These Instant Pot Refried Beans require no soaking time and just two simple steps – plus they’re ready in only 5 minutes!
How to make refried beans in the Instant Pot
Add all ingredients to Instant Pot in the order in which they are listed excepting for toppings.
When the beans are done cooking, open the Instant Pot carefully. Mash beans until well-blended with some chunks.
- Transfer refried beans to a bowl and add desired toppings.
Serve and enjoy!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Olive oil – any neutral oil like grapeseed oil, avocado oil or sunflower oil can be used as a substitute in this recipe.
- Vegetable broth – vegetable broth adds more flavour to this dish. If you are in a pinch, you can use water instead.
- Pinto beans – pinto beans offer a creamier texture and taste to this dish. If you don’t have pinto beans, you can use black beans as a substitute. If you do use black beans, just know that the texture and taste will be altered.
- Garlic – fresh garlic or jarred minced garlic are both great options.
- Lime – fresh or bottled lime juice will both work. If you’re in a pinch, you can use lemon juice.
- Chili powder – cayenne powder, paprika or chipotle powder are both great substitutes.
- Cumin – if you don’t have cumin, you can double up on the coriander, use taco seasoning or leave it out entirely.
- Coriander – if you don’t have coriander, you can double up on the cumin or leave it out entirely.
- Salt & pepper (to taste)
- Cilantro – you can use parsley or leave it out completely.
- Jalapenos – any pepper will be a great addition to this recipe. If you’re looking for something without spice, you can use a coloured bell pepper instead.
- Pico de gallo – chopped tomatoes are a great replacement if you don’t have pico de gallo on hand.
- Avocado – fresh avocado sliced/diced or made into guacamole will pair great with the beans.
- Cotija – if you aren’t able to find cotija, you can use crumbled feta instead or leave it out entirely.
- Diced red onion – use white or yellow onion instead of red, or leave them the onions out entirely.
- Lime wedges (optional)
- Tortilla chips (for dipping) – use raw veggies like carrots for a low carb substitute.
What makes refried beans refried?
Contrary to the name, refried beans aren’t fried twice. The name refried is a translation from the Spanish word “refritos” which directly translates to well-fried. Once the beans have been cooked with the other ingredients in the Instant Pot they are not only soften but well fried. This gives the beans the texture necessary for the perfect refried beans!
How to serve them
To enjoy your refried beans, serve them as a dip, a side dish, a meat replacement, or added protein to your favourite Mexican dishes. Adding refried beans to your tacos or fajitas add extra fibre to the dish, bumping up the nutritional value. You can also eat your refried beans on their own. If you’re looking to eat your refried beans as a dip, you can use tortilla chips or raw vegetables like celery and carrots for a lower carb option.
Storing and reheating
To store any leftover refried beans, let the dish cool down completely then store it into a storage bag or airtight container. The refried beans will last in the fridge for up to five days. If you are storing the dish in the fridge, store it separately from the toppings as it will not be ideal when you are reheating the beans.
When you’re ready to enjoy the dish, warm it up in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or until warm. After the beans have been warmed up, add your desired toppings and enjoy.
Freezing refried beans
This dish is freezer friendly! If you want to freeze your beans for a later date, wait for your cooked beans to cool down completely then transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag. Once you’ve transferred the dish, store it in the freezer for up to 6 months. When you’re ready to enjoy your beans, move the container or freezer bag to the fridge overnight or at least several hours before you wish to enjoy it. This will let the beans thaw. The beans might be a little watery after defrosting, this will go away after you’ve mixed them. Reheat the beans in the microwave or on the stovetop until warmed.
More Instant Pot vegetarian recipes
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls if you want to store this delicious refried beans recipe
- Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months
- Reusable silicone food bags – These reusable food bags get the same job done as the plastic freezer and sandwich bags but are eco-friendly!
Instant Pot Refried Beans
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 3 (540mL) cans pinto beans, rinsed & drained
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
- Pico de gallo
- Cotija/feta cheese, crumbled
- Diced red onion
- Lime wedges
- Tortilla chips
- Press the pressure cook button and set to high, then cook for 5 minutes. Instant Pot will take about 5-10 minutes to come to pressure then pressure cook for 5 minutes.
- Do a quick release of the pressure on the Instant Pot by flicking the switch at the top with a spoon.
- Open the lid when pressure gauge has dropped and the lid opens easily. Mash beans until well-blended with some chunks.
- Serve refried beans in a large bowl, topping with desired toppings, then serve and enjoy.