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! 

Pressure Cooker Refried Beans

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
Amazing flavor
One more way to justify a pressure cooker in your life (<—this)

Pressure Cooker Refried Beans

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).

Pressure Cooker Refried Beans

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.

Pressure Cooker Refried Beans

Pressure Cooker Refried Beans

Yield: Makes about 12-13 cups of refried beans

Pressure Cooker Refried Beans

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


  1. 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.
  2. Add the rinsed and drained beans, water, broth, salt and vinegar.
  3. Secure the lid on the pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes (stovetop) and 35 minutes (electric).
  4. Let the pressure naturally release. Reserve two cups of the liquid in a separate bowl.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!

56 Responses to Pressure Cooker Refried Beans {No Soaking Required!}

  1. Mary says:

    Do you know if these can be canned in jars instead of frozen? If yes, what pressure and time? Thanks.

  2. Heather says:

    Thank you. These were great and my family enjoyed them but they took much longer than I expected. I followed the directions except no jalapeño and I set my Instant Pot for 40 minutes high pressure. It took at least 15 minutes to come to pressure then the 40 minutes then I finally did a quick release after 20 minutes of natural release. The quick release took 4 minutes itself! Just sharing so others can plan if they are including these as part of a meal.

  3. Jenn says:

    We love these refried beans! We leave out the oil, and saute in a bit of broth; we also use 2-3 jalapeños. 3= hot! So 2 is a good number for a bit of kick! I’ve made them over and over again. They are good as a dip for chips, just add more of the bean broth back in to make them softer. So good! Great recipe Mel! Thanks.

  4. Meredith says:

    Hi, Mel,

    I made these refried beans in my IP the other night. I don’t think I drained the beans very well before I blended them. Do you have any tricks for how you drained your beans?

  5. Kate says:

    I want to make these but leave some as whole pinto beans for soups, as opposed to mashed. Do you think this recipe would work well for that?

  6. Laura says:

    I have a slow cooker recipe that I love, but I am going to try yours for my instant pot. I’m just curious about why you use vinegar. I haven’t seen that in a refried bean recipe before and wondered if it was just for flavor and acidity or if it serves another purpose?

  7. Stacey says:

    How long should it take the Instant Pot to come to pressure when making these beans? I’m still very new to pressure cooking, so it still makes me a bit nervous…

  8. Loni says:

    Thank you so much for all your instapot recipes. I’ve tried your applesauce and now the refried beans and I love both. I’m making your tortilla soup tonight and I’m sure it will turn out great just like every other recipe I have gotten from you. I’ve really loved my instapot so far. Thank you for showing me all the ways I can use it.

  9. Lindsey says:

    I did it…or rather you did it. You finally got me to use the pressure cooker that I have had and never once used in 10 years. I asked for it not really knowing much about them except that I loved a dish my sister-in-law frequently made with it, but then I panicked when I started reading about pressure cookers and was too afraid to use it. Admittedly I did have a bit of a panic session while making these beans and probably terrified my children as I explained why they could not come anywhere near the kitchen while they were cooking, but thanks to the trusty list of helpful sites you complied a while back I managed to keep everything from exploding and these were delicious! I wish I had a video of the surprised look on my husband’s face as he tasted a bite. He was shocked and overcome by how good they were. It was pretty funny actually. Thank you for another delicious recipe and for helping me get over another kitchen fear!

  10. Jamie says:

    I don’t want to loose all the flavor of the pepper and garlic out into the bean water.
    I cook the beans in water, and drain off ALL the water.
    I put a tomato, onion, Anaheim chili, garlic and cilantro in the blender. I then saute it in a tiny bit olive oil. It may sound silly to saute liquid, but that’s what I’m doing.
    Then I add that vegetable herb mixture to the beans. If you didn’t use a tomato, you would probably need to put some bean broth back in. I season with salt and cumin to taste. Sometimes instead of salt I use chicken bouillon powder.
    If you let them simmer for a while the flavor improves.
    Yes, it dirties up another pan, and yes you have to wait a little longer for all the flavors to combine, but I love it. I will have to try it your way, now!

    My former electric pressure cooker (that I got for under $20 off of Craigs List over 10 years ago) died a few months ago. I have been mulling over many different pressure cooker brands and models. For months I have gone back to slow cooker or dutch oven. Refried beans and quick tender meat are the two reasons I finally budgeted for an Instant Pot Duo. I got a six quart one with a small cosmetic dent on the outside for $70 on E-bay with free shipping!

  11. Mary Ann says:

    I made your recipe – following your directions – and these are the best refried beans I’ve ever had and, unlike the canned versions, I know what is in them!!! SO SO SO easy too. I have a Cuisinart electric pressure cooker and cooked the (unsoaked) beans for 35 minutes. They were perfectly cooked – tender yet not mushy. Thank you!

  12. Alicia says:

    I made these tonight and they were a hit! I had to add 10 minutes to the time, but I usually do when I cook beans in my instant pot.

    This was the first actual recipe for beans that I’ve followed, and consequently the first time they haven’t been too salty, or onion-y, or to cumin-y etc, so thank you!

  13. Connie T. says:

    Darn autocorrect!!

  14. Connie T. says:

    I just have to tell you… I saw the picture of the refried beans, and before I read what they were, I thought it was a picture of hot Cocoa Wheats cereal!! Just struck my funny bone when I realized what it actually was, be cause I was thinking: You mean someone needs instructions on how to cook Cocoa Wheats cereal??!! Anyway, it his recipe sounds really good. I will have to try this! 🙂

  15. Jessica K says:

    Do you know how many cups 1.5 lbs would be? I’ve transferred the beans to another container and don’t know the weight of the package, and my food scale disappeared when we moved.

    Also, can you halve the recipe? Same cooking time?

    • Mel says:

      Yes, you can definitely halve the recipe – the main thing to consider with a pressure cooker is to make sure there is still at least a cup of liquid; I’d keep the same cooking time. 1 1/2 pounds of beans is about 3 cups.

  16. Christianne Warlick says:

    I’m new to pressure cooking and I never know if you’re supposed to have it set to “venting” or “sealing”.

  17. Janet says:

    I LOVE these beans in the crockpot and am super excited to try them in the IP. Thank you so much for another winner of a recipe! I don’t comment much, but I feel like I should…cause I make your food all the time! This recipe is a winner for sure!!! I don’t have a pepper so I am gonna try it without (hope it is still yummy).

  18. Amanda says:

    I have the same Instant Pot you do and I’m wondering if I can safely double the recipe? If so, would you increase the cooking time? I’ve been using your slow cooker version for a while now and am excited to try this one. Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hey Amanda – unfortunately, you aren’t supposed to fill the IP up more than halfway with beans so the amount in this recipe maxes out the 6-quart IP size.

  19. Amy Duke says:

    I made these yesterday and they were so good! I loved them so much that I wondered if they would work with black beans as well. (I served a mission to Guatemala so am a huge fan of black beans now.) I tried it and oh my gosh they were so fabulous! I liked them even better than the pinto variety, and that’s saying something! Thanks, Mel.

  20. Tom says:

    Made these last night. Had the seal on my pressure cooker go out so I finished them in the crackpot overnight. Hit them with the immersion blender and they were fantastic! Thanks for another great recipe.

  21. Cait says:

    You are making me want an Instant Pot even more…all my friends and favorite bloggers have them! I still won’t even cook beans unless I’ve remembered to soak them though – it’s just what I’m comfortable with in terms of digestion or gut health. I love restaurant refried beans and never get them, so this recipe will be awesome 🙂

  22. Carrie says:

    Thanks for posting this! If one does remember to soak the beans — how long would you cook them in the instant pot? 17 minutes?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Carrie – looks like the note I included in the recipe somehow got deleted, so I’ll readd it, but yes, right around 17 minutes for an electric pressure cooker and 15 minutes for a stovetop.

  23. Amy W. says:

    Amazing!! Thank you, Mel!!

  24. Amy Duke says:

    Hi Mel, this may be a dumb question, but would this recipe work for black beans as well as pinto? Any changes you think I’d have to make, or could I just substitute black for pinto beans?

  25. Nicole says:

    It’s been a few months (way too long!) since I’ve made your slow cooker refried beans. We love making homemade freezer bean and cheese burritoes with them. I’ll have to try them with the IP version now.

    • Nicole says:

      I’m adding a follow up comment – I just made these and had soaked the beans over night. I had to decreased the liquid by about 4 cups since the beans grew and had already absorbed water. If you try to add all the water called for, the IP is too full and could potentially cause problems.

  26. Heather says:

    You must have read my mind!! I was going to make your slow cooker version again (love them), but was wanting to speed things up. I am looking forward to trying out this version. Thanks!!

    • Julie says:

      With the pressure cooker – do you wait until the top thing bobbles and then go thirty minutes from there or thirty minutes from putting the lid and turning to high.

      • Mel says:

        Hi Julie – the two pressure cookers I have don’t have a gauge that rocks back and forth (only my pressure CANNER has that). Does your every day pressure cooker have a gauge that rocks back and forth like that?

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  27. Jessica G says:

    I can not wait to try your version! I have made refried beans in my IP using a recipe that was in an IP cookbook I purchased on Amazon and they are so much better than the can. Also, thank you for the foodsaver link, I have been thinking about purchasing one for some time and needed a good recommendation. My questions is~ which refill rolls do you buy? The Food Saver ones or one of the off brands? Thank you for the help!

  28. Liz says:

    I never thought of using broth – wonderful! I like to add a bit of cumin and cinnamon in “refrieds” … just a bit of extra oomph to flavor.

    Thanks for the foodsaver link. I’ve been looking at them and dithering about which way to go – “automatic”, size, etc. I am happy to see the basic model is working well for you so it just found its way into my Amazon cart!

    • Mel says:

      I, too, went the rounds of which foodsaver I wanted but I have loved this model. It doesn’t have many bells and whistles but it is perfect for what I need…and I use it a lot. I love that it has the port so you can seal mason jars (if you have the attachment; it’s super handy).

      • Liz says:

        I wondered about the mason jar sealer – thanks for that tip!

        Oh…when (or if 🙂 ) you get in the pumpkin mood … I just did a pie pumpkin in the instant pot. I had already split and removed seeds before I thought of looking it up. Split did wonderfully and the flesh falling off the skin. Reading says you can just put a pie pumpkin in the pot with water and 13 min – will try that next time. Maybe not enough pumpkin for your requirements but I usually do 1 pie pumpkin at a time and this is perfect!

        • Mel says:

          I love that, Liz! I’ll definitely be trying it (I have a couple savory pumpkin chili recipes that would be great in). And you probably “know” me well enough by now to know that my pumpkin rant was a lot tongue in cheek (with some serious pumpkin anxiety thrown in there). Rest assured I’ll be trying your pumpkin method in the IP, though, if only because I’m obsessed with pressure cooking! 🙂

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