Instant Pot refried beans are super-simple, delicious, and quick enough to make from start to finish for a weeknight dinner!
School will be back in session Thursday, and I’m back to looking for the easiest ways to get weeknight dinners on the table. My Instant Pot, of course, is my biggest ally to get dinner on the table. My favorite thing about the Instant Pot is that I can get something on the table quickly that would otherwise take hours.
In this case, that item is Instant Pot refried beans from start to finish in about an hour and a half. Now, I realize that when I say “hour and a half” and “quick weeknight dinner” in the same breath it seems like I might be a little bit out of touch.
You have to consider, though, that the vast majority of that time is hands-off, so while your Instant Pot refried beans cook you can do a little cleaning, get a workout in, prep other items for dinner, shower, help with homework, or even relax on the sofa with a glass of wine (relaxation? on a weeknight? It is possible.).
Instant Pot refried beans are great on their own, with cheese, avocado, and sour cream and maybe a green salad and some tortilla chips on the side. They’re also the perfect accompaniment for a Mexican dinner. Personally, I made them to spread on breakfast tacos. They are simple, easy, and delicious.
Shared on The Weekend Potluck on The Country Cook and Meal Plan Monday on Southern Bite!
Yield: 8-10 servings
10 minPrep Time:
1 hr, 30 Cook Time:
1 hr, 40 Total Time:
- 1 pound pinto beans, sorted and rinsed
- 2 onions - 1 halved and the other chopped
- 7 cloves garlic bacon drippings or lard (use vegetable or canola oil to make this vegetarian)
- salt and pepper
- for topping: sour cream, cheese, avocado, chopped cilantro (optional)
- Place the beans, the halved onion, the five peeled garlic cloves, and a tablespoon of salt into the Instant Pot. Cover with four cups of water. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure that the vent is set to "sealing". Press the "manual" button and set the time to 45 minutes.
- When the time is up, turn off the Instant Pot and let it depressurize naturally. Reserve one cup of cooking liquid and drain the rest.
- Press the "sauté" button and add the bacon fat or lard to the pot. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, then add the beans. Stir to combine then mash with a potato masher or puree with an immersion blender. Season to taste then serve. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers (I like to freeze them in individual portions to take to work for lunch).
Cook time includes time for the Instant Pot to come to pressure and depressurize. Most of the cook time is hands off.