Instant Pot Refried Beans Recipe

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Terri Hunter Modified: March 23, 2022
Instant Pot Refried Beans Recipe

Planning for a Mexican themed lunch or dinner? Well, I’ve got you covered with my instant pot refried beans recipe. You can’t have a Tex-Mex meal without one of their traditional dishes: refried beans. It’s basically mashed Mexican beans turned into paste so it’s thick and cream-like. Majority of its mildly sweet and earthy flavor comes from the pinto beans, spices, and a variety of flavorful toppings.

Refried beans are my favorite Mexican side dish since it can be paired alongside other entrees or appetizers. You can use it as a dip, or spread it over a tortilla to make refried beans tostadas. It’s so easy to make this homemade refried beans, especially since it’s all cooked using an instant pot or electric pressure cooker. Handy cooking appliances like these can help reduce your cooking time, too.

First step: choose the best beans. This refried beans instant pot recipe relies on what kind of beans you’ll be choosing. I used dried pinto beans which is the traditional kind of Mexican beans used for refried beans. Some people would use black beans which is also a good substitute for the dry pinto beans. Never buy canned beans for this refried beans recipe. It can greatly affect the flavor of the dish.

Next step would be to pre-soak the beans in water, or you can also replace one-half or one-third of it with chicken stock to add flavor. It’s an important step that would give the pinto beans the best soft texture ready for mashing.

I combined all of the ingredients in the instant pot, and then used a potato masher (or immersion blender, if you have) to mash the pinto beans until they’re smooth and creamy, then you’re done! Making homemade refried beans is so much better than buying canned refried beans. You can freely adjust the taste to your own liking by adding other spice ingredients like bay leaves or dried oregano.

This instant pot pinto beans recipe has a rich, earthy flavor that’s just so appetizing to eat. Serve it alongside other delicious Mexican recipes for a satisfying meal!

How To Make Instant Pot Refried Beans

This instant pot refried beans recipe is full of spice and flavorful toppings that really enhances the mild sweet and earthy taste of the mashed beans paste. Garnish it with chopped cilantro, lime wedges, diced tomatoes, or jalapeños.

Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 55 minutes
Total: 1 hour



  • 1cupdried pinto beans,soaked for 8 hours and drained
  • 3cupswater
  • ½yellow onion,chopped
  • 2garlic cloves,minced
  • 1tspground cumin
  • 1tspchili powder
  • ¼tspfreshly ground black pepper
  • pinch of cayenne pepper,optional
  • ½-¾tspkosher salt
  • chopped fresh cilantro lime wedges, diced tomatoes, sliced jalapeño, diced avocado, crumbled queso,optional garnish


  1. Combine the drained beans, water, onion, and garlic in the Instant Pot.

  2. 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 about 20 minutes.

  3. When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for about 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.

  4. 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 of 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.

  5. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt as needed, and serve warm with a garnish of cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.

Recipe Notes

Store leftover beans in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week, or freeze them using freezer bags to last for up to 3 months. 


  • Calories: 120.83kcal
  • Fat: 0.58g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.10g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 0.15g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.19g
  • Carbohydrates: 21.99g
  • Fiber: 5.48g
  • Sugar: 1.20g
  • Protein: 7.25g
  • Sodium: 383.17mg
  • Calcium: 50.79mg
  • Potassium: 494.65mg
  • Iron: 2.03mg
  • Vitamin A: 14.88µg
  • Vitamin C: 3.68mg
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