Instant Pot Recipes Recipes Side Dishes

Last updated on April 27th, 2024 at 04:50 pm

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Best Instant Pot Baked Beans – Dry or Canned [Video]

Instant Pot Baked Beans are made from scratch with dried or canned beans, no need to soak the beans! Flavored with bacon and cooked in a delicious sweet and savory BBQ sauce. This classic recipe can be made in a fraction of the time in the pressure cooker. Ready in under one hour! You can serve this as a side dish for burgers, fall-of-the-bone ribs, and brats. Perfect for summer picnics and BBQ parties, or cold winter nights. Instant pot beans go with anything and it is one of my favorite comfort meals I love having year-round.

I love instant pots. I have two of them because I sometimes cook two recipes at the same time. The amazing appliance can turn even dry beans into delicious juicy and tender baked beans in about 30 minutes.

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!

This is the must-have side dish for any barbecue gatherings or summer picnics. Heck, if you are like me, you will 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!

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.

What’s even more amazing is that you can make this dish for less than five dollars. A bag of dried beans only cost a couple of dollars and the rest of the ingredients are all under a dollar. The most expensive thing about this recipe is the bacon. You can leave the bacon out, however, why would you?

Instant Pot recipes are a staple around here as I love making easy meals and side dishes using them. Other popular dishes that I am sure you will enjoy are Instant Pot Chili and this healthy and hearty Ham and Bean Soup. There is something for everyone, starting from breakfasts, side dishes, baked goods, desserts, dinner, and even drinks!

What you’ll need to make instant pot baked beans:

Special kitchen items and gadgets:

  • An instant pot – I have an instant pot Duo Plus and an RIO-wide base. For this recipe, I used the Duo Plus because it is big enough to make a bunch of beans.
  • A baking sheet – To cook the bacon in the oven. I do not like to fry bacon.
  • Mixing bowls – A variety of sizes.
  • A wooden spoon – For stirring without scratching the pot.

The ingredients:

For the bacon:

  • Bacon – I like the thick-cut maple bacon but you can use whatever kind you prefer.
  • Brown sugar – This is optional, but it gives your bacon (and your beans) a delicious rich sweet flavor. 
  • Maple syrup – Also optional, I use pure maple syrup, which is sweet and robust, perfect for this recipe.

The sauce:

  • Sweet onion – Sweet yellow Vidalia onions are the best, diced well.
  • Garlic – Fresh minced garlic is the best for the most intense flavor.
  • Brown sugar – For a richer, sweeter taste, use dark brown sugar.
  • Tomato paste – The sweet thick paste adds a dimension you cannot get from tomato sauce or ketchup.
  • Liquid smoke – Made by collecting smoke and turning it into liquid, this stuff is amazing and gives your beans a smoky flavor with just a tiny bit.
  • Molasses – The rich, sweet, smoky flavor of molasses has a hint of toffee and caramel.
  • Worcestershire sauce – Adds a complex mix of flavors from garlic, tamarind, onion, molasses, and anchovies.
  • Barbecue sauce – Just use whatever barbecue sauce you usually use or try my easy recipe for delicious homemade barbecue sauce.
  • Red pepper flakes – Add a little bit of fire to your beans.
  • Diced green chiles – For a punch of spiciness.
  • Smoked paprika – Also adds to the smokiness and the sweetness with an earthy background.
  • Cinnamon – The woodsy sweet taste goes well with the other flavors.
  • Ground mustard – For an extra tangy kick.

For the beans:

  • Dry pinto beans – Use extra virgin olive oil for the mildest flavor. You just want a little bit of olive flavor.
  • Water or broth – I prefer water because it allows the flavors from the sauce to shine through.
  • Salt – Kosher salt is the best for this recipe.
  • Freshly ground black pepper – Grind your black pepper for a fresher intense peppery flavor.

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, and discard the liquid from the pot. Add the beans back to the bottom of the pot.
  • Combine: At this point 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.

Expert tip

Know how long it takes to cook beans in an instant pot

For this recipe, I cook dry pinto beans in water for 25 minutes with a 20-minute natural pressure release. Then, I cook them again with the sauce for another 10 minutes with another 10-minute natural pressure release. So, these beans are nice and soft when they are done. If you want them firmer, cook them for 20 minutes.

Different kinds of beans take different amounts of time to cook, and the time depends on whether they are dry or soaked. Dry black beans can be cooked on high pressure for 30 minutes while soaked beans get done in five to seven minutes. Dry chickpeas take 40 minutes while soaked beans take 10 to 15 minutes.

Pinto beans (like this recipe) and navy beans take 25 minutes if they are dry and five minutes if they are soaked. Dry northern beans take 35 minutes while soaked they take about nine to 11 minutes. For each of these beans, you should do a natural pressure release for 20 minutes before manually releasing the rest of the pressure.

How to avoid the Burn Notice:

I’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 that 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 a decent fat content.
  • Alternatively, follow my 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 are stuck to it.
  • Also, 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 before pressure cooking.

Recipe Variations:

  • 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.
  • Add meat: Instead of just bacon, add some other protein like chopped chicken, turkey, or beef for a hearty meal.
  • No smoke: For those who do not like smoky flavor, leave out the instant smoke and use sweet paprika instead of smoky.
  • Add veggies: Play around with this recipe to make it your own. Add chopped mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, or whatever other veggies you like. 
  • No heat: Make your instant pot baked beans less spicy by leaving out the red pepper flakes and chiles.
  • Too sweet: If you feel like this is too sweet, try leaving out the brown sugar or the molasses.
  • Vegetarian: Alternatively, make these without the bacon and using vegetable broth.
  • Garlicky: For garlic lovers out there, add more minced garlic and also some garlic powder for a more pronounced flavor.

Serving suggestions:

This versatile dish can be made into a main entrée or used as a side dish. Here are some great ideas.

Frequently asked questions

Can I put canned beans in the instant pot?

Yes, it is a huge time saver to use canned beans in the instant pot instead of dry beans. But first, drain and rinse them. However, they may get too soft. When you cook the dry beans yourself, you can control how firm they are before cooking them with the sauce afterward. This can also work with other beans like kidney beans, black beans, and chickpeas.

Are beans better in the slow cooker or instant pot?

This is usually a matter of opinion. I prefer my beans in the instant pot because I can control how firm or soft they are. When using a slow cooker, you can almost guarantee your beans are going to be soft and creamy. But, if you want them firmer to like for this recipe, you should use the instant pot. Also, you can make them in a fraction of the time as with the slow cooker.

Can you overcook beans in the instant pot?

You can overcook anything in the instant pot whether it is beans, vegetables, meat, or some kind of cake or pie. It is a cooking appliance after all and keeping anything in it too long will cause it to overcook. If you are cooking dry beans in the instant pot for the first time, check them early, after 15 minutes, to see how they are doing. Once you try it a few times, you will get perfectly cooked beans every time.

Do you need to soak dry beans before 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 store:

  • 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 Instant Pot recipes:

Cooking tips:

  • 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 well with the smoky flavor of the dish. Watch it closely to NOT burn it!
  • Shorten prep time by using bacon bits or precooked bacon instead of cooking your own. Or you can cook it ahead of time and put it in the fridge until you are ready.
  • Another way to shorten prep time a lot is to use canned beans instead of dry. You will need about three cans of pinto beans. Make sure you drain them.
  • You will not taste the mustard and cinnamon in this recipe, but you will notice if they are not there because they enhance the rest of the flavors.
  • Avoid the burn notice on your instant pot by making sure you scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pot if you sauté the bacon.
  • 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 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

Instant Pot Baked Beans are made from scratch with dried or canned beans, no need to soak the beans! Flavored with bacon and cooked in a delicious sweet and savory BBQ sauce. Ready in under one hour!

Pressure Cooker Instant Pot Baked Beans
  • Prep Time10 MIN
  • Cook Time1H 20 MIN
  • Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

Bacon:

  • 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

Baked Beans:

  • 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

Instructions

Cook the bacon:

  • 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-minute 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 2 tablespoons 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.

Nutrition Facts

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Comments

(78)
Kats

Kats

I used 1/2 Pinto Beans and 1/2 Great Northern Beans. Otherwise followed recipe. Delicious with little zip!!

Ian Squince

Ian Squince

Made this recipe today. OMG! These are the best beans I've ever tasted. The texture of the beans and the sauce just made these a treat to eat.

Sharon

Sharon

Most likely the best baked beans we have ever eaten. It was worth every step! Thank you!


Catalina Castravet

Catalina Castravet

thank you!

Jayson Chandler

Jayson Chandler

Needed a side to go with Texas Style Smoked Brisket that would appeal to the masses. After a couple attempts with other recipes I came across this one. Loved it! This will be our side for lots of things.

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