RECIPE | Homemade Refried Beans... in the Instant Pot

A couple weeks ago I shared in this post and on episode 25 of our podcast, that I was testing out batch of homemade refried beans (vegan & gluten free) in our new favorite kitchen addition, the Instant Pot. I was *almost* successful that night, but wanted another run through before sharing with you. 

The first time around, they tasted great, they were a bit dense because I underestimated how much they would thicken up. The second run though was much better and I'm happy to report that we have a nice stash of these delicious homemade refried beans in our freezer. The recipe is for the Instant Pot (an electric pressure cooker), but you could adjust for the stove top or slow cooker - the great thing with the Instant Pot is cooking time is dramatically reduced and in an hour, we went from dried to delicious refried beans. 




  • 2 pounds dried pinto beans - sorted and rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons + 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 large onion - chopped
  • 6-8 cloves garlic (more or less to taste)
  • 1 jalapeno - seeded and diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro - stems and leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (more or less to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 9 cups of water
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt to taste



  1. Rinse and sort beans and set aside. 
  2. Set Instant Pot on the saute setting. When hot, add 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, add onions and sautee for 5-10 minutes until softened.
  3. Add garlic, jalapeno and roughly chopped cilantro stems. Saute another 3-5 minutes until aromatic. Mix in cayenne, chili powder, cumin, beans and water. 
  4. Cover and set Instant Pot on Bean/Chili Setting for 35 minutes - unplug when time is up. After 10 minutes, release remaining pressure. Check beans to make sure they're tender at this point - if they're not, close it back up and set for another 5-10 minutes. 
  5. Heat a large pan over medium/high heat and add remaining 1/4 cup coconut oil. 
  6. Strain beans (reserving liquid - you'll need this later), add to hot pan with oil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring as needed to keep from sticking to the pan. 
  7. Begin alternating adding liquid (more to begin with) and mashing beans (I use an immersion blender, but a potato masher will work, too) until you reach the desired consistency - we like ours to have just a bit of texture, so we don't blend completely smooth. 
  8. Add salt to taste and mix in lime juice (you can microwave a the lime for 30 seconds and get a lot more juice with little effort). 

Garnish as you like (queso fresco and cilantro is a favorite at our house) and enjoy! 


This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on a link and purchase an item through that website, I may make a small commission - this is at no extra charge to you. Thank you for helping support Alisa the Yarnista!

Texas Caviar

I made this today and am currently enjoying a generous helping!  Of course I didn't follow a recipe, so here's my version.
Texas Caviar
3 sweet bell peppers (1 each: red, orange, yellow) - stemmed, seeded and diced
2 jalapenos - seeds and membranes removed and finely diced
1 small red onion - finely diced
2-3 cups canned tomatoes - drained and diced
4 cups black-eyed peas - rinsed and drained
Cilantro - large handful chopped
6 Tbs - red wine vinegar
6 Tbs - EVOO
1/2 tsp - salt
1/2 tsp - ground black pepper
1/2 tsp - garlic powder
1 tsp - dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp - ground cumin
1 Tbs - sugar
In a large bowl, combine sweet peppers, jalapenos, onion, tomatoes and black-eyed peas.  Note: instead of using canned from the store, I cooked the beans from dry and used a quart jar of our tomatoes from our garden last summer.
In a small bowl, mix dressing ingredients and whisk together.
Pour dressing over ingredients in large bowl, add cilantro and mix well. I suggest letting it set for 30 minutes to an hour in the fridge so the flavors can mingle.
Delicious with tortilla chips, on a salad or as a side.