Instant Pot Sofrito Refried Beans

Sofrito Refried Beans

Refried Beans are easily one of the most classic and go-to sides within that joy that is Mexican cuisine. I like them in my burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and mixed in with some yellow rice. Basically, you you name it and I love when they are companions. I already have a more traditional recipe but here I take the flavor to new heights using Better Than Bouillon Sofrito Base from the Culinary Collection. Sofrito is a blend of roasted tomatoes, onion, garlic and cilantro and it is pure bliss when give the broth treatment. I also give you choices on how thick or thin you like your refried beans so you’re in full control of their texture and consistency!

This post was sponsored by Better Than Bouillon/Summit Hill Foods.

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Instant Pot Sofrito Refried Beans

Make The Sofrito Broth

Man holding jar of Better Than Bouillon Sofrito Base
The secret to making refried beans sofrito-style is with Better Than Bouillon Sofrito Base from the Culinary Collection.
Water in glass measuring cup
It couldn’t be simpler to make. Fill some water in a large glass measuring cup.
Jar of Better Than Bouillon Sofrito Base
Then, take a jar of the magic…
1 teaspoon of the base scooped
….and add 1 teaspoon of the base per 1 cup of water used to equal 1 cup of sofrito broth. In this case, we are using 5 cups of water mixed with 5 teaspoons of the base to give us 5 cups of broth.
Mixing the base with the water to form broth
Mix together until dissolved and PRESTO! You have instantly flavor-filled sofrito broth. IT’S THAT SIMPLE! Set this amazingness aside for the time being.

Sauté Away

Adding and heating vegetable oil to and in the Instant Pot
Add some vegetable oil to the Instant Pot and heat it up.
Adding diced onion to heated oil in pot
Once the oil’s shimmering, add in a diced onion…
Adding diced green chiles to pot
…a can of diced green chiles (these are super mild)…
Adding minced garlic to pot
…and some crushed or minced garlic.
Sautéing the veggies
Sauté everything in the pot for a few minutes until the onion become a bit softened and flavored from the chiles and garlic.

Adding the Broth & Beans

Adding sofrito broth to pot
Now it’s time to add that key ingredient – the sofrito broth!
Adding dried pinto beans to pot
The next thing we’ll add is the othewr key ingredient – pinto beans! And I’m taking the kind that are raw and hard in a bag, not canned. There is no need to soak or rinse them beforehand.
Adding bay leaves to pot
Top it off with a few bay leaves.

Under Pressure

Stirring pot
Give everything a good stir, secure the lid and pressure cook.
Removing bay leaves after pressure cooking
When the cooking cycle is complete, remove the bay leaves and discard them.

Do You Want Your Beans Thicker or Thinner?

Beans floating in liquid in pot
At this stage, you’ll see going to look like this. I know. It doesn’t look super appealing quite yet but that will soon change when we mash them up.
NOTE: If you want your beans on the very thick side, ladle out about 2-3 cups of the broth from the pot into a glass measuring cup and set aside. If you want them on the thinner side (how I personally like mine), you can keep everything as is.

Mash It Up

Placing potato masher in pot
Now we are going to mash these beans up. Using a potato masher, get in there…
Mashing the beans in the pot
…and mash everything up until it reaches your desired consistency.
NOTE: If you didn’t remove any of the broth prior to mashing, it’s going to appear very thin. But bear in mind that as the innards of the beans are smashed into the broth, they will continue to absorb the broth as it rests and cools, thickening over the next hour. If you did reserve the broth and find it too thick, you can add some broth back in as you mash until it’s to your liking.

The Finishing Touches

Adding crumbled cotija cheese to mashed beans
Next up, some cheese! Add some crumbled cotija cheese (if you can;t find this, you can use grated Parmesan or Feta in its place).
Stirring beans and letting them rest as they will come together and thicken as they cool a bit.
Give it all a good stir. Remember, if you kept all the broth un before mashing, it’s going to thicken as it rests and cools so you can easily make this an hour or so before serving.
Plated refried beans
When done, either serve directly out of the pot or plate it up all nicely, topping with more crumbled cheese, if desired.

The Taste Test

Man placing fork in beans
It’s time to give this sensational side a try.
Man eating beans
Play a game of airplane…
Man looking shocked
…take a moment to savor the flavor.
Man looking impressed and holding jar of Better Than Bouillon Sofrito Base
And you’ll quickly realize that these beans are indeed magic! Goes amazing with my Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas and Birria Tacos!
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Sofrito Refried Beans

Instant Pot Sofrito Refried Beans

Refried Beans are easily one of the most classic and go-to sides within that joy that is Mexican cuisine. I like them in my burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and mixed in with some yellow rice. Basically, you you name it and I love when they are companions. I already have a more traditional recipe but here I take the flavor to new heights using Better Than Bouillon Sofrito Base from the Culinary Collection. Sofrito is a blend of roasted tomatoes, onion, garlic and cilantro and it is pure bliss when give the broth treatment. I also give you choices on how thick or thin you like your refried beans so you're in full control of their texture and consistency!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Additional Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (see Jeff's Tips)
  • 1 large Spanish or yellow onion, diced
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles (these are mild)
  • 3 cloves (1 tablespoon) garlic, minced or pressed
  • 5 cups sofrito broth (5 cups water + 5 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon Sofrito Base)
  • 2 cups dried pinto beans (raw and hard in the bag , not the kind in a kind)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled cotija cheese (use grated Parmesan or crumbled feta if you can't find cotija)

Instructions

  1. Add the oil to the Instant Pot and hit Sauté and Adjust so it's on the More or High setting. Once the oil's heated and shimmering (about 3 minutes), add the onion, chiles and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes until the onion is slightly softened and fragrant.
  2. Add the broth, beans, bay leaves and stir well. Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position and hit Cancel followed by Pressure Cook or Manual for 35 minutes. Allow a 30-minute natural release when done, followed by a quick release (NOTE: If the pin drops, indicating the pressure has fully released before the 30 minutes of the natural release are up, still wait the full 30 minutes to remove the lid.)
  3. When the lid comes off, discard the bay leaves. At this stage, the pots contents won't look super appealing but that will soon change when we mash them up. If you want your beans on the very thick side, ladle out about 2-3 cups of the broth from the pot into a glass measuring cup and set aside. If you want them on the thinner side (how I personally like mine), you can keep everything as is.
  4. Using a potato masher, mash the beans into the desired consistency. if you removed some both prior to mashing and find they're a bit too thick, add back more broth to the pot as you mash them together.
  5. Add the cheese and stir. (NOTE: The longer you let the beans rest and cool, the thicker they are going to get. So if you opted for the thinner beans and didn't remove any broth prior to mashing, they will indeed thicken up some - it will just take a little time meaning you can make this well ahead of when they will be served).
  6. Serve topped with more cheese, if desired. Goes great in burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and mixed in with some yellow rice.

Jeffrey's Tips

If you want even more flavor and don't mind these beans not being vegetarian, use 1/4 cup bacon grease you have have in your fridge.

If you want more classic refried beans that will yield thicker results and no sofirto flavor, follow this recipe.

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