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Refried beans in a serving dish
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5 from 5 votes

Instant Pot Refried Beans

These Instant Pot refried beans transform dry pinto beans into flavor-packed refried beans, and are seasoned with jalapeños, onions, and spices. (Pre-soak AND no-soak options!)
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Pre-Soaking Time:8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 45 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 16 people
Calories: 113kcal


  • 1 pound dry pinto beans (~2 cups) Sort through + pick out pebbles or deformed / broken beans before using
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 1 tablespoon salt, plus more if desired
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika Alternatively, use equal amounts ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 2 jalapeños, stems removed + diced
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves


  • Optional (But Recommended):
    Add pinto beans to a large bowl, and cover with water. Soak 8-12 hours (or overnight). Discard soaking water, and rinse beans before using.
  • Add olive oil to the Instant Pot. Press the sauté button. Leave the adjustable temperature setting at normal.
  • Add the onions, salt, smoked paprika, chili flakes, and jalapeños. Cook until the onions have softened, and the spices are fragrant (about 3-4 minutes).
    Tip: Turn on the vent hood fan over your oven or open a window during this step. Use a long-handled spoon to stir the veggies, and avoid standing with your face over the pot. 
    Cook onions, spices, + jalapenos until tender
  • Add a splash of the water, and stir to remove any bits of food stuck to the bottom of the pan (to prevent the burn warning).
  • Add the remaining water, along with the bay leaves and beans.
    Add soaked beans + water
  • Press the cancel button on your Instant Pot (to turn off the sauté function).
  • Seal the Instant Pot lid, and turn the steam valve to the sealing position.
  • For Pre-Soaked Beans:
    Set Instant Pot to pressure cook/manualhigh pressure. Set the cook time for 20 minutes.
    For Unsoaked Beans:
    Set Instant Pot to pressure cook/manualhigh pressure. Set the cook time for 45 minutes.
  • The Instant Pot will take about 10-15 minutes to come to pressure, and then will start counting down the cook time.
    The Instant Pot will beep to let you know the cook time has finished. After the cook time is finished, the machine will begin the natural release process, and the countdown timer will start counting up.
    Allow the Instant Pot to do a natural release for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, carefully quick release the remaining pressure by using the handle of a long spoon (I use a wooden spoon) to turn the steam valve to venting.
    Tip: Quick release can be messy– the vent will let loose some liquids with the steam. Lay a kitchen towel over the top to keep your kitchen clean.
    Pressure cook the beans until tender
  • Open the Instant Pot lid, and remove the bay leaves.
  • Strain out approximately 2 cups of liquid from the beans, and reserve the liquid for later.
  • Use an immersion blender to blend the beans.
    Alternatively, add the beans to a blender basin or food processor and blend until creamy.
    Blend refried beans with an immersion blender
  • Taste, and add more salt if desired. (If you like your beans on the salty side, add about 2 teaspoons of extra salt.)
    If you like your beans to be thinner, pour some of the reserved liquid back into the beans.
    Tip: The beans will thicken as they sit in the fridge, so if you're not eating right away, I recommend making them slightly thinner than you prefer.
  • Serve warm as a side dish.
  • Leftovers / Make Ahead:
    Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat before serving.
    Make Ahead / Freeze:
    Store in an air-tight container in the freezer for up to 2 months. I recommend storing in small batches, so that you can thaw the exact amount you'll want to use.


Recipe Yield: ~8 cups of beans.  Serving Size estimates ½ cup per person. 
Cook-time will vary depending on whether or not you soak the beans.


Calories: 113kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 445mg | Potassium: 427mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 179IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 2mg