Homemade refried beans are one of the easiest ways to up your game when it comes to making Mexican food for dinner. I’ve been making this slow cooker or stove-top version of homemade refried beans for years and decided it’s time I started making them FASTER in my Instant Pot. Instant Pot Refried Beans are so simple to make and you are going to love the flavor they add to your favorite Mexican dinners.
Almost 15 years ago, my friend, Kirstin, taught me to make authentic refried beans. We had served an LDS mission together and both loved the authentic Mexican food one of the sweet ladies from the area would make. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever be lucky enough to have them again, let alone make them myself. But Kirstin came thru with an almost identical recipe her mother-in-law gave her.
I am so happy to pass on the goodness of authentic, homemade refried beans to all of you. This recipe makes enough that you can serve them with dinner one night and freeze a couple of bags to use later. We use them as a side, inside tacos and burritos, for dips, and even to stir into chili to make it thicker. Definitely a recipe you will use again and again!
Serve Refried Beans with:
- Best Ever Chicken Chimichanga
- Instant Pot Spanish Rice
- Salsa Chicken Enchiladas
- Easy Tex Mex Shredded Pork
- Perfect Taco Meat
- Homemade Flour Tortillas
How to make Instant Pot Refried Beans
Tips for making Instant Pot Refried Beans
- Use a strainer to rinse and drain your dry pinto beans.
- No need to chop the onions and garlic too small, remember they are going to get blended up by the immersion blender once the beans are cooked.
- If you do not have an immersion blender, you can use a regular blender, but you will need to let them cool significantly, or make sure you have a pressure valve open on your blender. Be careful because sometimes high heat can mess up the seal on your blender, too. I really prefer using an immersion blender to blend them up. It is so easy to just blend them right in the Instant Pot.
- Cover the release valve with a kitchen towel when doing a quick release. You’ll thank me later! This keeps your cupboards from getting wet and absorbs all the condensed /pressure/steam/mess.
- Reserve an extra cup of the liquid when you drain 2/3 of it out just in case you need to add a little more in for the right consistency. If you forget, no biggie. You can always add regular water but the water the beans cook in is more flavorful.
- Freeze the leftover beans to use for future meals and recipes. I like to freeze 2 cups in a quart-size Ziploc. Two cups are very close to the amount that comes in a typical can of refried beans.
- 1½ lbs dry pinto beans, washed and drained
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 1 whole head garlic, crushed or chopped
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 12 cups water. (Do not exceed fill line)
- Optional add-ins: Cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice
- ½-2/3 cup oil, canola, vegetable, or bacon grease work great
- Place rinsed and drained beans in your 6 quart Instant Pot.
- Add the chopped onions, garlic, salt, vinegar, and water.
- You can also add any of the optional add-ins at this point.
- Put the lid on and set Instant Pot to high pressure for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- When beans have finished pressuring in the instant pot, you can either let it naturally release, or if you are in a hurry, you can do a quick release. Always be careful when doing a quick release. I suggest putting a hand towel over the release valve to help keep the steam and spray from getting on your cupboards or anything else.
- Once pressure has been released, remove the lid and carefully drain about ⅔ of the liquid out of the beans. I reserve about a cup of that water in case I need to add a little more back into the beans.
- Next, add the oil to the partially drained beans and using an immersion blender carefully blend the refried beans, the remaining bean water, and the oil until they reach the consistency you prefer for your refried beans.
- Serve immediately or let cool and store in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to six months.
Sweet treats to consider