We eat refried beans all of the time. They are perfect as a side dish, a dip, in taco bowls, in various styles of burritos (of course), and so much more. Refried beans are hearty and filling, but don't need to contain oil or fats. And even better? If you make your own they are inexpensive and don't need to contain a lot of (or any) sodium. We make our refried beans in the Instant Pot because it is quick to cook the beans from dry, and we can make a large amount all at once to last for several meals. These will freeze well, too, if you can't make it through the batch in 3-4 days.
Note: The nutritional values below are using a standard "salsa" to provide counts for sodium. To control the sodium, use your own salsa, choose one carefully, or substitute with diced tomatoes. The value is also a "meal" size helping of beans. If you are using them in a burrito these will go much further than the noted serving size.
Instant Pot low-fat refried beans
- 2 cups pinto beans dry
- 1 cup salsa See notes
- 4 oz jalapenos Canned or sub fresh
- 1.5 Tbsp chili powder
- 1.5 Tbsp cumin
- 1 Tbsp garlic minced
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- Rinse your beans, and place them into the Instant Pot.
- Add enough water to the Instant Pot to cover the beans, and then add about 2 more inches of water. There should be about 2 inches of water covering the beans when you are done.
- Set the instant pot to high pressure, manual, for 45 minutes.
- Set the steam release to sealing.
- When finished cooking, press Cancel and release the pressure for 10 minutes naturally and then manually release the remaining steam.
- Drain the beans (you can save the water if you want!), and then add the spices.
- Mash the beans using an immersion blender or potato masher. Alternatively, remove half of the beans and use a blender to puree them, and then combine with the non-blended beans.
- Add the jalapenos and salsa, and mix together well.
- Season as desired (salt, pepper, hot sauce, cilantro - whatever makes sense for what you use these for!)
Substitutions and alternatives
If you don't have pinto beans, a good substitute is black beans.
Salsa can be replaced with chopped tomatoes (canned or fresh), pico de gallo, or even chopped bell peppers. You may want to cook them a bit before mixing into the beans so they are soft and blend well.
Vary the amount of jalapenos and cayenne based on how much heat you can tolerate. Remember that fresh jalapenos - particularly if you do not deseed the peppers - will have a bit more heat to them than canned ones. If you are concerned, test before blending them together.