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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. 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.

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

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

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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.

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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!

  13. 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.

  14. Wow!
    Now that's yummy.

    I love beans.

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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!