Instant Pot Refried Beas

I love this recipe. I will confess, I’ve never gotten them to the “refried” part because they are so darned good I eat them like they are when they emerge from the Instant Pot! Crock pot instructions, should you not be a member of the Instant Pot cult are at the bottom.

I modified this recipe from the Thrifty Frugal Mom. You should check her out. Good stuff.


  • 2 cups dry pinto beans 
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6-8 cloves garlic – chopped
    Alternately,  you can use 3 tsp. granulated garlic or 2 Tbsp. garlic powder or 4 Tbsp. jarred minced garlic. Whatever. You do you!
  • 1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin/comino
  • 2 tsp. oregano
    (I often leave this out because I keep forgetting to buy it)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 4 cups water


  1. Sort and rinse the beans, removing any stones, dirt and shriveled beans.
  2. Dump the rinsed beans into the Instant Pot, add enough water to cover the beans and then about 2 inches more. Let it sit 8 hours or overnight.
  3. Drain off the water from the soaked beans and thoroughly rinse the beans.*
  4. Dump beans back into the Instant Pot and add all remaining ingredients.
  5. Put on the Instant Pot lid, making sure that the vent is turned to “sealing”.
  6. Cook the beans on high pressure for 30 minutes **
    When finished cooking, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release pressure. Another 10-15 minutes decompression seems to work fine.
  7. Mash beans using a potato masher or hand blender. You may need to omit some of the liquid to get the consistence right. It’s ok if the beans look soupy before you mash them. Once mashed or blended they will get thicker as they sit. 

Beans will store in your fridge for 1 1/2 weeks or you can freeze them, too.

* Can you do a quick cook without soaking in the Instant Pot? Yes. But as Thrifty Frugal Mom points out, pre-soaked beans are easier for our bodies to digest, allowing us to get more nutrition from them. It also helps reduce the fun gassiness that often goes along with eating beans. 

**Do you live at high altitude? Cook for 55 minutes. We are at 6233 feet in SMA and that time seems to work well.


Follow the soaking instructions. Add all ingredients to Crockpot but increase amount of water to 6 c. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours and then on low for 1 hour.