Instant Pot Refried Beans

Who doesn’t love refried beans? The better question is: why am I not making these every other week?

Now that school/work/afterschool lessons have swung into beast mode, we’re back to careful meal planning and weekend food prep. Yesterday, we made whole wheat pizza dough, whole wheat pita, refried beans, spicy pork noodles, and chile rellenos (more about those later). I have several work and volunteer commitments after hours this week, so prep and planning are critical to ensuring that we eat before 8:00 p.m. – and it keeps us from cleaning the kitchen at 10:30 p.m. when all we want to do is sleep.

If you have an Instant Pot, cooking beans becomes exponentially easier and more foolproof. Case in point: tonight I’ll be making hummus, which, weirdly enough, my kids eat.

But back to your future burrito dreams.

First of all, we make these at least once a month and portion them into quart bags. They’re reasonably healthy, and the texture and flavor is so different than canned refried beans.

You can control the fat content, the sodium level, and – my favorite bit – the heat factor. We’ve got a massive jalapeno plant in the backyard, so this is a no-brainer.

Instant Pot Refried Beans

Serves: All the people. Do this now.

2 lbs dry pinto beans, rinsed and picked over
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions (we used a combination of Vidalia and red, because that’s what we had on hand), chopped
1-2 jalapenos, cored, seeded, and chopped (it really depends on your taste!)
8 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock
4 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 T kosher salt
2 tsp ground cumin
tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Turn your Instant Pot to saute mode, and add the oil. Cook the onion and chile for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add a splash of stock or water to the pot to keep the garlic from scorching. Add the stock, water, bay leaves, salt, cumin, oregano, cayenne, and beans, stirring gently to combine. The important bit is that you want your beans covered by approximately 2 inches of liquid.

After sealing the Instant Pot, cook on high for 50 minutes, and then let the pressure release naturally – this will take another half-hour or so. Discard a bit of the extra liquid, along with the bay leaves, and let the beans cool slightly. Using an immersion blender, puree the beans. Season to taste, and if you’re serving them right away, top however you like – you can use fresh cilantro, tomato, or jalapeno. You can add queso fresco. You can even top the beans with avocado.

This makes a lot, but it’s a lot healthier and more adaptable, and we find that our very small army of darkness (coughTHE KIDScough) love them. They freeze really well, too.

In conclusion, make these. Now.

In the interest of full disclosure, we didn’t package up our refried beans until stupendously late last night, so I’m using a stock photo. 

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