I made Instant Pot baked beans on a whim, and wow were they a hit! This post includes some affiliate links that earn me a small commission if you click and purchase through them.
On Memorial Day weekend, we had a barbecue with friends on their lake. Of course, everyone brought something to share. One of my dishes was a trial of Instant Pot baked beans.
How good did they turn out? My mom – the night before – offered to keep them at her house “to help me get rid of them” Yes, this is the same mother who doesn’t actually like food. One of my friends simply grabbed a spoon and kept sneaking bites. My husband took an entire plate just of the beans.
Oh, and people asked me for the recipe. Please.
Before this, I’d never made baked beans myself. While I love the flavor of many baked beans, I never really liked the canned kind because the beans were always too soft and mushy for me. And making them at home means I have to remember to soak the beans.
That never happens. Seriously. I forget every single time.
The good news? This Instant Pot baked beans recipe requires no soaking. Can I tell you how much of a win that is for me?
This dish still takes a bit of time to cook, but it’s faster than any method I know of, and the taste is phenomenal. In fact, it actually tastes better on the second day or even after sitting for a few hours to let the flavors fully meld and develop.
Do you know what that means? I am officially a baked bean convert. If you invite to me to your house, I may or may not bring these.
Even better, because these taste better when I make them a day ahead of time, that means I have more time to make other foods for all my summer picnics and barbecues. Can I tell you how much I love food I can prep ahead of time?
As much as I try to ensure summer remains as chill as possible, I still end up rushing on a daily basis. Anything make ahead wins. Often my plans with friends come together at the last minute, but usually we manage to figure things out a day or two in advance.
That gives me a chance to plan a menu that requires minimal chaos the day of. I end up making things like my Instant Pot pulled pork (or crock pot pulled pork if you don’t have an Instant Pot). It makes amazing sandwiches as an alternative to hot dogs and hamburgers, and any leftovers get thrown on baked potatoes with some melted cheese or into pulled pork nachos or any number of delicious dishes.
Pulled pork and baked beans are a natural combination. They pair so well with a pesto pasta salad and a shrimp avocado salad to keep everyone cool. Include a creamy no mayo coleslaw for tradition, then finish off the meal with cut up watermelon and a no bake peanut butter pie.
Tell me your guests won’t be waiting for another invitation after that meal!
One caveat, these baked beans are slightly on the sweet side, but the sweetness gets cut with acid so it isn’t overwhelming. If you prefer tangier beans, use a quarter cup less maple syrup. Paired with all the savory dishes you enjoy at a BBQ, however, everyone loves this as is around me.
And maple syrup? Please. Use real maple syrup, not the corn syrup masquerading as syrup in the breakfast aisle. I honestly don’t like most maple syrup, but give me a good quality dark maple syrup, and it fits this recipe perfectly.
Tools You Need to Make Instant Pot Baked Beans
How to Make Instant Pot Baked Beans
Add dry navy beans to your liner. You can substitute with great northern beans, but those are larger and not traditional for baked beans. You will end up with the same flavor in the end, however. Sometimes you can find those more easily than dried navy beans.
Add water to cover beans and top them by two inches. Place liner in your Instant Pot and cover. Set vent to seal and cook for 60 minutes.
Let your Instant Pot do a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then carefully release any remaining pressure. Drain beans into a colander and set aside.
Ensure your liner is dry, then return to your Instant Pot. Turn heat to saute.
While Instant Pot heats, quickly chop your bacon into quarter inch slices. Use thick cut bacon, not a cheap brand. Add bacon to hot Instant Pot and cook until lightly crispy, stirring occasionally. You will have some stick to the bottom of the pan. Simply use a flat edged wooden spoon to scrape them up as best you can.
While the bacon cooks, chop your onion and prep the sauce. (Check out this awesome video showing how to quickly dice an onion super fast!)
Once the bacon finishes cooking, add the onion. The liquid from the onion does an amazing job deglazing your Instant Pot. All those sticky bits quickly come up as you stir the onions into your bacon. Let the onion cook for two minutes, then turn off your Instant Pot.
While everything sautes, mix up your flavor. Add the molasses, maple syrup, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard powder, and pepper to a bowl and stir thoroughly. Note that we didn’t add the liquid smoke or salt yet!
Add beans to the sauteed onions and bacon then immediately pour the liquid over it. Add a half cup water and stir. Replace the lid again and ensure you have the vent set to seal.
Cook for 35 minutes. Let the steam natural pressure release for 10 minutes again, then carefully release any remaining pressure. Add liquid smoke and salt, then stir. Taste and adjust any seasonings, as necessary.
You can serve immediately, but this tastes best when you let the flavors meld for three or more hours, especially overnight. This keeps well in your fridge in a tightly sealed container for up to four days.
Have you ever tried making Instant Pot baked beans?
Instant Pot Baked Beans
This delicious Instant Pot baked beans recipe solves the problem of forgetting to soak your dried beans overnight. It is perfectly sweet and smoky, and the flavors taste better the next day. This is the perfect make ahead dish for a crowd. It just happens to be gluten free, making it perfect to bring to your next BBQ.
- 1 lb dried navy beans
- 1/2 lb thick cut bacon
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 c molasses
- 1/2 c maple syrup
- 2 T tomato paste
- 1/4 c vinegar
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 2 t mustard powder
- 1 t pepper
- 1/2 c water
- 1 1/2 t liquid smoke
- 1 t salt
- Add dry navy beans to your liner. Top with water to cover beans by two inches. Cover Instant Pot and set vent to seal. Cook for 60 minutes.
- NPR for 10 minutes, then carefully release any remaining pressure. Drain beans into a colander and set aside.
- Ensure liner is dry, then return to Instant Pot. Turn heat to saute.
- Chop your bacon into quarter inch slices. Add bacon to hot Instant Pot and cook until lightly crispy, stirring occasionally. Use a flat edged wooden spoon to stir.
- While bacon cooks, chop onion and set aside, then prep sauce. Add the molasses, maple syrup, tomato paste, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard powder, and pepper to a bowl and stir thoroughly.
- Once bacon finishes cooking, add onion. The deglazes Instant Pot nicely. Let onion cook for two minutes, then turn off Instant Pot.
- Add beans to the sauteed onions and bacon then immediately pour liquid over it. Add a half cup water and stir. Replace lid and set vent to seal.
- Cook for 35 minutes. NPR for 10 minutes again, then carefully release any remaining pressure. Add liquid smoke and salt, then stir. Taste and adjust any seasonings, as necessary.
- If possible, let flavors meld for 3 or more hours, even overnight. This keeps well in your fridge in a tightly sealed container for up to four days.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 152Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 315mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 3gSugar: 16gProtein: 6g
This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition. If you need exact details, please calculate yourself.
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Friday 18th of December 2020
[…] Sweet and smoky baked beans […]
Monday 4th of June 2018
Oooh, baked beans is one of my fav ever things and even better when you can cook them super fast in the IP.
Tuesday 5th of June 2018
Thanks! I am so in love with this. I may have made another batch just for my husband and I to eat....