Forget the can, and forget sweating over a hot stove. Instant Pot Refried Beans have that smooth restaurant-style texture you love, with the perfect hint of spice.
It all started with a bag of frozen Green Chile Chicken Taquitos. Two bags, actually. We had two bags, 14 taquitos in total, in the freezer at church. They were too old to give to people (“Congratulations on the birth of your baby! Here’s a bag of slightly freezer-burnt taquitos to help you out.”), but not too old to feed to the Wednesday night crowd.
14 taquitos wouldn’t be enough to feed everyone, of course, so I volunteered to make more. I volunteered before I was told just how many more would be. 100+, as it turns out. By that point I was all in, though, so I brainstormed a side dish, too. I’ve been making slow cooker refried beans for ages, so I knew immediately I had to replicate that recipe for the instant pot.
I’m used to having beans cooking all day when I make them in the slow cooker; it was so nice to have these guys ready in a fraction of the time, with the added bonus of not needing to stir them occasionally. The group at church Wednesday nights is mostly kids, so I wasn’t sure how refried beans would go over, but they were a hit! Several of the kids came back for seconds. At the end of the night, there hardly any left in the pot.
Instant Pot Refried Beans
2 lbs. dry pinto beans
1 large onion
1 jalapeño pepper
4 cloves garlic
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp pepper
¼ cup bacon grease
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water (plus more for soaking beans)
Pour beans into a large bowl. Spend a couple minutes looking through them and picking out those that look shriveled or discolored. Cover the beans with cool water and set aside to soak for 15 minutes.
While beans are soaking, dice the onion and seed and dice the jalapeño. When beans are finished soaking, dump them into a colander to drain, and then rinse them in cool water.
Add all ingredients to the bowl of your Instant Pot and stir to combine. Place the lid on the pot, turn the steam valve to “sealing,” and set the “bean” setting to 45 minutes. Allow beans to cook for the allotted time, and then allow the steam to release naturally; this will take about 45 minutes more.
Remove the lid after all the steam has been released. Mash the beans using a potato masher if you want them chunkier, or use an immersion blender if you want a smoother texture. Serve warm topped with desired toppings.
Tools I Used
- Despite the addition of a jalapeño, these beans are not spicy; I served them to a group of kids and didn’t get any complaints. If you want a little heat, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or keep some of the jalapeño seeds.
- I’ve not personally tried it, but I’ve read that refried beans freeze well.
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