Vegan Refried Black Beans (Instant Pot)

white bowl of vegan refried black beans on a white tablecloth. scallions and a tortilla chip garnish the beans.

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Oil-free, vegan refried black beans made from scratch in the Instant Pot. Use these on their own or as a meal starter in your favorite Tex-Mex recipe.



1 pound Dried Black Beans, rinsed well and drained

2 Bay Leaves

1/4 teaspoon Cumin

2 teaspoons Chili Powder

1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika

1 teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder

2 tablespoons Onion Powder

2 tablespoons Garlic Powder

6 cups Water

1 small Yellow Onion, finely diced

4 cloves Garlic, minced

juice and zest of 1 Lime

Salt to taste


  1. Rinse the black beans well and place them in the Instant Pot insert along with the water, bay leaves, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, chipotle chili powder, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  2. Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes, using natural pressure release. See the “method” section for detailed Instant Pot instructions.
  3. Open Instant Pot and add salt to taste, set to saute, and simmer for 5-10 minutes to allow the salt to absorb.
  4. Drain, reserving liquid.
  5. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat for approximately 1 minute. Add the diced onion and a pinch of salt, letting them cook without stirring for about 1 minute, then stir and add 1 tablespoon of water. Saute until translucent, adding water by the tablespoon as needed to prevent sticking, about 8-10 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic and saute for approximately 1 minute more.
  7. Reduce heat to low, add the drained beans, and begin to mash, using a potato masher. Add the bean cooking liquid approximately 1/2 cup at a time, to keep the mixture from sticking to the pan.
  8. Continue mashing and adding water until you reach your desired texture, anywhere from partially mashed to completely smooth.
  9. Taste and adjust salt.
  10. Turn off the heat and add the lime juice and zest, stirring until mixed throughout.


See the “method” section in the post for more detailed instructions for the preparation of this recipe, including detailed Instant Pot directions.

Vary the consistency of the finished product based on how you will use the beans. A more rustic texture is nice if they are the main element in a bowl or burrito however when used as an addition to the main ingredients, you may prefer to mash them until they are completely smooth. 

If you would like to use the seasoned and cooked black beans without re-frying them, stop after step 3 of the recipe.

Garnish with scallion, white onion, jalapeno, fresh cilantro, or avocado.