Refried black beans make for a tasty and luxurious side dish. The Instant Pot makes them super simple to make, and they are packed with flavor. Serve them alongside any and all Latin American favorites, like burrito bowls, enchiladas, tacos, empanadas, papusas…the list goes on and on!
I’d never made homemade beans before these refried black beans. It always seemed a bit intimidating and I just assumed it would be time consuming. Anytime dried beans would get cooked on Top Chef or any other cooking competition, inevitably someone faltered and cooked them incorrectly. Enter the Instant Pot. It makes quick work of the beans, requires no real hands on effort, and is pretty much fool proof. You can, of course, cook these on the stovetop, and I have details on how to do that below, but if you have your own Instant Pot, then I must ask “what are you waiting for?!” when it comes to making these refried black beans!
I have a tricky relationship with legumes. I don’t really love them. Back when I was on the whole30 bandwagon I always found legumes to be the easiest food to part with. It’s mostly a textural thing. I don’t enjoy most legumes whole. Pureed, or broken down like in hummus or refried beans, has proven to be the major exception. But the stuff that comes from a can is just so meh, that I knew making my own would take the flavor to the next level. And so it did!
These refried black beans are prepared with authentic ingredients, including the lard. Please don’t let that send you running. People cook with oil, bacon grease (which is basically lard) and all other kinds of fat, but sometimes turn up their noses as pure animal fat. I can tell you that it’s an essential ingredient and you eat it all the time whenever you are out to eat Mexican food and many other cuisines. If you are a vegetarian then I understand, and you could use some avocado oil or other fat of your choosing, but if you aren’t, I highly recommend you stick with lard. It’s really not that much for how much refried black beans this makes. I like Epic Provisions.
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These refried black beans are super simple to make in your Instant Pot, and are packed full of delicious, authentic flavor.
- 1 pound dried black beans
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon lard (I like Epic Provisions)
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- ½ to 1 jalapeño seeded and diced, deveined and finely diced (depending on heat level you prefer)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 8 cups water
- In the Instant Pot, use the sauté function to heat the tablespoon of lard (if you don’t have an Instant Pot, see note for alternate cooking instructions)
- Sauté the onion and jalapeño for a few minutes until soft
- Add in the beans, water and 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Turn off the sauté function, put on the lid and place the vent to sealing mode. Cook the beans under high pressure for 35 minutes. Let pressure release naturally for 15 minutes
- Test the beans for doneness (taste and see if the texture is to your liking). They should be done, but if they need to go longer, cook them for a few more minutes at high pressure
- Strain the beans and reserve the cooking liquid
- Add the beans and half the cooking liquid to a food processor (you may have to work in batches depending on your food processor’s capacity). Pulse until beans are relatively smooth, adding more of the cooking liquid as needed to make for a pourable but thick bean consistency
- Heat the remaining lard in a large pan over medium heat. Add the beans and cook for about 30 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom of the pan periodically to incorporate the flavorful bits that form there. Adjust heat as needed to control any splattering
- Garnish with jalapeños, cotija cheese, radish slices, fresh cilantro, or other garnish of your choosing
If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can cook the beans on the stovetop. If you haven’t soaked the beans, this could take a while. If you soak the beans overnight it will be quicker.
Stovetop method:add beans, salt, water, onion and jalapeño to a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until beans are very soft, about 1.5 hours. Then follow the recipe starting in step 6.
Keywords: refried beans, black beans, refried black beans, mexican cuisine, side dish