This is a recipe for Refried Beans made in the instant pot. Homemade refried beans using dried pinto beans are easier than you think. With just a few ingredients and a little bit of elbow grease, you’ve got everyone’s favorite side dish for Mexican food.
I can’t begin to tell you how many homemade refried bean recipe versions I’ve tried over the years. The result? I’ve always come away underwhelmed.
Then there are canned refried beans? Sure, they’re quick and easy. They’re a little hard to get out of the can (what’s up with that?) and I still have to fiddle with the consistency and flavors before I serve them. Again, I’m underwhelmed.
I have simply refused to give up on making homemade refried beans.
Finally! I now have a homemade refried bean recipe that I’m comfortable sharing with my readers.
A refried bean recipe that I can be proud to serve as a side dish.
A recipe that is so easy and flavorful that I’ll never reach for canned refried beans again.
And this recipe is so flavorful, it can be served as a side dish or a dip. Bingo!
Before we get to the recipe, let’s talk refried beans.
What are Refried Beans?
Refried beans are a side dish recipe of cooked and mashed beans and commonly served with Mexican and Tex-Mex Cuisine. It’s somewhat the “mashed potato” of Mexican cuisine.
In some parts of Mexico, red kidney beans are used to make refried beans. In Northern Mexico and in Tex-Mex cuisine, pinto beans are used.
I’ve made this recipe twice, using each of the variety of beans and I must say I prefer the Pinto Beans. Pinto beans simply returned a creamier texture.
Why This Instant Pot Refried Bean Recipe Is So Genius
You can be guaranteed that the Instant Pot will cook starchy foods like a champ. The Instant Pot cooks potatoes and pasta beautifully creamy, and beans fall right into that category.
One of our favorite Instant Pot Pasta Recipe is this one for Instant Pot Chicken Chipotle Mac and Cheese. A great example of what a pressure cooker can do for pasta.
The Instant Pot website says that “cooking under pressure or at higher temperature, starch gelatinizes to the maximum degree. This is why pressure cooked pasta, rice and beans have a softer texture in comparison to boiled at normal pressure”.
Here are more reasons why this recipe works:
- Once the beans are cooked, the starchy liquid from the cooked beans is reserved. It’s used in the mashing process to enhance the texture and flavor of the refried beans.
- Chipotle chile powder is added for seasoning to bring some beautiful smokiness to the flavor.
- Brown sugar adds a little sweet.
- Cumin brings it all down to earthy goodness.
- And lime juice brightens the entire overall flavor.
- And my favorite part is the addition of one of my favorite ingredients, New Mexico Chile Powder. It adds a “just right” heat.
- This refried bean recipe can be used as a side dish or a dip.
What to Serve With Refried Beans
- Mexican Shrimp Burrito Con Queso
- Chile Rubbed Braised Beef Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw
- Lobster Tacos with Poblano Peppers
- Slow Cooker Tinga de Pollo Poblano Tacos
Recipe for Instant Pot Refried Beans
I hope you give this Instant Pot Refried Beans Recipe a try. And if you do, please come back and give the recipe a star rating. And leave a comment about your experience with the recipe.
And if you have a favorite refried bean recipe, let me know, I’d love to give it a try.
More Southwestern Bean Recipes
- Mexican Chorizo Instant Pot Mexican Beans
- Southwest Beans and Chicos
- Bolita Beans with Red Wine, Smoked Paprika and Jalapeno
And if you’re looking for Main Course Mexican Recipes, don’t miss my Mexican Southwest Recipes category. You’ll find a ton of South of The Border Recipes.
Including the most popular Mexican food recipe on my site for Hatch Green Chili Colorado.
Homemade refried beans using dried pinto beans are easier than you think. With just a few ingredients and a little bit of elbow grease, you've got everyone's favorite side dish for Mexican food.
- 1 cup dried pinto beans sorted for misfits and rinsed
- 8 cups water
- 1 heaping tablespoon lard
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter divided
- 1 small onion fine minced
- 2 cloves garlic fine minced
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar packed
- 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin Seeds
- 1 teaspoon Chipotle Chile Powder
- 2 cups shredded cheese Montered Jack, or Queso Panela
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice
- Chopped cilantro to garnish
Add beans to Instant Pot and cover with 8 cups of water. Add the scoop of lard.
Close Instant Pot and set to pressure cook on high for 40 min. When finished, allow pressure to naturally release for 20 minutes before venting and removing lid.
Reserve 1 1/2 cup cooking liquid before draining beans.
In the meantime, In a large cast iron or oven-safe skillet melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Once the butter is starting to show bubbles, add minced onion, stirring often for 2 – 3 minutes.
Add garlic, salt, brown sugar, cumin, and chipotle powder and cook for 30 seconds, or until lightly toasted and fragrant.
Stir in cooked beans and 1 cup of the reserved cooking liquid. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer a couple of minutes to marry the flavors.
Use a potato masher to mash beans into a chunky paste. Add more of the cooking liquid for a creamier texture.
Add the lime juice, 1 cup of cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons butter and stir until combined. Top with remaining 1 cup cheese and place skillet under broiler for 1 to 3 min., or until cheese is melted, bubbling, and beginning to brown.
Top with cilantro or chopped yellow and red petite tomatoes, or both. Serve as a side dish or with chips as a dip.
Serve as a side with rice, as a filling for tacos and burritos, or as a dip.