instant pot refried beans 29351
instant pot refried beans 29351

Use the Instant Pot to make creamy, rustic bean puree. They taste way better than canned beans and cost less! Our favorite version uses a little bacon fat, but any fat will do.

Once you’ve eaten homemade refried beans, you’ll never want to open a can of beans again.

Not only are they tastier, they cost about half the price of canned beans, and they’re so easy to make in a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot!

Preparing bean puree in the pressure cooker is a two-step process.

  • Firstadd beans, water, and salt to saucepan and pressure cook until tender (beans can be either soaked or not).
  • Nextpuree or puree the beans with onions sautéed in your choice of shortening. That’s it!

New to Instant Pot? Check out our post How To Use an Instant Pot: A First-Timer’s Guide.

What Are the Best Beans for Refried Beans?

Technically, you could make refried beans from just about any bean, but pinto or black beans are your best bets.

Sometimes beans take longer to cook than expected, especially when they are very old. Soaking tends to even help the pitch in this regard. I almost always soak my beans the night before I plan to cook them to ensure even cooking unless I didn’t plan far enough ahead!

What is the best fat for bean sauce?

One thing you won’t want to skimp on is the frying fat –I like to use about 3 tablespoons of shortening for every pound of beans.

The tastiest options are bacon fat for a rich and slightly smoky bottom note, lard for all that richness without the smoky flavor, or extra virgin olive oil for a vegetarian-friendly casserole with beans.

What should you serve with refried beans?

Plain pinto beans are a fine accompaniment to Mexican dishes, but refried beans are even better. Its silky, spoonable texture and rich mouthfeel are even more luxurious.

Scoop them onto a plate alongside enchiladas, tamales, moles, or other main dishes. I also often eat a helping of leftover beans for breakfast the next day, under some fried eggs with some grated cheese on top.

Ways to customize this recipe

This is a very simple recipe that is only required Beans, water, salt, frying fat and diced onions. You will be surprised at how delicious they are with such a minimal list of ingredients.

I sometimes add diced green chiles, a dash of hot sauce, a sprinkling of cumin or garlic, but they honestly don’t need it.

Oh and Make sure you season your beans well– enough salt is definitely key to take them from boring to irresistible! I soak my beans in salt to ensure they are fully seasoned, then add more at the end of cooking if needed.

This recipe calls for kosher salt, which is a large, coarse grit — use slightly less if using a denser salt like table salt or sea salt.

Store and freeze Refried Beans

Refrigerated beans can be kept refrigerated for up to 5 days and reheated over low heat on the stovetop or in the microwave. If they seem dry, add some water or broth.

Refreshed beans can also be frozen for up to three months.

Need more beans in your life?

  • Refreshed Beans
  • Refried black beans
  • Pinto beans with bacon and jalapeño
  • Plain black beans and rice
  • Spicy lemony black beans

Instant Pot Refried Beans

preparation time
5 minutes

cooking time
75 minutes

Optional soak
8 hours

total time
9 hrs 20 mins

6 cups

This recipe works great when cut in half, which is what I do all the time. If you have a larger pressure cooker (8 litres), it can also be doubled.


  • 1 lb dried pinto beans

  • 8th cups water

  • 2 teaspoon kosher saltplus more for seasoning

  • 3 tablespoon Bacon, Lard, or extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 Middle yellow onionrolled


  • grated cotijaMonterey Jack or cheddar cheese

  • lime wedges

  • Hot sauce


  1. Mix beans, water and salt:

    Place the pinto beans, water, and salt in the pressure cooker and stir to dissolve the salt.

    At this point you can let the beans soak for 8-10 hours or cook them right away. You can also cook the beans in their soaking water or drain them and replace with fresh water if you prefer. It’s up to you!

  2. Boil beans:

    When you are ready to cook the beans, secure the pressure cooker lid in its sealed position.

    Select the manual setting on your pressure cooker (or the bean setting if you have one) and set the time to 20 minutes on high pressure for soaked beans or 25 minutes on high pressure for non-soaked beans.

    (It takes about 15 minutes for the pot to build up pressure before the cooking program starts.)

  3. release pressure:

    At the end of the cooking program, allow the pressure to release naturally – this takes about 35 minutes. (When cooking foods like beans, grains, and fruit sauces in a pressure cooker, it’s best to release the pressure naturally to avoid a hot, sizzling mess.)

    open the pot If the beans are not done at the end of the cooking program, close the pot and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. You must release the pressure naturally for at least 15 minutes before opening the pot again to prevent liquid from spurting out of the pressure cooker lid.

  4. Drain beans:

    Scoop out and reserve 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid. Next, wearing heat-resistant gloves, lift the inner pot out of the pressure cooker and drain the beans in a colander. Rinse the inner pot, wipe dry and place it back into the pressure cooker body.

  5. Sauté fat and onions:

    Reset the pressure cooker’s cooking program by pressing the cancel button, then select the medium sauté setting and add the bacon fat, lard, or olive oil.

    Once the fat has melted (if using olive oil, heat for a minute or two), add the onions and sauté until tender but not browned, about 3 minutes. Cancel the sauté program and turn off your pressure cooker, then add the beans (they should still be steaming hot).

  6. Puree beans:

    For a chunky texture, mash the beans as much as you like with a potato masher. For a smooth texture, use a hand blender to puree them.

    Add 3/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid and stir to combine. Gradually add the cooking liquid until the beans reach your desired consistency. (I like to use a full cup.) They also get fatter as they sit. Taste to taste, adding salt if needed.

  7. Serve or store:

    At this point, you can serve the beans immediately, or set your pressure cooker to “Keep Warm,” cover the pot, and let the beans sit, covered, for up to 10 hours.

    Divide the beans into bowls or plates, sprinkle with cheese and serve warm to the table with lime wedges and hot sauce.

nutritional information (per serving)
1036 calories
42g Fat
128g carbohydrates
42g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!