Instant Pot Refried Beans

This instant pot refried beans recipe is easy because you use a pressure cooker, which means you can get them on the table that much faster. And it is so delicious that once you make these beans, you will never be satisfied with canned.

Refried pinto beans in a bowl with chips and salsa in the backgroundPin

I have to say that refried beans is one of the best discoveries to come out of my tenure at the Mexican restaurant.

Of course, the other is the Cadillac margarita. Or any margarita for that matter. I’d never had one before I went to work there and now I can’t get enough of them!

Why use a pressure cooker for making refried beans?

It’s an awesome time saver. The normal time to cook beans is anywhere from 3 to 4 hours. The actual cooking time for this recipe is 50 minutes. You do the math.  🙂

Why are refried beans considered refried?

The ‘refritos’ in frijoles refritos does not actually mean ‘refried.’  What it does mean is ‘well fried’ or ‘well cooked’.  This refers to the fact that they’re basically cooked to mush. I don’t cook beans to mush, but you can easily smash the beans in this recipe to mush after they’re done.

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Helpful tips

  • Wash your beans well and pick them over because there are often rocks mixed in with pinto beans.
  • Use the freshest dried herbs as you can. Remember, dried herbs can go stale.
  • If you are not vegetarian, use chicken broth as it gives the refried beans such a lovely taste.
  • Don’t use bouillon cubes diluted with water as this will make the broth way too salty.
  • You can make this recipe vegetarian or vegan by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth
  • You can also make this recipe with black beans

What I’ve discovered since I started using my instant pot

It doesn’t make a difference in the taste of a dish whether you sauté the onion in oil or not. Save the calories (and the cost) of the olive oil and just toss the onions into the IP with the rest of the ingredients.

Look at that, I just saved you about 5 minutes of cooking time and 5 cents. It all adds up!

How to make refried beans

Step one

Gather the ingredients – herbs and spices, chopped onion, washed pinto beans and chicken broth.

Oregano, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder and chili powder on a dish, with onions chopped, beans in a bowl and brothPin

Step two

Add the beans, broth, herbs and spices and onions in the instant pot.

Beans, the herbs and spices, onion and broth in an instant potPin

Step three

Seal the lid and make sure the venting knob is in the sealed position. Press the Bean button and adjust the time to 45 minutes. The IP takes about 10-15 minutes to come to pressure before the timer begins and the IP can do its job. 

Step four

When the IP beeps, let it rest for 5 minutes before doing a quick release.

Here’s how: put on an oven mitt and carefully flick the venting knob to gently release the pressure.

Step five

Remove the insert from the instant pot before mashing them. You can mash the beans in the IP container, but to show it as is, I put it in a glass bowl.

Pinto beans in a glass bowl with a wooden utensilPin

Step six

I use an old fashioned masher and mash away.  I let some of the beans stay whole but the majority turns into refried beans.

Step seven

Either transfer the beans to a serving bowl, or spoon directly on your plate.

Close up of the creamy pinto beans in a bowl with chips and salsa in the backgroundPin

Let’s look at these beans from above.

Overhead view of the a white bowl of refried pinto beans with chips and salsaPin

You can do many things with these instant pot refried beans. Use them as a side dish or stuff them into enchiladas or burritos.

Other delicious bean recipes

And as always, may all your dishes be delish.

If you’ve tried this or any other recipe on the blog, I’d love the hear what you thought about it in the comments below.  I love hearing from you!  You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

A bowl filled with creamy pinto refried beans with some salsa in the background - squarePin

Instant Pot Refried Beans

Creamy and delicious, these homemade beans will never disappoint!
4.91 from 20 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Instant pot refried beans, refried beans
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 cups
Calories: 277kcal


  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups dried pinto beans washed and picked over
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder or more if you can stand the heat


  • In the Instant Pot, add all the ingredients above.  Seal the IP, press the Beans button and adjust the time to 45 minutes
    4 cups chicken broth, 2 cups dried pinto beans, 1 small onion, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • The IP will take 10 – 15 minutes to come to pressure before the timer begins
  • After the IP beeps, either let it release naturally for 15 minutes or do a quick release in less than 5 minutes.  If you decide to do a quick release, wear an oven mitt so you don’t burn your fingers
  • Either mash the beans int he IP container or transfer them to a bowl.  I use an old fashioned potato masher.  Don’t mash them so much that you don’t have any whole beans
  • Serve
  • Eat
  • Enjoy
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Helpful tips
  • Wash your beans well.  There are often rocks mixed in with pinto beans
  • Use the freshest dried herbs as you can.  Remember, that dried herbs can go stale
  • If you are not vegetarian, use chicken broth as it gives the refried beans such a lovely taste
  • Don’t use bouillon cubes diluted with water as it is way too salty
  • You can make this recipe vegetarian or vegan by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth
  • You can also make this recipe with black beans


Serving: 1cup | Calories: 277kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1452mg | Potassium: 1239mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 22.3mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 4.7mg
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Recipe Rating


  1. Can you believe I don’t yet have an Instant Pot? I’m going to have to get one because this recipe looks delicious! Hubby and I love all kinds of beans and they are always stocked in our pantry. Nice touch with the cumin in here too 🙂

  2. How is it that I love refried beans, but have never MADE them? Crazy, right? Thank you for sharing the recipe, these look amazing, Elaine!

  3. I love that pressure cookers make such quick work of dried beans! And you’re totally right, once you try them you really can’t go back to canned beans. Great recipe!

  4. I really need to get myself an instant pot. It looks like there is so much that you can do with it and we eat a lot of refried beans.

  5. I just happen to LOVE refried beans. This is such a great recipe that can be used so many ways. However, you can catch me just eating these beans by the spoonful…and I love adding them to the taco mixture too.

  6. Thought you might want to know in the print recipe the chipotle powder was left out. I assume it is 1 teaspoon lie the rest of the seasoning. I was able to catch it as you did list it as an ingredient elsewhere. I was using a spreadsheet that will apply the ratio to more or less servings to make and happened to notice. Rating it high as I know it will be delish. I probably will soak the beans prior to cooking as old habits hard to stop. You did a marvelous job explaining and now I have permission to not think I must use oil and lamely fry them!

    1. Thanks so much Linda for catching that, I’ve updated the recipe card. I actually use 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder because hubby can’t stand the heat. I know what you mean about old habits, but you really don’t need to soak them. 🙂

  7. Wow! 50 minutes to have homemade frijoles? Amazing! They are one of my favorite foods on the planet! I make in the slow cooker often, but they certainly do NOT take 50 minutes! Awesome!! Now you are going to make me go buy an Instant Pot, aren’t you?

  8. I actually had refried beans for dinner tonight! They were from a can though and don’t look nearly as creamy and dreamy as your recipe. I love them though so I’m thinking I need to make them myself. Bonus points for using the instant pot!

  9. I can’t believe I’ve never made refried beans in my Instant Pot! Definitely trying this one soon. I love that you don’t need to soak the beans first.

  10. I got a instant pot recently and I have been trying out recipes non stop. Already in love with the pot. This would another recipe I need to try. I love refried beans and have a recipe to make it on stove, thinking of the possibility to have homemade refried beans in an hour excites me!

  11. What a great recipe! Love that you can make it in the pressure cooker. So easy. And the beans look just like the ones in our local Mexican cantina.

  12. I really need to get my hands on an Instant Pot! So many amazing recipes to make with it. This refried beans look so tasty that I am actually convinced to get an IP.

  13. I love this so much! I love that I can make these in my instant pot rather than buying them from the can! Cannot wait to try this!

  14. I’m one of those weird people that has beans for their favorite food. I’m always looking for new ways to make beans (especially refried beans), and I love that this uses the Instant Pot! Taco night is going to be so much more fun now!

  15. What an informational post!! I love it! So much good information here! These look amazing! I’m going to give them a try!

  16. I have made refried beans in my instant pot but your recipe looks so much better! I love all the spices you put in there! I am making these tomorrow with our taco night!

  17. I haven’t tried beans in my Instant Pot yet, but this looks so easy. Can’t wait to try it for our next Mexican dinner.

  18. Made these refried beans in my 8 qt. instant pot. Tried a few other recipes previously and they were good, but this is my very favorite recipe. They are the easiest to make and the most flavorful and since my husband doesn’t like refried beans, they’re all mine. I’m going to eat some of them for supper and freeze some for later. It’s a win for me! Thanks for the recipe. I’ll be making these refried beans many more times to come.

    1. You just made my day Connie! I’m so glad you enjoyed them! I make these just about every week. 🙂

  19. Hey! I’m planning in making this for a big birthday party! Can I double the recipe? If so, do you know if the time stays the same? Or do I need to increase it? Thank you!

    1. Hi Stormy, you can double it, just make sure you don’t exceed the maximum fill line. And when I do a double batch, I increase the time to 1 hour and 5 minutes. Not sure I have to, but hubby likes it better at that time. 🙂 Hope this helps and thank you for your comment!

  20. My instapot broke and I don’t have time to get a new one before dinner. Can I make these in a slow cooker? This is my favorite recipe so need to find a ways to make these happen tonight!

    1. Kimberly, how sad that the IP broke. 🙁 You can use the slow cooker, for sure. You can cook it on high for 5 – 6 hours. I think that will be enough time for the beans to cook. Let me know how they come out.

  21. Followed the directions to a Tee however there was a ton of excess liquid in my pot after cooking the beans. So much so I had to drain much of the liquid before smashing the cooked beans. Anyone else experience this? Where did I go wrong?

    Flavor was great though!

    1. Did you use the right amount of broth to beans?? 4 cups broth to 2 cups beans? Hmm. I’d be interested to know Jena. I’ve made this (no joke) hundreds of times and it comes out the same every time. Sorry it didn’t work out for you.