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Refried Black Beans

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Perfectly spiced refried black beans make a wonderful side dish.  This recipe only requires 5 minutes of prep, the Instant Pot does all the work for you!

refried black beans topped with green onions and cilantro with the instant pot in the background.

Finding alternatives to buying store-bought ingredients is a great way to both keep the cash in your pocket and gain new skills in the kitchen. Who doesn’t love saving a buck or two while trying something new in the process? This refried black beans recipe is designed to do both! They are a great addition to any meal.

Goes Great With

Carne Asada Fries

Best Mexican Street Corn aka Elote Recipe

Copycat Taco Bell Mexican Pizza

Cheese Taco Shells

Beef Enchilada Casserole

What Are Refried Beans?

Refried beans are simply a dish of cooked and mashed beans. Many people think “refried” in this case means fried twice. Not true! With refried beans, the word refried is a translation of “refrito” which is the Spanish meaning of “well fried” or “cooked well.”While the beans you see in many of your favorite Mexican food dishes are typically pinto beans, you can absolutely sub in your favorite beans. I love black beans so I chose them in this recipe.

refried black beans with limes, bowls, and an instant pot in the background.

Refried Black Beans Recipe

We start from scratch here, with a pound of dried black beans. In an Instant Pot: combine the beans, water, Jamaican Jerk BBQ seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt/pepper. Close the lid on the pressure cooker and turn the valve to the sealing position.

You’re going to set it on manual mode (also called Pressure Cook)for 35 minutes. Then naturally release pressure for 25 minutes before manually releasing any remaining pressure. You can serve these immediately as a side dish, use in recipes calling for black beans. Simple and flavorful!

If you’d prefer a more neutral flavor, feel free to leave out all the spices except for salt. One pound of black beans should serve 8-10 people. Cheap but filling! #MeatlessMonday

What If I Don't Have an Instant Pot?

No instant pot? No problem! These beans can also be made on the stove top. Soak beans overnight and then simmer in a large dutch oven for 2-3 hours.

If you forgot to soak your beans, you can also add them dry into the crockpot for 6-8 hours on low, or 3-4 hours on high.

a white bowl of refried black beans topped with green onions and cilantro.
Can I Use Canned Black Beans?

The whole point of this recipe is to help you use what you have at home.

After you open the can of beans, drain the liquid from the top of the can only. The rest of the liquid will be needed to cook the beans and get them to the desired consistency if you’re going to mash them.

Simply heat up the beans in a saucepan after sautéing some garlic and green chilies. Add cumin, salt, and pepper, along with any other desired spices (also feel free to omit anything you don’t like, such as the chilies). As the beans cook, stir them frequently to keep them from sticking to each other and the pot. If you’d like a different consistency, you can use a potato masher to reach your desired texture. When the beans have thickened and the excess liquid has evaporated, they are done.

Use As a Recipe Ingredent Too

These make a great side dish. Top with your favorite fixings like cheese, sour cream, or guacamole. You can also use it as a dip with your favorite edible scooping utensil; think crackers, pita wedges, or chips. They also go great with homemade oven-baked entrees like chicken fajitas.

Other ideas include tacos, tostadas, and a layered taco dip.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How to Reheat: Reheat on the stove top because you can control the temperature. Be sure to keep stirring to keep the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pot. To keep the beans from drying out too much, you can add water or chicken broth one teaspoon at a time.

Don’t let the beans boil, because you don't want them to be too dry, or to stick to the bottom of the pot. Reheat on medium, for about 3-5 minutes or less.

You can also use the microwave if you’d like. Put the beans in a bowl, cover with a paper towel, and heat at 30-second intervals, stirring in between each interval. It may also help to put your microwave on 50% power. You don’t want to suck out all the moisture.

2. How Long Do They Last? You should only keep refried beans in the fridge for 3-4 days.

3. Can you Freeze Them? To freeze: place the beans in airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags. Use within 2-3 months.


📖 Recipe

refried black beans

Refried Black Beans

Refried Black Beans: Perfectly spiced black beans make a wonderful side dish. Only 5 minutes of prep, the Instant Pot does all the work for you!
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 195kcal

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  • 1 Pound Dry Black Beans
  • 3 Cups Water
  • ½ Teaspoon Jamaican Jerk BBQ Seasoning
  • ½ Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • Salt and Pepper To Taste
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  • Combine black beans, water, jerk seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt/pepper in the Instant Pot.
  • Put the lid on, and set the pressure valve to sealing.
  • Cook on Manual High Pressure (also called pressure cook) for 35 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally for 25 minutes. Manually release any remaining pressure.
  • Mash until you reached your desired consistency adding more water as needed. You can also blend if you'd prefer. Season to taste.


Calories: 195kcal
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  1. 5 stars
    I recently got an Instant Pot and am on the lookout for great recipes to make in it and this one is fabulous! I've always thought homemade beans tasted better than the canned version so I a so excited to make this!! I also love that the instructions are so clear for this Instant Pot newbie!

  2. 5 stars
    Krystle I also thought that when I read the title (that they were fried twice). My dishes have been a little stale recently so this spicey side dish will be greatly appreciated, thank you! 🙂