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The BEST Instant Pot Refried Beans with Onion, Garlic, and Chiles

We loved these delicious refried beans, made in the Instant Pot, and I think the special way I season the beans really does make them The BEST Instant Pot refried beans! And these refried beans are low-glycemic, gluten-free, meatless, and South Beach Diet friendly. Use the Recipes-by-Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.

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The BEST Instant Pot Refried Beans with Onion, Garlic, and Chiles found on KalynsKitchen.com.

Way back in 2009 I got a stovetop pressure cooker and started trying out Pressure Cooker Recipes for the blog. It was at a time when I was having extensive house renovations on my old house, and there was definitely more comfort food on the menu than usual. It was during that time that I first made refried beans in the pressure cooker, and loved them!

Fast forward quite a few years and a new house later, and of course I would make refried beans in the Instant Pot now. Refried beans are definitely not low in carbs, but they’re low-glycemic and South Beach Diet friendly, and this is something I love for an occasional treat. I made them recently and decided to take some new photos to update this favorite recipe. And they were so good that I’m calling them The BEST Instant Pot Refried Beans with Onion, Garlic, and Chiles!

If you’ve only had refried beans from a can, I can’t emphasize strongly enough how there is something completely special about homemade from-scratch refried beans, especially my recipe where the beans are cooked in the pressure cooker, then pressure-cooked a second time with onion, garlic, and chiles, and then fried. When we took these photos, Kara and I kept commenting about how amazing the refried beans were, and I ate my share of the leftovers in bean burritos with low-carb tortillas and enjoyed every bite.

If the pressure cooker is never going to be your thing, you might like Slow Cooker Refried Beans, which are also really delicious. And if you’ve never made homemade refried beans, I hope this recipe for The BEST Instant Pot Refried Beans with Onion, Garlic, and Chiles will be the recipe that’s going to get you to try them!

Love Your Instant Pot?
I use a 6 Quart Instant Pot for all my Instant Pot Recipes. Check out my growing collection of Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot RecipesFind more Pressure Cooker/Slow Cooker Recipes on my other site!

The BEST Instant Pot Refried Beans with Onion, Garlic, and Chiles found on KalynsKitchen.com.

Use two cups of dried pinto beans; no need to soak them but beans that have been on the shelf or in your pantry for a while will take a little longer to cook. Put beans in the Instant Pot and cover with water 2 inches above the beans. Add 1 T olive oil to slow cooker, then lock lid. Set Instant Pot to MANUAL, HIGH PRESSURE and 30 minutes. When 30 minutes is up, use QUICK RELEASE to release the pressure. (Be sure to add 5-10 minutes cooking time if your beans are old.)

The BEST Instant Pot Refried Beans with Onion, Garlic, and Chiles found on KalynsKitchen.com.

While the beans are cooking, chop the onion, mince garlic (or use minced garlic from a jar), and get the can of green chiles and salt ready. Add those ingredients to the cooked beans. Lock lid again, set Instant Pot to MANUAL, HIGH PRESSURE, and 10 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.

The BEST Instant Pot Refried Beans with Onion, Garlic, and Chiles found on KalynsKitchen.com.

When the pressure has released, use an immersion blender or a food processor to puree the beans, making them as creamy or chunky as you prefer. (Beans may seem watery, but any extra water will cook out when they’re fried.) Heat olive oil (or fat of your preference) in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the pureed beans and simmer over low heat, stirring often, until beans have thickened to the desired consistency.

The BEST Instant Pot Refried Beans with Onion, Garlic, and Chiles

Serve The BEST Instant Pot Refried Beans with Onion, Garlic, and Chiles hot, with grated cheese and sliced green onions if desired.

Other Ideas for Pinto Beans:

Pressure Cooker (or Stovetop Pinto Bean and Ground Beef Stew ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Pressure Cooker Smoky Ham Hock and Pinto Bean Soup ~ Pressure Cooking Today
Cauliflower Rice and Pinto Bean Vegan Burrito Bowl ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Slow Cooker Cowboy Pinto Bean Soup ~ The Food Charlatan
Pressure Cooker Mexican Beans with Avocado-Poblano Salsa ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
Tex-Mex Mash ~ Foodie with Family

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

The BEST Instant Pot Refried Beans with Onion, Garlic, and Chiles
(Makes about 4 cups of cooked refried beans, recipe created by Kalyn.)

Equipment:
I originally created this recipe with a stovetop pressure cooker, but recently I made it again in the Instant Pot and you can certainly use a Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker or another electric pressure cooker if that’s what you have.

Ingredients:
2 cups dried pinto beans (No need to soak the beans, but beans that are fresher will cook more quickly. If your beans have been sitting on the shelf for a while, add 5-10 minutes cooking time.)
1 T + 2 T olive oil (Or use lard, bacon grease, or any other fat you prefer for frying the beans.)
1 cup chopped onion
2 T minced garlic (garlic from a jar is fine for this)
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles
(I used Anaheim chiles, called green chiles in U.S. stores, but you can use hotter chiles if you prefer.)
1 tsp. salt
grated cheese, for serving (I used Four Cheese Mexican blend, which is a mix of cheeses)
thinly sliced green onions, for serving

Instructions:
Put beans in pressure cooker with enough water to cover by about 2 inches. Add 1 T olive oil to cooker, then lock lid, choose MANUAL SETTING and HIGH PRESSURE, and set time for 30 minutes. (Remember to add a few minutes if your beans are old.) After 30 minutes, use QUICK RELEASE to release the pressure.

While beans cook, chop the onion, and prepare minced garlic and green chiles, and measure the salt. Add those ingredients to the pressure cooker with the cooked beans. Lock lid again and set to MANUAL, HIGH PRESSURE, and 10 minutes. Let pressure release naturally when the time is up.

When pressure has released, remove lid and without draining, use an immersion blender or a food processor to puree the beans, being careful not to over-blend. At this point, beans will definitely be more runny than you want, but I like the idea of keeping the flavor that’s in the cooking water and excess liquid will cook off when the beans are fried.

Heat 2 T oil of your choice in a heavy, nonstick pan. Add beans and simmer over low heat, stirring often, until beans have thickened to desired consistency. For me this took about 10 minutes. Serve hot, topped with grated cheese and thinly sliced green onions if desired.

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The BEST Instant Pot Refried Beans with Onion, Garlic, and Chiles found on KalynsKitchen.com.

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Many people don’t realize that low-glycemic dried beans are approved for any phase of the South Beach Diet, which makes The BEST Instant Pot Refried Beans with Onion, Garlic, and Chiles (and other recipes with dried beans) perfect for South Beach Diet meals. Beans are probably too high in carbs for traditional low-carb diet plans.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

Nutritional Information?
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, you can sign up for a free membership with Yummly and use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information. Another option is entering the recipe into this Recipe Nutrition Analyzer, which will calculate it for you.

The BEST Instant Pot Refried Beans with Onion, Garlic, and Chiles found on KalynsKitchen.com.

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43 comments on “The BEST Instant Pot Refried Beans with Onion, Garlic, and Chiles”

  1. Beans are a comfort food for me too! Your pressure cooker recipes are a constant reminder for me that I need to buy one. Good luck with the remodeling.

  2. Joanne, I can’t rave enough about how much I love the pressure cooker! It’s one of my favorite kitchen things now.

  3. I still have the image in my mind of my grandmother’s old (and terrifying) pressure cooker, but I know that these days they are an entirely different beast! I love the idea of being able to cook dried beans in a short time while still maintaining that wonderful texture. Maybe 2009 will be the year I get a pressure cooker….

  4. I hope your renovations continue to go well. We’re renovating our house bit by bit and everything always seems to morph into a bigger project 🙂 I haven’t used a pressure cooker since I was a kid, but am more and more tempted to get one.

  5. Hi Kalyn – I’ve been meaning to write a comment for sometime. My family and I started the South Beach diet in August of last year and your web site has been a godsend. For the first 2 weeks all I did was prepare vegetables, I found your phase 1 roundups to be so helpful. When we got to phase 2 things lightened up a bit. My 2 teenage girls and I have lost a combined weight of 50+ lbs. My husband not so successful. The holidays were a bit hard, but I hope we are back in the swing of things. You have been an inspiration and your blog has great recipes, a number of them we have tried and like alot. Please keep up the good work! This is how I make lower fat refried beans and in Southern Arizona I am up against great competition. After cooking about 2 lbs pinto beans (I soak and then drain the liquid, cooking for several hours in fresh water covering beans by an inch or so, no pressure cooker yet) In a heavy saute pan I heat 3-4 tbls of canola oil until hot and then with a slotted spoon put 2 cups of beans in pan and mash with potato masher constantly stirring and adding cooking liquid and more beans until you have the consistency you like. I season with salt, garlic and onion powder. I also add cheese such as the four cheese blend you mentioned or Queso Fresco which is somewhat lower in fat. I freeze any leftover beans to use in other recipes. Thanks
    Julie I.

  6. I love beans, they are my main source of protein because I don’t eat meat. These look wonderful!!

  7. Lydia, I do hope you get one; would love to compare notes with you. And yes, dried beans in 30 minutes means no more canned beans!

    Laura, I’m very excited about renovations. I think you’d love the pressure cooker if you’re into beans!

    Julie, thanks so much for that nice feedback, and thanks for sharing your method for making refried beans. The pressure cooker is just faster, but I know you can make great beans just by boiling them; my sister-in-law Lisa makes great refried beans.

    Maria, they were great! I’ve had them for lunch three days in a row now!

  8. I am always looking for ways to use my pressure cooker more. I love it!

  9. mmm i love refried beans… are you trying to get me over my pressure cooker phobias? 😀

  10. Love refried beans. I also love knowing I’m not getting stuck with a lot of fat I can’t see because I cooked them myself.
    Beautiful photos. It’s a trial getting through a renovation, funny how even when they’re well done, they can take on a life of there own.

  11. Pam, same pressure cooker love going on here!

    Sarina, bye bye pressure cooker phobia! The new ones are so safe!

    Tanna, this is my second round of renovating, but the first time it was so major I had to live somewhere else, so in a way it’s my first time really living through it. I’ll be okay though. I’m super excited and I can tell it will go quickly. Glad you like the photos,; this was the first time shooting photos in the “new” office in the dining room!

  12. I was just reading David L.’s blog about feta cheese and wanted to say that I love your feta cheese recipes and have made more than one of them. The cucumber dill feta cheese salad is bookmarked in fact!

    I wish you the best with your renovations. I thought I’d go insane when I was getting my kitchen done here and I’m getting renovations done in another apartment I don’t even live in and it still drives me insane. 😉

  13. Hi Kalyn,I am Egyptian in the midle east,this type of food is the breakfast of most of our people,but we use the fava (broad) dried beans and we call it(fool Medammes).We do not refry,we mash the hot(fool)in a deep dish using a fork or a spoon then add some oil(flax or olive or sunflower oil),one fresh lime juice,salt,and may be one mashed boiled egg and tahin(optional but recommended) and eat that with whole grain pita..enjoy.Famous options are add grean salad espcialy made of cucumber(which matches much wih the flavor)and tomato,may be green onions or waterlace .

  14. Murasaki, how fun hearing that you’re a feta cheese fan too, clear over in Spain, and when I went to your blog I see you were making a recipe of my friend Ilva from Lucullian Delights. What a small world!

    Nariman, thanks for sharing how you make your version of beans. I’ve eaten something similar to what you describe at a Salt Lake restaurant called Mazza, which has wonderful middle eastern food. I didn’t know this was eaten for breakfast though, but it sounds great to me! (Also I love that type of salad; I think it’s similar to the Middle Eastern Tomato Salad I learned to make from a friend who is Iranian.)

  15. Looks really good! I’ve always wanted to get a pressure cooker. It is so convenient.

  16. OMG I never knew ppl where so afraid of the pressure cooker! I’m mexican and in my country we use it like,mmm, everyday, specially for cooking beans. Even thought, I must admit there has being at least one time each member of my family had a not so nice pressure cooker incident..haha

    I think ppl is afraid bcs of the pressure? Sometimes is just too much and they do not know what to do. What I used to do (I don’t have a pressure cooker with me anymore here in Shanghai) is just put the pressure coker in the sink under the faucet and just let the cold water do it’s job..

    My mom is such a fan of this, and with your post I’m having so much fun remembering those great moments mom and I had shared in her kitchen. Gracias Kalyn.

    Oh, yeah, btw those frijoles refritos look so deliciosos 🙂

  17. I love beans. I could eat them at every meal I think. I used my new pressure cooker for the first time last night. I can see that it’s going to open up a whole new world of cooking beans on weeknights. Excellent! I also love this post. I want to eat those beans right now. 🙂

  18. Here’s some tips from a book I have that talks about pressure cookers: “You may wish to use a pressure cooker for some grains to shorten the cooking time. In that case, add less water, about 1 1/2 cups of water to 1 cup of the grain. (WARNING: Do not cook any cracked grain in a pressure cooker because it may clog up the escape valve and cause an explosion.)”

    Your renovation project looks nice. I remember that little room in back, so if its expanded that will be nice. I also love the new front porch. I feel you can’t have a house with too many porches and porches can never be too big. They expand your house by giving you a living area outside.

    Not to be a downer on your new project, but we made some rennovations to our house and it took about twice as long as was scheduled. It seems like something always goes wrong, whether its the weather or unavailable workmen or an inability to get exactly what you want.

  19. Pigpigscorner, I am loving the pressure cooker just for the shorter cooking times.

    Heidileon, I think a lot of people who are afraid of pressure cookers are thinking of the old models, which actually could explode. New pressure cookers with the valve built into the lid, are very safe. Nice that it made you think of your mom!

    Kristin, have fun with the pressure cooker! I know you’ll love it.

    Geri, thanks. I haven’t cooked grain yet, but I’m a fan of the books by Lorna Sass, and she has a lot of good tips about cooking just about anything in the pressure cooker, so I’m trying to read up on it. About the renovations, I have the most wonderful contractor, and I know he’ll get it done for me as fast as possible, factoring in the weather. One reason I decided to expand the project is because I’m having such a great experience with him.

  20. Homemade refried beans are so good!

  21. Kalyn, I feel for you! About 5 years ago we added a two-story addition to our house while living in it- it was a real trial! I have to say, I have always been a little afraid of pressure cookers and I have never used one. Your refried beans look so wonderful!

  22. Kevin, aren’t they just the best!

    Deborah, I was scared of them too, but the new ones are completely safe. So glad I got brave and tried it.

  23. Kalyn, these beans look delicious. I love my pressure cooker and learn new things every time I use it. I’m also scouring blogs to learn about a variety of diet requirements and gluten free cooking in order to add to my range as a cook. I thoroughly enjoy everything I find on your site.

  24. Winestainecloth, thank you! What a nice comment. Always nice to hear that people are enjoying the blog.

  25. Hi Kalyn,
    I have enjoyed reading all about your renovations. I love reading about other people remodels. I am envious.
    It looks like it will be beautiful. And what fun to have a bigger brand new office. I can wait to see those pictures. Enjoy the process. It looks like yours is moving along nicely.

    The beans look good too.

  26. Refried beans are a fave. Is it gross to say that one of us has been known to eat them cold occasionally straight from a can? Your dish sounds great!

  27. Wow!
    Now that's yummy.

    I love beans.

  28. I love my pressure cooker and I love refried beans. I'm going to have to try this. I hadn't thought of cooking unsoaked beans – what a fabulous short cut.

  29. Hi,

    Is it possible to use fresh chiles instead of canned? If so, how much do you recommend, the same amount as canned?

    I'm trying to be more healthy these days and cutting out canned foods as much as possible. And since our grocery store carries lots of chiles thought I would ask.

    Thanks in advance!

  30. You can definitely use fresh chiles instead of canned, but I can only guess at how much to use as I'm not that experienced cooking with fresh ones. I'd guess maybe half as much, chopped up with the seeds removed, unless you really like it hot.

  31. Kalyn, I have been loving your recipes over the last few weeks. They have been a great compliment to my south beach diet cookbooks and have greatly expanded my families taste repertoire. I was stuck home w/ a sick baby a few months ago and caught a home shopping network presentation on electric pressure cookers. I spoke w/ a few people who have the old stove top ones which probably would not work in my household. I've tried to do some research to get more info but it doesn't look anyone writes about pressure cookers any more. Since so many of your readers seem to have some good hands on knowledge I didn't know if anyone could recommend a good pressure cooker to buy or specific features I should look for or try to avoid. Both my husband and I work full time w/ 4 children in the house so I am VERY interested in anything that will help on those crazy evenings when I am too pooped to pop. Thanks

  32. Hi Anne Marie,
    The newer models of pressure cookers have safety valves that make them very safe; completely different from pressure cookers of old. I don't have an electric one, but I do know a couple of other bloggers who have a Cuisinart electric pressure cooker and like it. The one I use most is Kuhn Rikon brand, definitely an investment, but I've been very happy with it.

    I also have been happy with pressure cooker books by Lorna Sass (maybe google her and they will be available from Amazon.com.) She has several books that give suggestions and cooking tips.

    Finally, to find pressure cooker recipes and information, I would recommend Food Blog Search: http://foodblogsearch.com
    I just tried it and found a variety of pressure cooker recipes from many food bloggers.

    Have fun with it!

  33. I made these last night…again…LOL

    I used an overflowing cup of Hatch chiles that I roasted last year and then froze in batches….didn't realize this was going to be such a hot batch, but you just never know with chiles.

    I LOVE this recipe! Thank you for sharing.

  34. Karyn, so glad you've been enjoying it!

  35. Kalyn, on the face of it, refried beans aren't the most complicated food to make. Making them taste good is another story. I've been trying to make good tasting refried beans for years. I've finally found my go-to recipe for beans. Thank-you so much for sharing this wonderfully simple recipe.

  36. Ross, you are so welcome! So glad you like my version.

  37. I'm a bit late to this party, but this is very similar to how my mother in law from Mexico taught me how to make her awesome refried beans. She always makes them in the pressure cooker, but varies what she puts in them. Her "usual" recipe has you put the beans, a quartered onion and minced garlic into the cooker with the water – bring to a full rock and let it go for 15 mins, then lower heat and let it hiss for another 30 mins. At the end of the 30 mins, quick release and mash the beans. The onion will still be intact, but as soon as you hit it with the masher, it disintegrates. While mashing, she heats oil until it sizzles when a drop of water is added, then pour into pot. The oil will make the beans look dry and gritty, but as you work it in, they get creamy and lighten up a few shades. Another trick, instead of seasoning with salt, she seasons with granulated chicken bouillon. I love the canned chiles that you have in your recipe, I'm definitely trying that next time I make a batch (which is usually once a week). Nobody in my house will touch canned beans.

  38. As of December 2017, fat-free refried beans have 0 Smart Points in the Weight-Watchers plan.
    Eat up!

  39. Pingback: Instant Pot Baked Potatoes Recipe - Crunchy Creamy Sweet

  40. So these are turning out to be delicious, but I did have a snafu. I soaked my pinto beans overnight because they were old beans (2 years +) and the added the water to 2 inches above the beans. I followed the directions but the bean mixture turned out to be pure liquid. I salvage them by simmering the bean water over low heat to cook off the water- but this took about 1.5 extra hours. So for the future, if I pre-soak my beans, how much water should I be adding to the Instant Pot?

    • I’m glad you were able to rescue it! I can’t really answer that question because I haven’t made them with soaked beans. But you do need some water to make the pressure cooker come to pressure. You may have to experiment. Try water just barely above the beans. Or just make with unsoaked beans like I did.

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