and Easy – spread on a tortilla, top with cheese, melt in the microwave, and roll it up. Last minute dinner time staple, also great for packing in lunch boxes.
- Inside Instant Pot Tamales or Tamale Pie.
- Inside a Burrito.
- Bean Dip: My mom is famous for hers! It's a simple, no fuss dip, and it gets high praises at every get-together. If she'll give me permission to share it, I will send it to all of you wonderful email subscribers soon!
Save this recipe, share it with all your friends, and shop for this wonderfully basic Instant Pot recipe soon! It's recipes like this that make a regular appearance in my home and I'm excited for them to become a part of your's too.
When I can cook a vegetable that every single member of my family will happily devour, I feel like some kind of mommy superhero . . . minus the cape and x-ray vision, plus a food-stained t-shirt and bloodshot eyes. But hey, my kids ate a vegetable, I'm gonna celebrate that, tired eyes and all!
TOOLS AND INGREDIENTS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT REFRIED BEANS
- Instant Pot
- Potato Masher
- High Speed Blender
- Immersion Blender
- Food Processor
- Pinto Beans
- Black Beans
- Bean Soup Mix
Instant Pot Refried Beans
Easy, healthy refried beans made in the Instant Pot in no time!
- Prep Time: 2 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 90 minutes
- Yield: 3 - 4 cups 1x
- Category: Side Dish
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Mexican
- 2 cups dried pinto beans or black beans
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 oz can chopped green chilies
- 6 cups water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- Add beans, onions, garlic, chilies and water to the pressure cooker pot.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 50 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, use a natural release.
- Place a colander inside a large bowl, pour beans into the colander and reserve the liquid.
- Add beans, salt, cumin, and chili powder to a high powered blender and blend until desired consistency is reached, adding the reserved liquid as needed.
- Alternatively, mash the beans with a potato masher or use an immersion blender right in the pot.
- Refried beans dry out as they sit so add a bit more liquid if they are really thick.
- Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
- Add seasonings after the beans are cooked. This will prevent all of the seasonings from getting discarded in the excess cooking liquid
- Freeze beans in freezer safe bags. Press them flat for convenient storage and quick thawing
Keywords: instant pot refried beans, best refried beans, healthy refried beans