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!
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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.
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:
- queso cheese – you can omit if you are keeping the recipe vegan
- 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.
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.
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 1/2 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
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 1/2 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.
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.
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
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
- Instant pot charro beans
- Salsa verde
- Instant pot Spanish Rice
- Instant pot rice and beans
- Sopa de fideo
- 1 pound -( 2 -1/2 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
- tomatoes chopped
- onions chopped
- cilantro chopped
- queso cheese
- some tortilla chips
- Rinse the beans in water and remove any small stones, pieces of dirt, or bad beans.
- Set Instant Pot to SAUTE. when Hot, Add oil, garlic, onion, and Sauté for 2 minutes until fragrant.
- Add cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt, pepper, cayenne and the broth and water.
- Scrape to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Add in the beans. Stir to combine.
- Hit CANCEL.
- Pressure cook on high for for 45 minutes.
- When done, allow the pressure to release naturally.
- Remove the lid and drain the beans, reserving the liquid. Discard the bay leaf.
- Use a potato masher or Immersion blender to mash the cooked beans until smooth adding 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid, leaving some texture if you like.
- Garnish with chopped onion, tomatoes , cheese and cilantro . Serve it with Spanish rice or enjoy it with tortilla chips
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.
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McCormick Gourmet All Natural Mexican Oregano, 0.5 oz
Organic Red Chilli Powder 7 Ounce - Non GMO Extra Hot Chili - by Jiva Organics
McCormick Ground Cumin, 14 oz
McCormick Ground Cumin, 14 oz
Rani Bay Leaf (Leaves) Whole Spice Hand Selected Extra Large 1.75oz (50g) All Natural ~ Gluten Free Ingredients | NON-GMO | Vegan | Indian Origin (Tej Patta)
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