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Instant pot refried beans served in a cast iron skillet topped with cheese and chopped tomatoes

Instant Pot Refried Beans

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.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 42 minutes
Natural Steam Release 20 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 230kcal


  • Instant Pot Pressure Cooker


  • 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.


Serving: 4cups | Calories: 230kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 779mg | Potassium: 387mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 441IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 185mg | Iron: 2mg