We loved these delicious refried beans, made in the Instant Pot, and I think the special way I season the beans really does make them The BEST Instant Pot refried beans! And these refried beans are low-glycemic, gluten-free, meatless, and South Beach Diet friendly. Use the Recipes-by-Diet-Type Index to find more recipes like this one.
Way back in 2009 I got a stovetop pressure cooker and started trying out Pressure Cooker Recipes for the blog. It was at a time when I was having extensive house renovations on my old house, and there was definitely more comfort food on the menu than usual. It was during that time that I first made refried beans in the pressure cooker, and loved them!
Fast forward quite a few years and a new house later, and of course I would make refried beans in the Instant Pot now. Refried beans are definitely not low in carbs, but they're low-glycemic and South Beach Diet friendly, and this is something I love for an occasional treat. I made them recently and decided to take some new photos to update this favorite recipe. And they were so good that I'm calling them The BEST Instant Pot Refried Beans with Onion, Garlic, and Chiles!
If you've only had refried beans from a can, I can't emphasize strongly enough how there is something completely special about homemade from-scratch refried beans, especially my recipe where the beans are cooked in the pressure cooker, then pressure-cooked a second time with onion, garlic, and chiles, and then fried. When we took these photos, Kara and I kept commenting about how amazing the refried beans were, and I ate my share of the leftovers in bean burritos with low-carb tortillas and enjoyed every bite.
If the pressure cooker is never going to be your thing, you might like Slow Cooker Refried Beans, which are also really delicious. And if you've never made homemade refried beans, I hope this will be the recipe that's going to get you to try them!
Love Your Instant Pot?
Check out my growing collection of Pressure Cooker or Instant Pot Recipes!
Use two cups of dried pinto beans; no need to soak them but beans that have been on the shelf or in your pantry for a while will take a little longer to cook. Put beans in the Instant Pot and cover with water 2 inches above the beans. Add 1 T olive oil to slow cooker, then lock lid. Set Instant Pot to MANUAL, HIGH PRESSURE and 30 minutes. When 30 minutes is up, use QUICK RELEASE to release the pressure. (Be sure to add 5-10 minutes cooking time if your beans are old.)
While the beans are cooking, chop the onion, mince garlic (or use minced garlic from a jar), and get the can of green chiles and salt ready. Add those ingredients to the cooked beans. Lock lid again, set Instant Pot to MANUAL, HIGH PRESSURE, and 10 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.
When the pressure has released, use an immersion blender or a food processor to puree the beans, making them as creamy or chunky as you prefer. (Beans may seem watery, but any extra water will cook out when they're fried.) Heat olive oil (or fat of your preference) in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the pureed beans and simmer over low heat, stirring often, until beans have thickened to the desired consistency.
(Makes about 4 cups of cooked refried beans, recipe created by Kalyn.)
I originally created this recipe with a stovetop pressure cooker, but recently I made it again in the Instant Pot and you can certainly use a Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker or another electric pressure cooker if that's what you have.
2 cups dried pinto beans (No need to soak the beans, but beans that are fresher will cook more quickly. If your beans have been sitting on the shelf for a while, add 5-10 minutes cooking time.)
1 T + 2 T olive oil (Or use lard, bacon grease, or any other fat you prefer for frying the beans.)
1 cup chopped onion
2 T minced garlic (garlic from a jar is fine for this)
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chiles
(I used Anaheim chiles, called green chiles in U.S. stores, but you can use hotter chiles if you prefer.)
1 tsp. salt
grated cheese, for serving (I used Four Cheese Mexican blend, which is a mix of cheeses)
thinly sliced green onions, for serving
Put beans in pressure cooker with enough water to cover by about 2 inches. Add 1 T olive oil to cooker, then lock lid, choose MANUAL SETTING and HIGH PRESSURE, and set time for 30 minutes. (Remember to add a few minutes if your beans are old.) After 30 minutes, use QUICK RELEASE to release the pressure.
While beans cook, chop the onion, and prepare minced garlic and green chiles, and measure the salt. Add those ingredients to the pressure cooker with the cooked beans. Lock lid again and set to MANUAL, HIGH PRESSURE, and 10 minutes. Let pressure release naturally when the time is up.
When pressure has released, remove lid and without draining, use an immersion blender or a food processor to puree the beans, being careful not to over-blend. At this point, beans will definitely be more runny than you want, but I like the idea of keeping the flavor that's in the cooking water and excess liquid will cook off when the beans are fried.
Heat 2 T oil of your choice in a heavy, nonstick pan. Add beans and simmer over low heat, stirring often, until beans have thickened to desired consistency. For me this took about 10 minutes. Serve hot, topped with grated cheese and thinly sliced green onions if desired.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Many people don't realize that low-glycemic dried beans are approved for any phase of the South Beach Diet, which makes refried beans perfect for South Beach Diet meals. Beans are probably too high in carbs for traditional low-carb diet plans.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn's Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I'm sharing there.
If you want nutritional information for a recipe, you can sign up for a free membership with Yummly and use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information. Another option is entering the recipe into this Recipe Nutrition Analyzer, which will calculate it for you.
Other Ideas for Pinto Beans:
Pressure Cooker (or Stovetop Pinto Bean and Ground Beef Stew ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Pressure Cooker Smoky Ham Hock and Pinto Bean Soup ~ Pressure Cooking Today
Cauliflower Rice and Pinto Bean Vegan Burrito Bowl ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Slow Cooker Cowboy Pinto Bean Soup ~ The Food Charlatan
Pressure Cooker Mexican Beans with Avocado-Poblano Salsa ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Tex-Mex Mash ~ Foodie with Family
And here's the original photo of Pressure Cooker Refried Beans from back in 2009; not bad considering that my entire house was torn apart at that time!