Pressure Cooker Re-fried Beans – all the flavor without the frying!

pressure cooked refried beans in white oval ramekin
Re-fried beans, much like carnitas, are usually cooked twice (boiled and then fried). Your pressure cooker can infuse flavor while boiling; so, let’s switch this classic recipe around to capture more flavor in less time and (best of all) with fewer pans to wash!

Traditionally, to make re-fried beans a cook would either use canned, boiled, or pressure cooked beans.  Then,  saute them with aromatics and lightly fry everything before mashing and serving.Instead,  we’re going start with the aromatics: saute’ them in the pressure cooker before cooking the beans – infusing them with flavor from the inside out.

I deviated a tad from this classic Mexican recipe by adding my favorite aromatic – parsley stems. They add a very light green note that cannot be achieved by simply sprinkling its leaves for garnish. Also, I have to confess to using whole-milk plain yogurt instead of sour cream for garnish – you get the same tang for less fat (40% versus 4%). Ole’!

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
5 L or larger  none    7-10 min.    High(2)  Natural

4.3 from 3 reviews
Pressure Cooker Re-fried Beans
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Use pinto, borlotti or cranberry beans (or a mix of all three) following the same cooking time in this recipe. I didn't have enough borlotti to make the recipe, so I topped-off my measuring cup with cranberry beans. The oil in this recipe can be substituted with any fat - including lard or bacon fat!
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley (or cilantro), stems and leaves divided and chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 2 cups dried borlotti (or pinto) beans, soaked
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. In the pre-heated pressure cooker, on medium heat without the lid, add the oil and saute the onion, parsley stems chipotle and cumin until the onions just begin to soften.
  2. Add the beans and water.
  3. Close and lock the lid. Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker reaches pressure, lower to the heat to the minimum needed to maintain pressure. Cook for 7-10 minutes at high pressure.
  4. Open with the Natural release method - move the pressure cooker to a cool burner and wait for the pressure to come down on it's own (about 10 minutes).For electric pressure cooker, disengage the “keep warm” mode or unplug the cooker and begin counting 10 minutes of natural open. Then, release the rest of the pressure using the valve.
  5. Remove a heaping spoonful of beans (for garnish) and sprinkle the rest in the cooker with salt, and mash using a potato masher to the desired consistency.
  6. Serve sprinkled with whole beans, parsley and an optional dollop of sour cream (or plain whole-milk yogurt).