by Olena

Instant Pot Baked Beans

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Olena Osipov
5 from 1 vote

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Instant Pot Baked Beans from scratch are the only way you’re going to want to make this classic side dish from now on! In a fraction of the time you’ll get sweet and smoky, saucy beans without presoaking or cooking for hours. These delicious pressure cooker baked beans are freezer-friendly, make meal prep simple and are always a welcome addition to any BBQ, picnic, cookout, or family dinner!

Using the Instant Pot to cook all kinds of healthy beans like black beans, chickpeas, and refried beans have made home cooks all over the world collectively rejoice in time and energy saved! Here’s to clever shortcuts and the magic of the Instant Pot!

instant pot baked beans from scratch in serving dish with wooden spoon

Easy Instant Pot Baked Beans

This easy Instant Pot baked beans recipe is so much easier than making it the traditional way which can take hours. It’s 5 minutes of prep time and the rest is hands off cook time. It doesn’t get any easier than that when you use your Instant Pot for summertime cooking!

Baked beans have always been a BBQ side dish staple, along with corn on the cob, cornbread, potato salad, and coleslaw. It’s a standout dish because of its sweet, smokey, creamy texture, and despite it being perfect for summer gatherings, it really is something you can enjoy all year round.

Ok, so it’s not as quick as opening up a can but believe me, you’ll reap the rewards of spending just over an hour on this recipe. There is nothing like it. So much mouthwatering sweetness, smokiness, and depth of flavor you just don’t get from a can.

Making Instant Pot baked beans from scratch means you can enhance the flavour exactly the way you want. There’s no added refined sugar, other than what’s found in the ketchup and BBQ sauce and even that can be adjusted if you use homemade BBQ sauce or ketchup.

It stores well in the fridge, which makes having leftovers a breeze. It pairs well with burgers, grilled meats, casseroles, and more. Trust me, you won’t have any trouble finding ways to gobble it all up!

Why This Recipe for Baked Beans in Instant Pot Works?

  • So easy and flavourful which can only come from making it from scratch.
  • It’s cheap to make so it’s a very budget-friendly way to serve lots of people.
  • Ingredients are flexible and can be adjusted to your taste preferences.
  • Serves a crowd at BBQs, picnics, potlucks, and any place there’s a gathering.
  • Can be kept warm for a long time without overcooking anything.
  • Easy meal prep with having lots of leftovers throughout the week.
  • Freezer-friendly which helps to avoid waste. Store whatever you don’t use for up to 3 months!
  • Faster than traditionally made baked beans without skimping on taste.
instant pot baked beans in pressure cooker

Ingredients in Instant Pot Baked Beans

  • Beans – I used pinto beans for this recipe but you can also use navy beans which are actually the more traditional bean used.
  • Water – You’ll need the water to pressure cook the baked beans from scratch. Then you’ll drain and add the remaining ingredients to complete the recipe.
  • Bacon – You can use whatever bacon you like. If you like it smoked, use that. If you like maple bacon, use that. Regular cut or thicker cut, it’s up to you. Traditional baked beans include some kind of pork lard for flavour, but you can omit it for a vegetarian version.
  • Onion – An aromatic for incredible seasoning. Onions in baked beans are delicious.
  • Bell pepper – Fine chopped red or green pepper. They are both on the opposite sides of the taste spectrum, red being much sweeter, so the choice depends on your taste.
  • Yellow mustard – Prepared yellow mustard for a bit of tang.
  • Liquid smoke – A little bit of this stuff goes a long way. It gives off incredibly smoky flavours and aromas.
  • Salt – As always a bit of salt is needed to round out the flavours and enhance the overall taste.
  • Apple cider vinegar – Along with the mustard, the acid also works to cut the richness and adds tartness and tang to balance the sweet.
  • Applesauce – Can use unsweetened or sweetened, again, depending on how sweet you like your pressure cooker baked beans. The flavor of apples is also a great pairing with bacon. If you make a batch of your own applesauce you can use it for plenty of other recipes or enjoy it on its own.
  • BBQ sauce – I use Stubb’s as I find the ingredient list a lot cleaner than most other store bought brands. Of course, you can never go wrong with making a quick and easy healthy homemade BBQ sauce!
  • Maple syrup – Used as a natural sweetener other than the traditional brown sugar. Not only does it work the same way, but also has a nice flavour to it. You can also use honey instead.
  • Ketchup – Some people use tomato sauce instead as another acid to cut through the richness, however ketchup does this with a bit more flavour and sweetness.

How to Make Pressure Cooker Baked Beans

If you are new to Instant Pot, I highly recommend to check out my Instant Pot guide.

Instant Pot baked beans is one of the easiest ways to make baked beans from scratch.

  • Add beans and cold water to the Instant pot and Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 25 minutes. Do this by securing the lid and moving the Valve to Seal. It will take some time to come to pressure, so now’s a good time to prep the veggies.
  • Release the pressure using Quick Release by turning the valve to Venting. Drain the beans and set them aside. If some of the beans are not quite cooked yet, that’s no problem, they will finish cooking soon.
  • Rinse the inner pot and return it to the base. Press sauté and wait until the display reads Hot.
  • Cook bacon, stirring occasionally.
  • Toss in the onion and bell pepper and continue cooking and stirring. Press cancel.
  • Add remaining ingredients which include beans, mustard, liquid smoke, apple cider vinegar, applesauce, BBQ sauce, maple syrup, and ketchup in that order. DO NOT stir.
  • Pressure cook on High or Manual for 15 minutes.
  • Quick-release once more, then open the lid and stir the beans. Enjoy!

Tips for BBQ Beans

For best results follow the following few tips!

  • There is no need to presoak the beans overnight. The pressure cooker does the work for you in a fraction of the time.
  • When cooking the bacon, watch that you’re not overcooking it too crispy. You want the fat to give the beans some flavour.
  • Be sure to follow the instructions as to what goes into the pot and when and remember NOT to stir! The reason for this is to avoid the burn notice.

Tip: If your crowd isn’t quite ready to eat yet, keep the Instant Pot on the warm feature so that it doesn’t get cold!

Add-ins and Variations

Ramp up the flavour with some tweaks or substitutions.

  • Swap the maple syrup or honey for blackstrap molasses to get a deeper flavour and colour – this version is what ‘Beantown’ calls Boston baked beans.
  • Throw in some sriracha or red pepper flakes for a spicy kick which is a nice balance to all the sweetness.
  • Use a homemade BBQ sauce, not only does it jazz up the flavour of baked beans but is the healthiest option.
  • The same goes for using applesauce made from scratch. So much better!

FAQs

Do I need to soak dry beans?

No you don’t! This is the beauty of making baked beans in a pressure cooker. The pressure does the work for you, which takes hours off of making them from scratch.

Can I substitute canned beans instead of dry beans?

Definitely. That’s another way to save time. Start with step 5 and use four 14 oz cans of low sodium beans, making sure to rinse and drain first. Then keep going as directed.

Can I double pressure cooker baked beans recipe?

The beans will expand as they cook and the remaining ingredients will create a sauce that will also take up room. As long as the beans don’t surpass the max line of your Instant Pot you should be able to increase the amount using the same cook time. It will depend on the size of your Instant Pot, however, it might be wise to try it once with the recipe instructions as written and play around with the amount on the next one.

What happens if beans get overcooked?

Nothing, you’ll just have mushy beans and perhaps a thicker consistency. Not the end of the world! Baked beans are generally soft and saucy anyway.

How do I thicken the sauce for baked beans?

There are a couple of things you can try. Remove some of the beans and mash them up before returning them to the pot. The texture of the mashed beans will help thicken up the entire pot. Either that or you can make a slurry of cold water and cornstarch and add it to the pot and stir.

Can I leave out the bacon to make vegetarian baked beans?

Make this a vegetarian baked beans recipe with a simple omission of the bacon. It is used for flavour, but there is already so much going on in baked beans that you can easily enjoy without the bacon.

Serving Recommendations

This classic side dish goes well with so many things. Of course you could eat a bowl on its own, but why not add it to one of the following to make it a meal?

Making Baked Beans from Scratch in Advance

Make ahead: Follow the instructions up to the point where you’ve added the remaining ingredients on top of the beans, bacon, onions, and peppers. Remembering not to stir, keep all contents in the Instant Pot stainless steel liner, so when you place in the fridge covered for up to 2 days, none of the ingredients move around. Cook when you’re ready to enjoy!

Storing: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Enjoy the next day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Freezing: Once completely cooled, Instant Pot baked beans can be kept frozen for up to 3 days. Store in an airtight freezer-friendly container making sure to leave room for expansion.

Reheating: You can reheat on the stove on low or using a saucepan or the Instant Pot liner you cooked it in. Stir a few times. You can also use the Instant Pot to warm it up by pressing sauté.

More Instant Pot Recipes to Try

instant pot baked beans with metal spoon
Instant Pot Baked Beans

Instant Pot Baked Beans {Classic Taste, No Soaking!}

Instant Pot Baked Beans from scratch are the only way you're going to want to make this classic side dish from now on! In a fraction of the time you'll get sweet and smoky, saucy beans without presoaking or cooking for hours. These delicious pressure cooker baked beans are freezer-friendly, make meal prep simple and are always a welcome addition to any BBQ, picnic, cookout, or family dinner!
5 from 1 vote
Print Save Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Pressure Build Up Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 192kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1 lb dried navy or pinto beans rinsed & drained
  • 5 cups cold water
  • 8 slices bacon chopped
  • 1 yellow or white onion finely chopped
  • 1 red or green bell pepper finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup applesauce sweetened or unsweetened
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce I use Stubb's or homemade
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup ketchup

Instructions

  • In Instant Pot, add beans and cold water. Secure lid, place vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 25 minutes. While beans are cooking prep veggies.
    Instant Pot Baked Beans
  • Release pressure using Quick Release method by turning valve to Venting and drain the beans (some uncooked beans are fine). Set aside.
    Instant Pot Baked Beans
  • Rinse the inner pot, Return it to Instant Pot base, press Saute and wait until display says Hot. Then add bacon and cook for 5 minutes, stirring a few times.
    Instant Pot Baked Beans
  • Add onion and bell pepper, cook for 4 minutes, stirring a few times. Press Cancel.
    Instant Pot Baked Beans
  • Add beans, mustard, liquid smoke, apple cider vinegar, applesauce, barbecue sauce, maple syrup and ketchup. Do not stir! Close the lid, set valve to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 15 minutes.
    Instant Pot Baked Beans
  • After release pressure immediately by turning valve to Venting. Open the lid and stir the baked beans.
    Instant Pot Baked Beans
  • Serve with Instant Pot ribs, cucumber tomato salad, cornbread or grilled cheese.
    Instant Pot Baked Beans

Store: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

    Freeze: Freeze in an airtight container leaving some room for expansion for up to 3 months.

      Reheat: On the stove by simmering in the pot or right in Instant Pot liner for 5-6 minutes, stirring a few times. You can also reheat right in Instant Pot by pressing Saute.

        Make ahead: Cook dried beans or use canned beans; cook bacon, pepper and onion. Add remaining ingredients on top as per recipe and refrigerate covered for up to 2 days. It's important to store in Instant Pot stainless steel liner so when you transfer sauces do not get mixed and cause Burn – they should be on top, that's why Do not stir! warning.

          Notes

          • Do I need to soak dried beans? No. Instant Pot will cook them from dry.
          • Canned beans: Start with step 5 and use 4 x 14 oz low sodium canned beans (rinsed & drained).

          Nutrition

          Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 192kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 260mg | Potassium: 613mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 359IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg
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          olena osipov in the studio

          Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

          My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

          6 comments on “Instant Pot Baked Beans

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          1. 5 stars
            Lena,

            These beans are really really good! Used molasses and added some red pepper flakes. Cooked the beans with a bay leaf and garlic to zip them up a bit. Wow! I’ll never buy a can of beans again!
            Might try adding some chopped tomatoes next time.

            Thank you,

            Teri

          2. The beans needed to cook longer than 25 minutes. They were crunchy…not just a few, but almost the whole pound. Taste wasn’t bad.

            1. They don’t. Beans get cooked for another 15 minutes under high pressure in step 5 which is more than enough. If you follow the recipe, it will come out great.

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