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Easy Restaurant Style Instant Pot Refried Beans

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Easy Instant Pot refried beans let you enjoy this classic Tex-Mex dish anytime you want- no restaurant required! This delicious recipe quickly comes together with no need to watch the pot or soak the beans. This zesty dish tastes fantastic as a side dish to tacos, quesadillas, enchiladas or stuffed inside a burrito or as a dip too. This is a mouthwatering vegetarian comfort food the whole family will beg you for over and over again!

Soniya Saluja

Soniya Saluja

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Refried beans

What are refried beans?

Refried beans , or frijoles refritos in Spanish,  that have been cooked, seasoned with the perfect blend of spices and mashed. This dish is a staple in many Tex-Mex and Latin American cuisine. 

Refried beans are often paired with tacos, burritos, or as a side for a lot of different dishes you may find regularly at your local Mexican restaurant. They also go well with rice and make a delicious dip for chips.

refried beans

Ingredients you’ll need

You really don’t need much to make great tasting refried beans at home in your Instant Pot. Here’s what you’ll want to get at the store in order to make this tasty side dish:

  • Dry pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
  • Olive oil- you can skip and make it plant based too
  • Yellow onion - you could use a red onion if you have that on hand
  • Garlic- - adds flavoring
  • Vegetable stock - adds a great flavorful base
  • Water-You can use all water or use Vegetable stock
  • Spices - ground cumin, chili powder, oregano, and bay leaf
  • Salt- a must!

In addition, we recommend you get the following ingredients for garnish:

  • tomatoes 
  • avocado
  • onions 
  • cilantro 
  • queso cheese - you can omit if you are keeping the recipe vegan
  • lime
  • tortilla chips

How to make refried beans in the Instant Pot

The Instant Pot takes a lot of stress out of cooking beans at home. Though we almost always recommend soaking beans for at least a half hour, you can skip soaking beans altogether when using the Instant Pot.

refried beans step by step instructions

To make the best tasting refried beans in the Instant Pot, turn your Instant Pot to SAUTE. When it gets HOT, add the oil, garlic, and onion. Sauté for about 2 minutes or until it becomes fragrant.

When the onions are ready, add the cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt, pepper, cayenne, broth, and water. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom and sides to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the inner pot.  Next, add in the beans and stir to combine. 

Hit CANCEL to stop SAUTE mode. Next, select manual pressure cook and set it to 45 minutes on high pressure.

refried beans step by step instructions

When done, allow the pressure to release naturally. Once the pin drops, carefully remove the lid and drain the beans while preserving the liquid. You will need this liquid so that you can get the right consistency for the refried beans. Discard the bay leaf .

Use a potato masher or an immersion blender to mash the cooked beans until they are smooth. While you mash, add a ½ cup of the reserved liquid. The beans should be a mostly smooth consistency though it will have some lumps. You can mix the beans as much or as little as you prefer to get the consistency you like. 

Before serving, garnish with chopped onions, tomatoes, cheese, and cilantro. Serve it with Spanish rice or enjoy it with tortilla chips

refried beans step by step instructions

How to make on the stove top

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can follow these instructions to make the beans on the stove top.

  • Start by rinsing and soaking your beans. Soaking the beans helps make them easier on the stomach and reduces their cooking time some.
  • Next, add the beans to a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer the beans for 2 to 2.5 hours. 
  • Once the beans have cooked, drain them and preserve some of the water. In a large pot, heat up the oil, onions, and garlic. Sauté over medium heat for about 2 to 5 minutes or until the onions begin to soften and become fragrant.
  • Next, add the spices and beans to the pot and give them a quick stir. Turn off the heat and use a a potato masher or immersion blender. Add about a ½ cup of the cooking water to help make the beans smooth. Mix until you reach a desired level of smoothness. You can add more water as needed.
  • Add desired garnishments and serve with chips, rice, or your favorite recipe.

refried beans

Pro tips and tricks

Here’s what you need to know to make the best beans in the Instant Pot.

  • Old beans take longer to cook the older they are the longer you’ll have to cook them to get them to soften. Find a source that supplies fresh dry beans.
  • Soak your beans for a half hour in cool water. You can skip this step, but it helps with digestion.
  • If you’re short in time, you can use canned pinto beans. Make sure to drain it well before adding to the pot
  • Make sure you use a sturdy spoon to scrape the bottom of the inner pot, you need to remove any browned bits to help avoid the burn notice on the Instant Pot.
  • You can mash them by hand using a potato masher or with an appliance like a food processor or stick blender
  • Add more or less liquid to the beans as you mix them to create your desired level of creaminess and smoothness. Mix them less to create a chunkier refried beans.

refried bean dip

How do you store refried beans

Refried beans are easy to store in the refrigerator. After letting them cool to room temperature, spoon them into an airtight container. Store them for about 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. 

To reheat, place in the microwave and heat for a few minutes. You will likely need to stir the beans as they cook to get consistent throughout.

Can you freeze refried beans

Yes you can store the refried beans in an air tight container in the freezer for up to three months. You will need to thaw the beans and then reheat it in a pan

Serving suggestions

Refried beans go great with tacos, burrito bowls, burrito, chalupas, 7 layer dip, enchiladas and Spanish rice. You can also serve it with tortilla chips, queso, or on top of nachos. 

You can serve it alongside this Mexican Cauliflower Rice Bowl for a delicious meal. Or you could try the beans with this Mexican Fiesta Rice or alongside this Mexican Street Corn recipe

 

refried beans

Is this recipe vegan?

Yes! This recipe for refried beans is vegan and healthy. You just need to omit the optional cheese garnish or serve with vegan cheddar cheese varieties.

MORE GREAT MEXICAN SIDE DISH RECIPES

refried beans

Easy Restaurant style Refried Beans

Yield: 6 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Easy Instant Pot refried beans let you enjoy this classic Tex-Mex dish anytime you want- no restaurant required! This delicious recipe quickly comes together with no need to watch the pot or soak the beans. This zesty dish tastes fantastic as a side dish to tacos, enchiladas or stuffed inside a burrito or as a dip too. This is a mouthwatering vegetarian comfort food the whole family will beg you for over and over again!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound -( 2 -½ cups) dry pinto beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced)\
  • 1 yellow onion (minced)
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt to taste

For Garnish

  • tomatoes chopped
  • onions chopped
  • cilantro chopped
  • queso cheese
  • avocados
  • lime
  • some tortilla chips

Instructions

    1. Rinse the beans in water and remove any small stones, pieces of dirt, or bad beans.
    2. Set Instant Pot to SAUTE. when Hot, Add oil, garlic, onion, and Sauté for 2 minutes until fragrant.
    3. Add cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt, pepper, cayenne and the broth and water.
    4. Scrape to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
    5. Add in the beans. Stir to combine.
    6. Hit CANCEL.
    7. Pressure cook on high for for 45 minutes.
    8. When done, allow the pressure to release naturally.
    9. Remove the lid and drain the beans, reserving the liquid. Discard the bay leaf.
    10. Use a potato masher or Immersion blender to mash the cooked beans until smooth adding ½ cup of the reserved liquid, leaving some texture if you like.
    11. Garnish with chopped onion, tomatoes , cheese and cilantro . Serve it with Spanish rice or enjoy it with tortilla chips

Notes

How to Serve Refried Beans

  • In a 7 Layer dip
  • In Quesadilla
  • To spread over Chalupas
  • As a filling for Burritos
  • in Tacos

Refrigerate any leftovers for up to one week, or store in the freezer for up to three months.

You can use 2 canned pinto beans. Rinse and drain the beans . Follow the steps and make it in a pan . Skip the water and just add some will blending it.

Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 234Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 3mgSodium 237mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 16gSugar 5gProtein 19g

All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. We are not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on TheBellyRulesTheMind.net should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though we try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of our ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.

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Tanya

Saturday 20th of March 2021

Absolutely amazing! I can't even believe how easy, healthy and tasty this is. Thank you so much for your wonderful recipe that has now become a family favorite. :)

Preeti

Tuesday 23rd of February 2021

Delicious and very nicely detailed receipe Regarding vegetable stock, is it store bought? Or made @ home Pls share receipe if homemade

Soniya Saluja

Tuesday 23rd of February 2021

Hi Presto, we use store bought organic low sodium vegetable broth. You can use water to fir this recipe. Hope this helps

Jennifer Arent

Friday 5th of February 2021

Just made this and it is so delicious! I think next time I'll add jalepeno. Other than that, definitely a keeper!

Soniya Saluja

Friday 5th of February 2021

Hi Jennifer, so glad to hear that 😊 do try other recipes from our blog...xoxo

Michelle

Friday 6th of November 2020

I love refried beans. They're so much better homemade. Love how quick and easy it is in the Instant Pot

Dannii

Friday 6th of November 2020

Refried beans are a must for Mexican night, but I never thought to do them in the Instant Pot. Such a great idea!

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