Instant Pot Refried Beans

Do you love refried beans? You can make Instant Pot refried beans in minutes and they will be the best refried beans you have ever had.

a bowl of refried beans made in the Instant Pot

There is something about a hearty side dish of pinto beans. Refried beans are the perfect side dish for tacos, quesadilla hamburgers, burritos, and taco salad.

Now, if you love hearty beans a la charra, be sure to try my copycat Pappasito’s Cantina Frijoles a la Charra (Charro Beans), but let’s get onto my favorite way to enjoy beans, refried beans!

Recipe Ingredients and Notes

My recipe contains bacon grease. Use vegetable oil if you want to make it vegetarian. I like to use a little bit of bacon grease because of the smokey flavor that it adds.

I am also using a yellow onion, cilantro stems, chipotle powder, cumin, and dry pinto beans.

When I slice the cilantro I save the leaves for another recipe, in this recipe, the pinto beans are getting pressure cooked, I want something that will carry the flavor and not disintegrate during the cooking process.

Since these beans are being pressure cooked, I am not going to soak them overnight, or even for a few hours. I find if I add about five more minutes to the cooking time they beans will come out tender.

Dad Cooks Dinner advises you can soak pinto beans in a brine overnight. You may want to give this a try.

overhead view of a bowl of Instant Pot refried beans

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How to make refried beans in an Instant Pot

  1. Wash and sort your beans on a cookie sheet. Sometimes little rocks or small clods of dirt can be found in the bags of beans.
  2. Turn the Instant Pot on saute, and saute the onions, cilantro stems, and bacon grease in the pressure cooker.
  3. Add the spices the beans, and water. They will then pressure cook and I will allow the pot to release naturally, so this adds 20 minutes to my cooking time. You will still have flavorful beans in no time.

I do not salt the beans until after they have cooked. Some people think that the beans may become tough if you add salt prior to the cooking process. I personally just like to wait because the bacon grease can be a bit salty, and I want to see how much salt to add.

You can use a different type of a pressure cooker, but my favorite pressure cooker is the Instant Pot. I think hands down this is the best pressure cooker around. It acts like a slow cooker and yogurt maker. It can saute, it makes rice, and it makes some of the best oatmeal around. To say I am passionate about this is an understatement.

You can learn more about my favorite pressure cooker here: Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker, 6Qt/1000W, Stainless Steel Cooking Pot and Exterior, Latest 3rd Generation Technology.

a bowl of homemade refried beans topped with shredded cheese in a bowl


  • Vegetable oil or lard or bacon grease
  • Onion
  • Chopped cilantro stems (save the leaves for garnish, or for another recipe)
  • Cumin
  • Chipotle powder
  • Dry pinto beans
  • Water

More Instant Pot Recipes

Check out more of my easy Instant Pot Recipes and the best Mexican food recipes here on CopyKat!

a bowl of refried beans made in the Instant Pot

Instant Pot Refried Beans

Make the best refried beans ever in your Instant Pot.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Instant Pot Recipes, Refried Beans
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 120kcal


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil lard or bacon drippings also work
  • 1 cup yellow onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro stems, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1 pound pinto beans dry
  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • salt to taste


  • Saute onions and cilantro stems in 2 tablespoons of oil until the onions are translucent. Add cumin and chipotle powder. Stir in spices. Add sorted beans and water. Pressure cook for 40 minutes. Allow pressure cooker to release naturally, about 20 minutes. 
  • Taste beans and season with salt (I like about 1 1/2 teaspoons). If you desire refried style simply mash beans with either a potato masher or a stick blender until the beans are smooth.



Instant Pot


Calories: 120kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 11mg | Potassium: 286mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 105IU | Vitamin C: 2.2mg | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1.4mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Kathryn Morrow

    5 stars
    I would love the recipe for gumbo from Castaways restaurant in Port Aransas, Texas. Unfortunately, the hurricane MAY have ruined the building. I have eaten gumbo all my life and this is one of my favorites.

  2. donna

    I followed the instructions to the letter and mine turned out a bit soupy. i’d recommend cutting down the liquid a bit.
    Taste, however, was outstanding.

    • Stephanie

      Beans in the bag often have dirt clods in them. I like to pour all of my beans out on a cookie sheet and pick out the bits of dirt. If you watch the video, this is a step in the video.

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