Isn’t it great to have a versatile recipe that’s easy to make while still nutritious for you?
Instant Pot Refried Beans is one of those recipes. And while you can buy these fat-free from the market, you’ll be hard pressed to find one that doesn’t have too much salt.
But, yes I did find a few fat-free canned refried beans. So, if you’re in a pinch, one of these will do. See my list of store-bought low-salt refried beans below.
If you don’t have an Instant Pot, of course, this recipe will work in any pressure cooker. Or, you can make them on the stove-top, as well, or even a slow cooker. These will, of course, take longer. If you’ve soaked your beans ahead of time, they’ll take about 20 minutes in a pressure cooker.
On the stove-top, you’re looking at about 1 to 1 1/2 hours on simmer, being sure to keep the beans submerged in water through out the cooking process.
This recipe isn’t much different than my pressure cooker recipe for regular pinto beans, but the flavor is pumped up with the addition of onions, garlic, cumin and chili powder.
Or, if you like black beans, here’s that recipe, one of my most popular on the website.
If you do make a full recipe, you can easily freeze them for about 2 months. Label your freezer bag or container and add the cooled beans, being sure to release all the air. When ready to use, pull the bag from the freezer to refrigerator the day before.
Try these Refried Beans as a side to one of these Mexican Dishes:
- Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Cream
- Roasted Veggie Tacos with Chipotle Sauce
- Enchilada Casserole
- Vegan Chile Rennos
- or use these Oil-Free Chips to scoop
One of my favorite ways to use refried beans is to make quesadillas with whole wheat tortillas. You don’t even need to add any oil to the pan, preferably a non-stick. They will crisp up and lightly brown over medium heat, but be sure to watch them so they don’t burn.
In the meantime, chop up the other ingredients you’d like in your quesadilla. I like chopped red and green onion and bell pepper. Now, you can add any greens you like. My favorites are green or red cabbage, kale, romaine, and those super nutritious broccoli sprouts. They add a nice crunch.
To help everything stick to the tortilla after it’s crisped, smash a little avocado on one side and the refried beans on the other and then top with the chopped vegetables and greens.
I also add some plant yogurt, either my homemade yogurt or, my favorite store-bought version, Forager unsweetened cashew yogurt. Oh, and don’t forget the hot sauce. I hope you enjoy these refried beans.
Here are some of those brands that are fat-free*:
- Bearitos Fat-Free Refried Beans
- 366 Organic Fat-Free Refried Beans
- Old El Passo Fat-Free Refried Beans
- Rosarita Traditional No Fat Refried Beans
- Taco Bell Fat-Free Refried Beans
*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This means if you click a link, I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Read my full disclosure.
I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below for this Easy Instant Pot Refried Pinto Beans recipe. If you have a photo, post it on my Instagram page, tag me using the hashtag #plantbasedcooking in your caption, and I won’t miss it!
This recipe is Certified Plantricious because it meets the following guidelines.
The Trusted Seal for
- Must be whole food plant-based, contains no animal products
- May be minimally processed
- No added oil
- No added sugars
- No artificial additives or preservatives
- Sodium (mgs) to Calories ratio, 1 ≤ 1
- Total Fiber to Calories, 2g ≥ 100 calorie s
Easy Refried Pinto Beans
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Potato Masher
- 1 16-oz package dry pinto beans soaked about 8 hours or overnight (about 2.5 cups dry beans)
- 6 cups water or to about 2” above the beans
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3 clove garlic minced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½-1 tsp sea salt (optional)
- 2/3 cup cooked bean liquid (not the soaking liquid)
- Garnish: fresh cilantro diced tomato, avocado, or green onion (optional)
- Drain the soaked beans and combine them with water, onion, and garlic in the Instant Pot.
- Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to seal. Select manual/pressure cook to cook at high pressure for 20 minutes.
- When the cooking cycle is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then move the steam release valve to vent to release any remaining pressure. When the valve drops, remove the lid and drain the beans, reserving the liquid.
- Return the cooked beans to the Instant Pot, and stir in 2/3 cup of the reserved cooking liquid, along with the cumin, chili powder, black pepper, cayenne, and salt, if using. Add more if needed to create a creamy consistency. Using a potato masher, mash the cooked beans until smooth, leaving some whole, if you like. (If you prefer them smoother, you can use an immersion blender.)
- Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more spices or water as needed. Serve as a side dish or use in other recipes.
- Divide into about 1/2 cup servings for each person and top with a sprinkling of fresh diced cilantro, tomato, avocado or green onion.
- Store leftover beans in an airtight container in the fridge for 1 week or you can freeze them for about two months.
what if you don’t have an instant pot can you use a crockpot?
Hi Susan, You could use a crockpot. I found a crockpot recipe online that should work for you. I tried to find one that is low in fat, as well. It looks like it also used 6 cups of water. Check it out and see if that’ll work for you. You could also cook them on the stovetop…
Thanks so much
Why would you use the drained bean liquid? Isn’t it full of lectins? and isn’t that why we soak beans in the first place? If I’m wrong about this let me know. But when I soak beans the water turns wierd and foamy and that doesn’t look very appetizing. I want to try this recipe but I don’t want to use drained bean liquid in my food.
Sorry if it was confusing. The instructions do say to drain the beans and you’re right for cooking, you don’t want to use the soaking bean liquid in the recipe. I see where the confusion came from, though, where it said to use the bean liquid. I updated the ingredients to read “cooked bean liquid” which is different then the liquid the beans were soaked in. You mash the beans after they’ve been cooked using some of the liquid they were cooked in. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.
Can you provide a serving size. Recipe says twelve servings. Weighing out and portioning does add add additional steps. Thank you.
The serving size is about a heaping 1/2 cup. I added the info to the number of servings box and updated the instructions for serving, as well.
This was delicious. I followed the recipe exactly but put in 1/2 teaspoon of salt. This will make 4 meals for me so i wasn’t worried about the salt intake. Good job.
Thanks! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe.