Instant Pot Refried Beans


(Adapted from Michael Natkin’s recipe on Serious Eats)


Serves 10 – 12


1/4 cup oil (I used avocado oil)

1 medium white onion, diced (about 1 cup)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

¾ teaspoon ground cumin (optional, I forgot to add it the first time I made it and the beans were still great)

1 pound dried pinto beans, rinsed and picked over for stray material

8 cups of water

To add after cooking:

1½ teaspoons salt

1 – 2 tablespoons bacon grease or butter (optional, but good!)


1.   Press the Saute button on the Instant Pot. Add the oil and onion. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.

2.   Add the garlic, oregano, and cumin and cook, stirring, for about another minute.

3.   Press the Keep Warm/Cancel button to turn off the Saute function.

4.   Add the beans and the water to the pot. Stir and seal the pot. Make sure the pressure release handle is in the sealing position.

5.   Press the Manual button and set the time for 45 minutes.

6.   When the 45 minutes of pressure cooking is up, press the Keep Warm/Cancel button to turn off the pot and let the pressure release naturally. (This will take up to 40 minutes. I noticed the float valve was down at 40 minutes, but it may have popped down 5 or 10 minutes before that.)

7.   Open the pot and use good pot holders to remove the stainless steel cooking pot. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid.

8.   Put the beans back in the pot. Add the salt, bacon grease, and 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Using an immersion blender or potato masher, blend the beans to the desired consistency. Add more cooking liquid, ¼ cup at a time, if needed. (I didn’t need additional liquid.)

9.   The beans can be kept warm in the Instant Pot. Put the lid on and press the Keep Warm/Cancel button. My beans kept fine for a couple of hours.