Thanks to the magic of a pressure cooker, dry pinto beans cook to perfection in less than 35 minutes (no pre-soaking required). Homemade refried beans have never been easier!
I’ve been promising you a pressure cooker refried beans recipe and here it is! I’ve used my trusty slow cooker method for several years, because once I fell in love with homemade refried beans, there was no going back (I always have them waiting for me in the freezer).
But, since the excitement of pressure cooking is in full swing, it was time to give you a pressure cooker version.
Let’s detail the merits of making refried beans in the pressure cooker, shall we?
Fast (35 minutes or less cooking time)
No need to soak the beans beforehand
One more way to justify a pressure cooker in your life (<—this)
I’ve made these beans many times in both my InstantPot (electric pressure cooker) and my stovetop pressure cooker. They cook a bit faster (30 minutes) in my beloved, sturdy stovetop model, but the convenience of the amazing InstantPot often makes an extra five minutes of cooking time worth it.
(For more information on why the timing is different between stovetop and electric pressure cookers, among other things, take a look at this Pressure Cooking 101 post).
Additionally, you can cut the cooking time in half for these delectable refried beans if you want to channel all your energy toward remembering to soak the beans for 8-10 hours (spoiler alert: I never seem to remember to do that).
I usually spoon the finished refried beans into foodsaver bags, seal them right up, and pop them in the freezer (fyi: this is the foodsaver I bought last year and love more than life). The beany beans defrost really quickly for easy weeknight dinners (bean and cheese quesadillas, anyone?) or to be used in recipes or dips or whatever creative way you feel like using them up.
The flavor and ease of this recipe is amazing! Even though I make tons and tons of recipes in my pressure cooker(s), there are a handful of recipes that actually make a pressure cooker worth having, if that makes sense, and these refried beans are definitely at the top of that list.
I’ve made them a million times like this, and still, every time, it just blows my mind that crunchy, dry, little beans can become soft, flavorful, delicious refried beans in less than an hour. I love ’em.
Since I know many of you will ask, I have to be honest, I haven’t made them in the slow cooker for ages thanks to the speediness of the pressure cooker. It just can’t be beat.
A couple notes: you can definitely sub in water for the 4 cups broth, but I like the added flavor of the broth. Also, if you want the beans fat-free, eliminate the oil and first step of sautéing the jalapeño, onions and garlic. Again, the flavor might be a little different, but this recipe is pretty adaptable. Even though the recipe calls for a jalapeño, the beans are not spicy at all (but the heat will increase if you leave in the seeds of the jalapeño).
The refried beans can be refrigerated for a week and they also freeze great (I usually spoon them into freezer-safe ziploc bags or foodsaver bags and freeze; they defrost quickly in the refrigerator or at room temperature).
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 jalapeño, cored, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 1/2 pounds dry pinto beans, rinsed
- 8 cups water
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- In the insert of an electric pressure cooker (or in a stovetop pressure cooker), heat the oil (using the Sauté function on the InstantPot) and add the jalapeño, onion, and garlic, and sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the rinsed and drained beans, water, broth, salt and vinegar.
- Secure the lid on the pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes (stovetop) and 35 minutes (electric).
- Let the pressure naturally release. Reserve two cups of the liquid in a separate bowl.
- Drain the rest of the liquid off the beans. Using an immersion blender, potato masher (or spooning the beans into a blender), process/mash to the desired consistency, adding reserved cooking water, if needed for a smoother/softer consistency.
- Refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for several months.
Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (adapted from my slow cooker refried bean recipe)
Disclaimer: there are a few Amazon affiliate links above for the products I’ve bought from there and loved; feel free to shop around for the best price!