Refried Beans

In late February 2020, we bought some dry pinto beans, 50 pounds to be precise. Needless to say, we’ve been looking for ways to use them up.


Cook the bacon in the Instant Pot on sauté until it begins to brown, then throw in the onions and garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Add a cup or so of the water and scrape the bottom of the pot to make sure nothing is stuck on.

Cooking Bacon and Onions

Add the rest of the water, the pinto beans, and the salt. Seal and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes. Once the cooking completes, let the Instant Pot sit for 25 minutes, then release the remaining pressure.

Working in two batches, heat half of the butter in a large skillet over high heat.

Melting Butter

Fry 6 cups beans and their liquid until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Smash beans in skillet with a potato masher until mixture is thick and almost no whole beans remain (it should still be pourable at this point, but will thicken a lot as it cools).

Frying Beans Start About to Blend Blending

Transfer to whatever storage or serving container you prefer. Repeat with remaining beans and the other half of the butter.

You can reheat in the microwave, but the outcome is much tastier if you reheat in a skillet similarly to how it was initially cooked.

It’s hard to take attractive pictures of refried beans, so here they are with a little cheese. They make an excellent filling for quesadillas or a dip for chips.

Served with Monterey Jack

This recipe was created because we were looking for something really delicious, but we didn’t want to spend hours watching over a pot on a low boil. We combined the basic ingredient set from Bon Appétit’s recipe with some specifics about cooking refried beans with an instant pot we found poking around other recipe sites covered in ads.