Here’s a healthy pressure cooker refried beans recipe that uses no lard and there is no pre soaking required! Perfect addition to burritos or 7 layer dip! Made in your Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi in no time.
I will tell you I had NEVER used dry beans to cook from scratch before I got my multi cooker Instant Pot. Now I make pressure cooker refried beans all the time for dinner. This and 101+ more easy InstaPot recipes to enjoy. (affiliate links present)
Homemade Refried Beans
I will say these are way better than canned. Made in your Ninja Foodi or other pressure cooker brand, they don’t take much time either. Make a double batch and feed a crowd.
OR use half and freeze the other for another night to make air fryer flautas!
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For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have and use for all recipe creations.
Why are refried beans called refried beans?
This term actually comes from the Spanish name for frijoles refritos. Refritos means well fried and frijoles means beans, so put that together and there you go.
If you’ve ever had these you know just how delicious and versatile they are! From dips, to taco bowls and the best side dish ever. We just love them!
How do you make refried beans from scratch?
Now, I wasn’t someone who learned how to cook with dry beans growing up. My mom never used them….not once.
But now with this multi cooker it is a breeze!! Let me show you what I mean with this recipe below.
- Now I not only use them regularly as an easy side dish, but also to make homemade Instant Pot soup recipes. Now I’m here to show you how easy these healthy Instant Pot refried beans are to make.
Are homemade refried beans healthy? As you know, anything made from scratch is always a plus because you know EXACTLY what is inside and can omit what you want.
Traditionally Mexican refried beans use lard, this one does not! That one thing makes these a lot healthier.
Instant Pot refried beans
- Pinto beans
- I based the timing off of this Instant Pot cook times for beans printable
- I used 16 oz so I doubled time to 60 min.
- If you halved this recipe I would set to 45 minutes in my opinion
I really like adding a can of already diced chiles to it for flavor, not really heat. You could dice up your own smoked chiles too.
- Onion and garlic
- Vegetable broth
- Apple cider vinegar
- Tabasco for some heat
- Seasoned salt – I use this for everything
- Can thin out beans in blending process with drained liquid from cooking or I have used red sauce as well to add more flavor
Optional – Before step 1 if you wanna add some bacon add it diced with some olive oil on the saute function. Brown, turn pot off, deglaze and leave the bacon fat in the pot!
You’ll need a blender as well like you see here or an immersion blender can be used right inside your pot.
How to make refried beans in a pressure cooker
- First you want to rinse off your dry beans using a colander to remove any dirt or debris
- remember there’s no need for soaking the beans ahead of time
- pressure cooking allows you to eliminate that time consuming step
- Then add them into your electric pressure cooker
Dice up any and all types of onions, peppers, jalapenos if you love those and want some extra heat too.
- remember that a little goes a long way so dice small and if it is your first time making it, only add a bit
I personally like using a can of diced chiles that are mild. They add a lot of flavor but just a bit of heat for our liking.
Add your liquid and spices. Broth is always better but if you only have water that will do too.
- Stir all ingredients
- Close your lid and steam valve
- If using an entire bag of dry pinto beans set to high pressure for 60 min.
- you want them really soft so this particular recipe takes a bit longer than if you were making something like our pressure cooker ham and beans where you want them a bit firm
Allow pot to release naturally for approx. 15 minutes (can naturally release completely and it will just be fine too) and then release the rest of the steam
- Drain the beans
- Add cooked bean mixture into a bowl, or back into your pressure cooker pot if using an immersion blender
- Add a bit of liquid and blend
Continue to add a bit more liquid at a time until it reaches the consistency you’re looking for.
Know it will remain somewhat chunky because of the onions etc but some like their pressure cooker refried beans much smoother than others
How do you thicken homemade refried beans?
Now first off I don’t think you need to do that to this recipe.
- If you allow them to cool for 30 minutes it will thicken nicely.
- BUT if you insist, you can whisk some cornstarch and water, and gradually whisk it into the liquid surrounding the beans.
- To thin, add some broth to make a sort of bean soup which is really delicious too.
Hope this helps you understand how to make homemade refried beans
What to serve with pressure cooker refried beans
- We have used these to make our fun 7 layer dip pizza recipe for get togethers!
- Salsa chicken is a great recipe to make with this for dinner.
- Instant Pot Mexican pizza is to die for and just right for a pair like this.
- Our pressure cooker beer can chicken goes with just about any side dish like this.
- Pork carnitas are always in need of some refried beans.
Directions work for Instant Pot, Crockpot Express or as a Ninja Foodi recipe for homemade refried beans.
How long do homemade refried beans last in the fridge?
If you have extras to store you can keep them in a freezer bag free from air for 3-4 days. Beyond that I would freeze them or make something that night with them, like our 7 layer dip pizza!
Can you freeze homemade refried beans?
This is assuming you have any leftover beans of course, we usually do not when we have taco Tuesday or burritos for dinner.
If you do have some extras though they do freeze great and don’t change in texture or flavor.
If they are in the freezer for a really long time they might become dry, but if you just mix in some water or olive oil you can thin them out again. Use airtight containers for storage.
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Easy Instant Pot recipe
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Pressure Cooker Refried Beans
- Put all ingredients above inside your pressure cooker, stir together.
- Close your lid and steam valve and set to high pressure for 60 minutes.
- Allow to naturally release for 15 minutes, then release rest of pressure.
- Lift lid and stir.
- Turn pot off and use a collander to drain liquid away but do it over a bowl so you can use some of this liquid if desired later.
- Use a blender, either emersion or a regular blender to blend your drained bean mixture. If using an emersion blender put beans back into your pressure cooker and blend. Add a little bit of liquid you drained off (or use taco sauce or broth for added liquid) to thin out the beans until they’re the consistency you want.
- If using a traditional blender, like we did, put all beans in with a few tbsp. of liquid I removed and pulsed, then use a spoon to make sure top beans move to bottom to get blended smooth as well.
- Add a bit more liquid to thin out if desired. Blend until your refried beans are the consistency you want.