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Kalyn's Kitchen

Instant Pot Refried Beans

It’s the onion, garlic, and chiles I use to season the beans that make these the BEST Instant Pot Refried Beans; you’ll make them over and over! 

PIN Instant Pot Refried Beans to try them later!

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 (affiliate link) 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!

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 will be the recipe that’s going to get you to try them!

What size Instant Pot did I use?

I use a 6 Quart Instant Pot (affiliate link) 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 process shots collage

How to Make Instant Pot Refried Beans:

(Scroll down for complete printable recipe with nutritional information.)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Set Instant Pot to MANUAL, HIGH PRESSURE and 30 minutes.
  4. 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.)
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. When the pressure has released, use an immersion blender (affiliate link) or a food processor (affiliate link) 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.)
  8. Heat olive oil (or fat of your preference) in a large non-stick frying pan.
  9. 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

Instant Pot Refried Beans

Yield 8 servings (1/2 cup serving size)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

You'll love 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!


  • 2 cups dried pinto beans (see notes)
  • 3 T olive oil, divided (see notes)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 1 4 oz. can diced green chiles (see notes)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • grated cheese, for serving (optional)
  • thinly sliced green onions, for serving (optional)


  1. Put beans in pressure cooker with enough water to cover by about 2 inches.
  2. 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.)
  3. After 30 minutes, use QUICK RELEASE to release the pressure.
  4. While beans cook, chop the onion, and prepare minced garlic and green chiles, and measure the salt.
  5. Add those ingredients to the pressure cooker with the cooked beans.
  6. Lock lid again and set to MANUAL, HIGH PRESSURE, and 10 minutes.
  7. Let pressure release naturally when the time is up.
  8. When pressure has released, remove lid and without draining, use an immersion blender (affiliate link) or a food processor (affiliate link) to puree the beans, being careful not to over-blend.
  9. 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.
  10. Heat 2 T oil of your choice in a heavy, nonstick pan.
  11. Add beans and simmer over low heat, stirring often, until beans have thickened to desired consistency.
  12. For me this took about 10 minutes.
  13. Serve hot, topped with grated cheese and thinly sliced green onions if desired.


There is 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.

You can also use lard, bacon grease, or any other fat you prefer for frying the beans. I used Anaheim chiles, called diced green chiles (affiliate link) in U.S. stores, but you can use hotter chiles if you prefer. I used Four Cheese Mexican Blend for the cheese.

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. (affiliate links)

This recipe was created by Kalyn.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 142Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 4mgSodium: 317mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 5gSugar: 2gProtein: 5g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

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 Pressure Cooker index to 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.

Pinterest image of Instant Pot Refried Beans

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    49 Comments on “Instant Pot Refried Beans”

  1. Homemade refried beans are so good!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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. 🙂

  5. 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 🙂

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

  7. 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.)

  8. 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 .

  9. 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. 😉

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

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

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

  14. 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!

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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….

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

  20. 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.