Instant Pot Refried Beans
- 1 pound dry pinto beans — 2 cups
- 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion — chopped into 1/4-inch dice
- 3 cloves garlic — minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock — divided
- 3 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- For serving: queso fresco or shredded Monterey jack cheese — diced tomatoes, diced red onion, chopped fresh cilantro, avocado
- Place the pinto beans in a large colander. Thoroughly rinse them. Pick the beans over, removing any damaged or clearly misshapen beans and discarding them. Set the rinsed beans aside.
- Turn a 6-quart Instant Pot to SAUTE. Add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion. Sauté for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and let cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add a few splashes of chicken stock and scrape along the bottom of the pot to remove any stuck-on bits of food. Add the remaining stock, water, bay leaves, salt, cumin, oregano, cayenne, and the rinsed and drained beans. Lightly stir to combine.
- Seal the Instant Pot. Cook on HIGH (manual) for 45 minutes. When the 45 minutes of pressure cooking has finished, let the pressure release naturally for 25 minutes. Vent to release any remaining pressure. Carefully open the lid. The beans will be very liquidy.
- Discard the bay leaves. Reserve 1 cup of the bean cooking liquid in a measuring cup, then drain the remainder. Return to the beans to the pot. With an immersion blender (or by hand with a potato masher), puree the beans until they reach your desired consistency, adding some of the reserved liquid as needed. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Sprinkle with any desired toppings, serve, and enjoy!
- For easy portions: Let the beans cool COMPLETELY, then portion them into ziptop freezer bags labeled with the date. Seal the bags, removing as much air as possible, and squish the beans so that the bag lays flat. Freeze flat for simple storage. Let the beans thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat gently on the stove with a splash of water or stock as needed to thin them back out.