We thought refried beans would be difficult to make. We love refried beans, however, they’re usually pretty expensive to buy in cans. Solution? Make them in the Instant Pot.
Easy & Inexpensive
We were amazed at how easy, and inexpensive, it is to make this Mexican staple. We will never buy another can of refried beans again!
So, don’t be intimidated. This recipe is really easy and I’m sure you’ll get rave reviews.
Gather the Ingredients
It’s always a good idea to read the recipe (it’s below) and gather all your ingredients before starting a recipe.
Good advice – that I haven’t always listened to and have regretted that decision more than once.
Here’s a quick picture of what you’ll need – it’s spelled out in full in the printable recipe below.
You’ll note that the recipe calls for a fresh jalapeño, but I couldn’t find any at our grocery store, so I used sliced jalapeños in a jar. It worked just fine.
Combine the Ingredients in the Instant Pot
We have always found it best to remove the inner liner of the Instant Pot, if you’re not going to be using the sauté function in your recipe. This helps to prevent anything from getting into the channel of the base as that can be difficult to clean.
Not only that, it also prevents us from accidentally adding anything to the Instant Pot when the liner isn’t in place (we’ve heard horror stories). So, we’ve just trained ourselves to bring the liner to our workspace and add all the ingredients before returning the liner to the Instant Pot base.
So, let’s add all of the ingredients to the inner liner – but NOT the salt! We’ll be adding the salt after the beans have been cooked.
Set the Cooking Time
Give everything a good stir and return the inner liner to the base of the Instant Pot.
Close and lock the lid – ensuring the Pressure Valve is in the Sealing position.
Press the Bean/Chili button and set the cooking time for 45 minutes.
Yes, that’s another Instant Pot behind the one cooking the beans. That’s our 8-quart and its busy making homemade vegetable broth.
We often have them both going at the same time.
Full Natural Pressure Release
Once the cooking time is complete, we’re going to do a Full Natural Pressure Release.
All that means is you just let your Instant Pot sit until the Float Valve Drops on its own.
In our case that took approximately 52 minutes.
Note: If you just let your Instant Pot default to “Keep Warm” after the cooking time is complete, the display will actually start counting up (see photo).
When the Float Valve finally dropped, our Instant Pot was displaying an elapsed time of 52 minutes.
Add the Salt
Once the Float Valve has dropped, carefully remove the lid.
Now’s the time to add the salt.
And, then, give the beans a good stir.
Make sure that the salt is well dissolved into the beans.
Time for the Immersion Blender
Once you’ve given the beans a good stir, it’s time to carefully remove the inner liner to a heatproof surface. We always use oven mitts when we do this because the liner is going to be quite hot.
It’s always a good idea to only move it a small distance from the base. We often use a large (as big as the liner base) round, cork coaster.
We remove the liner with most of our recipes so that we don’t get any splashes, etc. into the channel of the Instant Pot base when we’re blending or serving the contents.
Blend the beans with the immersion blender until you reach the desired consistency.
The final result should be thick and smooth.
Here’s two different ways to serve them – with the refried beans, chips and salsa separately – or with the salsa on top of the refried beans and chips on the same plate.
The choice is yours – or any other way you’d like to use them!
Total Instant Pot Time
When we remember to record it all, we like to show the TOTAL amount of time your ingredients will be in the Instant Pot.
Cooking time is only part of the story.
Here’s how this one breaks down:
- Time to come to pressure: approx. 24 minutes
- Cooking time: 45 minutes
- Time for full Natural Pressure release: approx. 52 minutes
- Total Instant Pot time: approx. 2 hours 41 minutes
Find More Great Recipes
Find more great recipes in our book 50+ Quick & Easy,Instant Pot, Vegan, Vegetarian & Whole Food Plant-Based Recipes: Full Color Edition with over 200 full-color pictures!
Here’s the printable recipe:
Vegan Refried Beans in an Instant Pot
- Electric pressure cooker
- 26 ounces dry pinto beans or substitute Romano beans
- 1½ cups onion chopped
- 4-5 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper seeded and chopped
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 cups vegetable broth preferably homemade
- 2 cups water
- 1-2 teaspoons sea salt added after cooking is complete
- In a large bowl, soak the dried beans in enough water to cover, for approximately 15 minutes.
- Add all of the other ingredients (except the salt) to the inner liner of your Instant Pot.
- Drain the beans you set aside to soak and rinse.
- Add the beans to the rest of the ingredients and stir.
- Close and lock the lid, ensuring the Pressure Valve is in the Sealing position.
- Select the Bean/Chili button and set cooking time to 45 minutes.
- Once cooking time is complete, allow a full Natural Pressure Release. A complete Natural Pressure Release means that you wait until the pin drops on its own without switching the Pressure Valve to Venting.
- Once the pressure has released on its own and the Float Valve has dropped, open the lid, remove the inner liner carefully (it’s going to be really hot) and place it on a heat-proof surface.
- Add the sea salt, to taste.
- Use an immersion blender to achieve the desired consistency.