Friday, April 21, 2017

Refried Beans in the Instant Pot

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I've been having so much fun learning how to use my new kitchen gadget, the Instant Pot. This thing can do it all! Beans and roasts come out perfectly tender. Vegetables, rice, stews and soups are done just right. It has made my life so much easier in the kitchen. I honestly can't say enough good things about the Instant Pot. Now if you're nervous to use a pressure cooker, don't be! I was so nervous my face would be blown off (yes totally irrational fear 😜), but it honestly couldn't be more easy to use. Just read the manual and you will be all set!

One of my favorite things to make in the Instant Pot is beans. Once the pot comes up to the correct pressure, you can go from dried to cook beans in just 25 minutes. It used to take hours to achieve the same results, but not anymore. My family loves beans, so this has been such a time saver for me.

If I'm being honest, beans are not my favorite. Not even in my top 50 foods, but my family loves them and they are cheap, cheap, cheap. I'm always looking for new and flavorful ways to prepare beans so that I can enjoy the meal with my family. Enter my refried beans.

These refried beans are a far, far cry from your store bought variety. The canned beans, although very convenient, just lack a lot of flavor in my opinion. This recipe makes wonderfully flavorful beans that can be mixed into any Mexican dish, or eaten alone. My family loves to make a meal out of them alongside Brown Spanish Rice, lettuce and salsa.

Printable Recipe
Flavorful Refried Beans (THM: E, gluten-free, dairy-free, low-fat)

  • 4 c. cooked pinto beans (if you are using canned beans, be sure to drain them, reserving the liquid and then rinse them well)
  • 1 1/2 T. olive oil
  • (1) small yellow onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 t. paprika
  • 1/2 t. chili powder
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
  • 2 t. salt (if you are using canned beans, reduce the salt to 1 t.)
  • 2 1/2 t. cumin
  • a pinch or two of red pepper flakes ***Omit if you do not like spicy food***
  • bean broth (the reserved cooking liquid)
  1. ***If you are using canned beans, or cooking your beans another way, skip steps 1-5*** Pour your pinto beans into a colander. Take a quick look and ensure that there are no small stones or clumps of dirt in them. Rinse, drain and put into an empty Instant Pot.
  2.  Fill the Instant Pot with water 2 inches above the beans.
  3. Put the lid on and turn it until it's locked and ensure the pressure release valve is pushed to the back. (Refer to the manual if you're not sure what I'm talking about)
  4. Push the Bean/Chili button. 25 minutes should show up on the display face of the Instant Pot. Just let the pot start on its own. It will take a few minutes for the pot to reach the correct pressure, and once it is the correct pressure, the time will start.
  5. Once the beans are done cooking let the pressure release on its own. When it has completely depressurized, the metal pin next to the pressure release valve will be up. You can take the lid off at this time. 
  6. Place your colander over a bowl that is deep enough to catch all the liquid from the beans. Pour the beans into the colander and let them sit for about 5 minutes. Reserve the liquid.
  7. Put the metal insert of the Instant Pot back inside of the machine (or you could use a pot on the stove) and add the olive oil.
  8. Push the Saute button on the Instant Pot, or use medium heat on a stove top, and add the onion. Stir for 6-7 minutes, or until translucent, and then add the garlic. Stir for 1 more minute.
  9. Add 4 cups of beans, all of the spices and 1 cup of the reserved bean broth. Mash with a potato masher to your desired consistency. Continue to add bean broth if the beans are getting too dry.
  10. Cook for 8-10 minutes, taste and add more salt if needed. 
  11. Serve in 1/2 cup portions inside of a tortilla shell or along side of some rice and lettuce to make a full meal.


  1. could you toast some joseph's pitas for chips and add some 0% greek yogurt and stay in E mode?