Best Instant Pot Baked Beans – Dry or Canned [Video]
Instant Pot Baked Beans made from scratch with dried or canned beans, no need to soak the beans! Flavored with bacon and cooked in a delicious bbq sauce, this classic recipe can be made in a fraction of the time in the pressure cooker.
Instant Pot recipes are a staple around here as we love making easy meals and side dishes using it. Other popular dishes that we think you will enjoy are this Instant Pot Chili and this healthy and hearty Ham and Bean Soup. There is definitely something for everyone, starting from breakfasts, side dishes, baked goods, desserts, dinner, and even drinks!
This easy Instant Pot Baked Beans recipe is simply one of the best and most flavorful meals you can get. Once you make it from scratch, you will see that this will become your go-to recipe!
Hands down, this recipe is the most amazing and favorite side dish I have ever had. After a few trials, that’s a lot of beans for dinner, I have tweaked the recipe to be perfect!
The beans are combined with barbecue sauce and bacon to pack just the right balance of sweetness and savory flavors. Also, some brown sugar, smoked paprika, and some red pepper flakes are added to elevate the flavors.
They are the perfect side dish for any barbecue gatherings or summer picnics. Heck, if you are like me, you will actually have a huge bowl for dinner!
The best part of this recipe is that you can make it with dry beans without soaking them! Now that is a huge time-saver!
In addition, I love this dish because when you take the first bite, the texture is so creamy and they taste a bit sweet, and after that, you get hit with a mild spicy wave that makes them irresistible.
- Bacon: While it is optional and you can skip it to make the vegetarian version of this recipe, we highly recommend using the bacon. The smokiness adds so much flavor and depth to this easy baked beans recipe.
- Beans: To make this recipe from scratch we use dry beans. Actually, any variety will work, you can choose from the following: pinto beans, navy beans, black beans, kidney beans, great northern beans. I personally prefer to use pinto beans because of their creamier and more tender texture.
- Barbecue sauce: For this instant pot pressure cooker recipe you get to use your favorite bbq sauce! Make sure you choose a good one, as it’s a key ingredient here.
- Sweeteners: This savory recipe is on the sweeter side, we like to add brown sugar, molasses, and maple syrup to balance the flavors.
- Seasoning: Salt, ground black peppers, and red pepper flakes.
- Spices: To make this great recipe we use a mixture of spices like cinnamon, smoked paprika, ground mustard.
- Veggies: Sweet onion, garlic, and a can of diced green chiles if you want to add some extra heat.
- Liquid: Everything is cooked in a mixture of broth and water. Here you can use chicken broth, beef broth, or vegetable broth if you are making the vegetarian version. In addition, we use Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke to make the recipe extra delicious.
- Tomato paste: A little bit of tomato paste is added to balance the sweetness of the recipe, however, you can use some tomato sauce or apple cider vinegar instead.
How do you make Instant Pot Baked Beans:
- Cook the bacon: First, we start by roasting the bacon with a little brown sugar and maple syrup. Cook it at 400 F degrees using a rimmed baking sheet. After that, cool it and chop it.
- Pressure cook the dry beans: Next, add the dry beans, seasoning, and liquid to the pressure cooker. Close the lid, seal the valve and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes.
- Natural Pressure Release: Once done cooking, do a 20-minute natural release, and after that release manually the remaining pressure by opening the valve.
- Rinse: Afterward, remove the beans from the pot, rinse and drain them, discard the liquid from the pot. Add the beans back to the bottom of the pot.
- Combine: At this point at the remaining ingredients, except bacon, and stir to combine.
- Pressure cook again: Lock the lid and close the pressure valve. Cook the mixture on high pressure for 10 minutes, followed by a 10-minute natural release.
- Quick pressure release: Quick release the remaining pressure and carefully open the lid.
- Add bacon: Finally, stir in the chopped bacon.
- Serve: Serve the pressure cooker baked beans warm with extra bacon on top.
- Using canned beans: Skip the recipe steps about cooking the dried beans, and replace them with 3 cans (15.5 ounces each) of canned beans, drained and rinsed. Add them to the pressure cooker with the rest of the ingredients and cook per the recipe’s instructions.
- Slow cooker: You would have to start with either cooked or canned beans, add all the ingredients to the slow cooker, and stir to combine. Cover and cook beans on low for 4 to 6 hours until thick.
- Stovetop: Just add all the ingredients to a large dutch oven and cover. Then, simmer for about an hour, or until completely cooked.
- Vegetarian: Alternatively, make these without the bacon and using vegetable broth.
- Veggies: In addition, you can add some extra veggies when pressure cooking, for example, bell pepper or mushrooms work well.
- Spicy: Make them spicier by adding a hefty amount of chili powder and some hot sauce.
- Garlicky: For garlic lovers out there, add more minced garlic and also some garlic powder for a more pronounced flavor.
How to serve:
- This easy instant pot bean recipe is great served at a summer bbq with some coleslaw and pulled pork.
- You can eat them as a main dish because they are so filling and rich, and we recommend having some cornbread or corn muffins on the side.
- In addition, they would pair well with almost any main dish, we recommend serving them with Pork Loin or Meatloaf.
Do you need to soak the beans prior to pressure cooking?
No, the beauty of this recipe is that if you choose to make it with dry beans, you don’t have to soak them. You can cook them in the Pressure Cooker, rinse, discard the water from the pot and cook with the rest of the ingredients to make this dish.
How to avoid the Burn Notice:
We’ve had some questions and comments about the burn notice on the instant pot. Although we have never had any issues with this or experienced the burn notice before using this recipe, it is wise to pinpoint a few important things which might help to avoid it.
- First, if cooking the bacon in the pressure cooker, make sure not to use extra thin or lacking fat bacon. Both of these can cause the bacon to stick to the bottom of the pot and cause a burn notice later. Those browned bits stuck to the pot because of the lack of fat. This can make the instant pot think that you’ve walked away and left the meat to burn. So try using good quality bacon, which is thicker and has decent fat content.
- Alternatively, follow our recipe and cook the bacon in the oven or use pre-cooked bacon. However, if you fry it in the IP using the sauté setting, make sure to deglaze the inner pot with a bit of liquid and with a wooden spoon scrape any bits that stuck to it.
- Also, if after combining all the ingredients you get the burn notice you probably didn’t thoroughly stir everything together or something is stuck to the bottom of the pot. Hence, ensure to stir well prior to pressure cooking.
How to store leftovers:
- Refrigerate: First, let the instant pot baked beans fully cool and after that, transfer the leftovers to an airtight container. Store in the fridge for 4-5 days.
- Freeze: Use freezer bags or containers and don’t fill them to the brim as the mixture will slightly expand when frozen. If frozen properly, they can last in the freezer for up to 6 months. However, I prefer to keep them for about 3 months only.
- Thaw: When ready to consume the beans, take them out of the freezer and put them in the refrigerator in a large container for up to eight hours so they gradually defrost.
- Reheat: After they have thawed, put them in a pan and reheat them over low-medium heat.
More BBQ recipes:
- I like to cook the bacon separately, this way it’s crispier and tastes much better. If you don’t want to turn on your oven, you can brown the bacon in the electric pressure cooker.
- Also, when I cook the bacon in the oven, I like to either drizzle a little maple syrup over it or sprinkle some brown sugar, this way it caramelizes a bit and it goes really well with the smoky flavor of the dish. Watch it closely to NOT burn it!
- Similarly, you can use your favorite bbq sauce in this recipe. Also, you can skip the liquid smoke, I really like it, as it gives the beans that smoky flavor, but it’s up to you if you want to use it to not.
- When freezing the instant pot baked beans, for best results it is important to freeze them the same day you cooked them, to avoid changes in texture and flavor.
- The cinnamon and ground mustard are so-called “backstage” flavors, you don’t taste them specifically, but they elevate other flavors. Don’t be afraid to use them.
- The molasses and brown sugar are in my opinion essential in this recipe, so make sure you don’t skip those.
Best Instant Pot Baked Beans - No Soaking
- 10 slices bacon
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)
Cook Dry Beans:
- 1 lb. pinto beans (dry*)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 8 cups water or broth of choice
- 1 medium sweet onion (diced)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (use less, if you want to reduce sugar)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons Molasses
- 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
- 1 can (4 oz) diced green chiles, ( optional)
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup water
- You can use pre-cooked bacon or you can brown it in the Instant Pot before adding the cooked beans. I prefer the oven method, here are the steps.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange a rack in the lower third of the oven.
- Line 1 baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lay the bacon onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
- Sprinkle a little brown sugar over the bacon or drizzle a little maple syrup.
- Bake until the bacon is deep golden-brown and crispy, 15 to 20 minutes. Begin checking around 12 minutes to monitor how quickly the bacon is cooking.
- Remove from oven and set aside. When cooled chop into 1-inch pieces.
Cook Dry Beans:
- Add dry beans, salt pepper, and 8 cups of liquid to the Pressure Cooker. Cover and make sure the valve points to Sealed. Cook on High Pressure for 25 minutes followed by a 20-25 minutes Natural Pressure Release.
- Release manually the remaining pressure and carefully remove the lid.
- Rinse the beans under cold water and drain.
- Clean the pot and return it to the Instant Pot.
Make Baked Beans:
- Add the cooked beans to the Instant Pot with the rest of the ingredients. Gently stir to combine. Cover with the lid and make sure the valve points to Sealed.
- Cook on High Pressure for 10 minutes followed by a 10 minutes Natural Pressure Release.
- Release manually the remaining pressure and carefully remove the lid.
- Stir in the chopped cooked bacon.
- If you would like to reduce the liquid, even more, you can select Sauté and cook the beans with the lid off on Sauté mode for 15 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced. You can also mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water and add the mixture to the beans to thicken the sauce.
- Serve with extra bacon on top and fresh chopped parsley if desired.
- You can use canned beans, 3 cans (15.5 ounces each) of either northern, pinto or kidney beans. Also, you can use a combo of these. If using canned beans, skip the instructions for Cooking Dry Beans and jump to Make Baked Beans.
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