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Test Kitchen Approved

Instant Pot Refried Beans

Recipe By Michael Kimball, Savory Spice Test Kitchen


6 to 8 servings

Prep Time

5 Minutes

Cooking Time

15 Minutes

Recipe By Michael Kimball, Savory Spice Test Kitchen

No soaking required for these creamy, flavorful beans that make a great side and a delicious dip!

Serving Suggestions

Serve as a side with rice, as a filling for tacos and burritos, or as a dip.

Recipe Notes

This recipe uses an Instant Pot. Other programmable pressure cookers may be used as well.


1 cup dried red beans

1/4 cup unsalted butter, divided

1 small onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp. Kosher Salt

1 tsp. brown sugar, packed

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

1 Tbsp. lime juice

Chopped cilantro, to garnish

Savory Spice ingredients in this recipe

  • Ground Cumin Seeds

    Cumin, also known as Comino, is native to the Nile valley in Egypt. It is now cultivated in other hot regions of India, the Mediterranean, and Nort...

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  • Chipotle (Morita) Chile Powder

    Chipotles are fully ripened jalapenos, meaning they’ve been allowed to mature and turn red on the vine. They are dried by smoking and it takes abou...

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Add beans to Instant Pot and cover with 3 inches of water. Close Instant Pot and set to pressure cook on high for 40 min. When finished, allow pressure to naturally release for 20 min. before venting and removing lid. Strain beans, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Preheat oven to broil. In a large, oven-safe skillet or Dutch oven, melt 2 Tbsp. butter over medium-high heat. Add onion, stirring often for 2 to 3 min., or until onion begins to caramelize. Add garlic, salt, brown sugar, cumin, and chipotle powder and cook for 30 seconds, or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Stir in cooked beans and reserved cooking liquid. Reduce heat to medium-low and use a potato masher to mash beans into a chunky paste. Add 1 cup cheese, lime juice, and 2 Tbsp. butter and stir until combined. Top with remaining 1 cup cheese and place skillet under broiler for 1 to 3 min., or until cheese is melted, bubbling, and beginning to brown. Top with a sprinkle of cilantro and serve immediately.