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INSTANT POT REFRIED BEANS (VEGAN)

Instant Pot Refried Beans made from scratch are the BEST! This easy, vegan refried beans recipe uses a NO SOAK method of pressure cooking the beans keeping every bit of flavor and are great will all your favorite Vegan Mexican Recipes!

top down view of refried beans in a white serving bowl with chopped cilantro sprinkled overtop.

Homemade refried beans are made oil free, low-fat and so much healthier and more flavorful than store-bought canned refried beans. And I must say they are just as good, if not better than restaurant refried beans, even without all the butter, oils and extras they add in.

Once you’ve made your own refried beans from scratch, you’ll never want canned again. Thick, creamy and delicious, this recipe is perfect for making ahead and stores perfectly in the fridge or freezer until ready to use.

Need more ways to cook refried beans:

Don’t I need To Soak The Beans First?

No! Contrary to what many say, there really is no need to soak the beans. In fact, soaking the beans first means you’ll lose some of the flavor. The only reason you may want to soak is to save a little cooking time, but even then it will only save you 30 minutes to an hour. I always like to direct readers to this article about the myth of soaking beans.

This post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.

top down view of ingredients to make refried beans added to an instant pot.

Ingredients You’ll Need

In this recipe, pinto beans, onion, garlic and spices are pressure cooked creating a flavorful refried beans that is perfect to use in a variety of Mexican inspired dishes.

Here is everything you’ll need:

  • Pinto beans: We’ll be making this refried bean recipe from scratch, so you’ll need a one pound package of dried pinto beans, about 2 cups. Substitute for black beans if you prefer refried black beans. And If you prefer to use canned beans, this Quick + Easy Refried Beans is perfect for you and ready in 20 minutes.
  • Onion and garlic: Added for superb flavor. If you don’t have fresh on hand, use 3 teaspoons of onion powder or 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
  • Vegetable broth: The beans will soak up the vegetable broth, adding another layer of flavor when cooking. Plus, you’ll reserve some of the cooking liquid, adding some back to the beans when pureeing at the end. To cut down on cost and sodium I use 1 – 2 teaspoons of Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base to the 8 cups of water called for.
  • Spices and peppers: I like to add cumin, a chili powder (chipotle powder is my favorite), and 2 bay leaves. These would also be delicious with an added teaspoon of oregano. For even more flavor add a jalapeno for extra spice, or use a hatch or anaheim chili for a milder flavor. For this recipe I used a hatch chili.
  • Salt and pepper: Add up to 1 teaspoon each of mineral salt and pepper. Mineral salt is different from table or sea salt, and includes essential minerals and trace elements. I find it more flavorful and that I don’t need as much. It’s the salt that I use most and highly recommend using it.
  • Lime juice: Freshly-squeezed at the end of preparation adds a wonderful brightness of flavor.

side by side photos of the process of making instant pot vegan refried beans.

How To Make Instant Pot Refried Beans

Making homemade refried beans in the instant pot only requires a few simple steps:

  • Start by washing the beans. Rinse the beans under cool running water using a colander. Pick out and remove any odd shaped beans.
  • Add ingredients to the instant pot. Place the beans in the bowl of the instant pot, add the onions, garlic, cumin, chili powder, chili peppers (if using), bay leaves, salt, pepper and finish with the liquids.
  • Pressure cook the beans. Manually set the Instant Pot to HIGH pressure for 45 minutes, close the vent. Once done, let the pressure cooker steam vent naturally for about 25 minutes.
  • Drain the beans. Let the beans cool a few minutes and drain the liquids, reserving up to 2 cups. I love having my Instant Pot lid on hand to help with draining. Simply adjust it askew when tipping the pot, just enough so the beans don’t spill out.
  • Mash or Puree the beans. Using a potato masher or immersion blender, mash or puree the beans to desired consistency. Add as much of the reserved liquids you need to thin. Ultimately, you may like the beans un-mashed for a more ranchero or charro style bean.
  • Taste for flavor. Taste the beans, adding as much lime juice, salt and pepper as you like.

Now all you have to do is enjoy!

side by side photos showing the process of draining and pureeing instant pot vegan refried beans.

How To Store + Reheat

  • Refrigerator: Leftovers will keep for 5 – 6 days in the refrigerator, stored in a covered container.
  • Freezer: Refried beans are freezer friendly and will freeze well for up to 2 – 3 months. To freeze, let cool completely and store in freezer safe containers (affiliate link), leaving 1/2 inch head space for expansion. You can also freeze larger portions in large ziplock bags or containers. Let thaw before reheating.
  • Reheat: Simply re-warm on the stovetop over low heat until warmed through, adding a little water as needed so the beans don’t stick to the pan. Alternatively, reheat in the microwave, covered, using 30 – 60 second intervals, stirring after each, until warm.

top down view of vegan refried beans made in a instant pot.

Serving Suggestions

Here is a few ideas on how to use your homemade refried beans:

However you like instant pot refried beans, I hope you enjoy!

side angle view of refried beans in a black serving bowl with chopped cilantro sprinkled overtop.

More Instant Pot Recipes

If you try this easy pinto beans recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment and rate it below. I love to hear what you think, or any changes you make.

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INSTANT POT REFRIED BEANS

The BEST Instant Pot Refried Beans are easy, healthy and absolutely delicious. Use these homemade vegan frijoles for any of your favorite Mexican inspired dishes!

  • Author: Julie | The Simple Veganista
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 65 min
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 8
  • Category: Side
  • Method: pressure cooker, puree
  • Cuisine: Mexican, Tex-Mex
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 lb. dried pinto beans (2 cups), rinsed and odd beans removed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, mined
  • 1 jalapeno or hatch chili pepper, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or chipotle powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon mineral salt
  • 8 cups vegetable broth or water (or combo)*
  • 12 limes, juice of

Instructions

Start by washing the beans. Rinse the beans under cool running water using a colander. Pick out and remove any odd shaped beans.

Add ingredients to the instant pot. Place the beans in the bowl of the instant pot, add the onions, garlic, cumin, chili powder, chili peppers (if using), bay leaves, salt, pepper and finish with the liquids.

Pressure cook the beans. Manually set the Instant Pot to HIGH pressure for 45 minutes, close the vent. Once done, let the pressure cooker steam vent naturally for 25 minutes.

Drain the beans. Let the beans cool a few minutes and drain the liquids, reserving up to 2 cups.

Mash or Puree the beans. Using a potato masher or immersion blender, mash or puree the beans to desired consistency. Add as much of the reserved liquids you need to thin. Ultimately, you may like the beans un-mashed, more ranchero or charro style.

Taste for flavor. Taste the beans, adding as much lime juice, salt and pepper as you like.

Serves 8

Store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for 4 – 5 days in a covered container. To keep longer, freeze the beans in freezer safe containers for 2 – 3 months. Let thaw in the fridge overnight. Re-heat on the stove over medium low, stirring frequently.

Notes

*For the liquids, I used 8 cups of water with 1 heaping teaspoon of Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base with great results.

RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT: I use this Instant Pot and glass lid. For pureeing, I love my immersion blender. It’s easy to clean, small and fits well in a utensil drawer (affiliate links). For more of my favorite cooking tools, shop my kitchen essentials.

Nutrition Information is calculated using 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 cups organic vegetable broth (not low-sodium).

Nutritional values are estimates only. See our full nutrition disclosure here.

Keywords: instant pot refried beans, vegan refried beans

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13 Comments

  1. I used northern beans since pinto beans and I have a bad relationship. These are absolutely famous!

  2. Love these! I didn’t have an onion so instead I used about 1 teaspoon onion powder, didn’t have bay leaves so left that out, had canned diced jalapeños and used 1 heaping tablespoon, and used 6 cups water instead of 8, with better than bouillon vegetable broth plus 1 tsp better than bouillon garlic base as well. So flavorful and perfect amount of 🌶! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! Will make again and again! ☺️🤎

  3. Made these refried beans for the first time today. Very easy and delicious! I sauteed the onion, garlic, pepper, and spices in water before adding the beans and liquid, but that added minimal extra time and effort. Will definitely make these again!

  4. I’ve made this several times now probably 3/5 they’ve worked great but just now again my beans were underdone after the full 45 min and 25 min release! Not sure if it’s a problem with my pot or what but it’s such a bummer after all the work and then knowing how good they should be! Anyone else had trouble with consistency?!

    1. Make sure you use enough water/broth and stir well, set the pressure cooker setting to high pressure, and if that’s not working, maybe just cook them for longer than 45 minutes. You can always turn it back on and cook them for a little longer too if they’re underdone, it won’t affect the consistency. And do a natural release of 10 minutes if you turn it back on a second time to continue cooking. Hope this helps! ☺️🤎

  5. This recipe is by far, the easiest and delicious refried bean recipe, without the extra fat or sautéing step beforehand. Comes out creamy and perfect. I let it cool to warm and then put in in the Vitamix for unbelievable texture consistency. Thank you!

  6. I really enjoy this recipe. I am surprised by the high sodium. Where is that coming from?
    Thanks!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Thanks for the sharing, Jody! Great question – the sodium is calculated using 1/2 teaspoon salt with 2 cups of organic vegetable broth. For lower sodium, be sure to use low-sodium broth or water only. Hope that helps!

  7. First time making refried after I saw my canned ones had 2% lard in them !!! Yuk! Will keep making this recipe weekly they are perfect – don’t forget the lime.. only one thing — FIND AND REMOVE THE BAY LEAVES… I started mashing and then it was a chore to find them :)

  8. absolutely delicious! You are the only one I will follow now for beans!

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Yay, I’m so glad you agree these are delicious! Thank you for sharing Donna! Cheers :)

  9. I’ll definitely be making this soon! Quick question about your instant pot–do you use the 6 or 3 quart model? I’m looking to buy one soon, and would prefer a smaller footprint, as long as it can still accommodate dishes like this.

    1. Julie | The Simple Veganista says:

      Hi Bee, I bought the 6 quart model, which is great for families and large batch cooking. I think you can get away with a 3 quart model, but if you want to make sure or future proof I would go ahead and stick with the larger 6 quart. Storage wise, the smaller one is 2 inches smaller all around and 3 pounds lighter. So I can’t really say how the 3 quart will do, but I do recommend looking at reviews of both sizes before making a final decision. Hope that helps, and enjoy the instant pot and these beans… they are so delicious!

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