One-Pot Instant Pot Refried Beans Recipe

There are plenty of different ways to serve beans, and there's no doubt that most people have a soft spot for one method over another. But if you're a lover of refried beans, then you know why these beans really are the jack of all trades. Not only are refried beans great as a side, but they also make an excellent filling for a taco, burrito, or a spread on a tostada. Of course, you can also the refried beans as a dip or spread on tortilla chips.

Recipe developer Melissa Olivieri of The Olive Blogger came up with this fantastic recipe that yields refried beans in no time. "The simplicity of this recipe is amazing — set it and forget it, and then it just needs a quick sauté for the refried portion! I also love that you can control the salt and fat (oil)," Olivieri raves. She also discusses why the Instant Pot is such a good tool to make refried beans. "The Instant Pot makes this a quick and easy dish. No need to soak the beans overnight!" she adds.

Gather the ingredients for this one-pot Instant Pot refried beans recipe

Every recipe begins with a grocery list. For this dish, you will need pinto beans, water, onion, garlic cloves, kosher salt, ground black pepper, cumin, dried oregano, olive oil, jalapeños, and cilantro.

Once you have those things, you can make this one-pot Instant Pot refried beans.

Cover beans with water

Take out a large bowl and toss in the pinto beans. Next, some water on top of the beans and gently swoosh around with your hands, making sure to check for any rocks or foreign objects. If you find any, just remove them. 

Then drain the water from the beans and set them to the side for a moment since you won't need them just yet.

Sauté the onion and garlic

It's time to bust out your Instant Pot. Put it on the sauté mode and drizzle in your olive oil. Once the oil gets hot, toss in the onion and garlic. Cook the two together for about a minute or so. "The sautéing of the onions and garlic with spices before adding the beans allows the flavors to really burst in these refried beans," Olivieri says. "You can really taste the difference between doing the quick sauté and just throwing things in the IP."

Then, spice it up ... literally. Just add kosher salt, ground black pepper, cumin, and dried oregano. Continue to stir until fragrant.

Add beans to Instant Pot

Now, you can throw in the star of your dish — the pinto beans. At this time, you can also dump in the water. Change the mode of the Instant Pot from sauté to beans/chili mode. Then, set your timer to cook the beans for 35 minutes.

Slow release and drain beans

Once the timer goes off, do the slow release and ensure the safety valve is down before opening the lid. Grab a colander and place a bowl underneath it, draining the liquid from the beans. You don't want to discard the beans' liquid since you need it.

Put the beans back into the Instant Pot and add two to three ladles full of the bean water.

Mix the beans and continue cooking

While the beans are still in the Instant Pot, use an immersion blender to combine until it reaches the desired consistency. You can always add more water to get a thinner consistency if you need to.

Set the pot back on sauté mode and cook the beans for another 5 minutes. Be sure to stir constantly during the cooking time.

Garnish and serve

Scoop the beans into a bowl of your choice and garnish with sliced jalapeños and chopped cilantro. These are great to serve however you usually serve refried beans, but Olivieri shares a few of her favorite suggestions. "We love to layer the beans with salsa and sour cream and enjoy it as a dip with our fave show! You can also use them in burritos or tacos," she says.

We hope you enjoyed this recipe!

One-Pot Instant Pot Refried Beans Recipe
5 from 28 ratings
You can make this simple one-pot refried beans recipe easily in your Instant Pot and serve it in tacos, burritos, or as a dip for your favorite tortilla chips.
Prep Time
Cook Time
one-pot instant pot refried beans
Total time: 50 minutes
  • 2 cups dried pinto beans
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 jalapeño sliced into rounds
  • 1 small handful fresh cilantro roughly chopped
  1. Put pinto beans into a large bowl and cover with water. Gently swoosh the beans around with your hands and check for any rocks or foreign objects and then drain the water off. Set aside.
  2. Set Instant Pot to sauté and add olive oil. Once heated add onion and garlic. Sauté about 1 minute. Add in spices along with salt and pepper and stir until fragrant.
  3. Add in pinto beans and water and seal Instant Pot. Set to "Beans/Chili" function and ensure cook time is set to 35 minutes.
  4. When beans are done cooking let them slow release and ensure safety valve is down before opening.
  5. Drain the beans over a large bowl to save the liquid. Put beans back into the pot and add two to three ladles of liquid.
  6. Use an immersion blender on the bean mixture until it reaches desired consistency. You may need to add more liquid.
  7. Once finished, set the pot back to sauté and allow the beans to cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
  8. Scoop into a bowl and garnish with sliced jalapeños and chopped cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips and salsa.
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