There’s no need to pre-soak the beans in this recipe. Combine Instant Pot cooked beans with bacon, onion and spices to make irresistible sweet and smokey beans.
These sweet yet savory baked beans are the perfect side dish any time of year, not just at your cookout or barbecue. They are a hearty, comforting dish for fall and winter, too.
We rarely have a cookout without these baked beans and this broccoli salad. They’re practically required.
Without an Instant Pot, it can take hours to cook dried beans on the stove or in the slow cooker, and that’s after you’ve soaked them for hours beforehand. Making them in the Instant Pot cuts the time to make these baked beans down to just under an hour, all in.
Of course, you can always cut down the time to make baked beans by using canned beans. But now you can skip the can and make this recipe with dried beans that don’t require any pre-soaking time.
It’s a great alternative to canned. It might seem like soaking the beans before hand would produce a more tender bean. But with the Instant Pot, or pressure cooker, it’s just not necessary. So why spend the extra time, right?
If you haven’t heard about Imperfect Foods, check it out here (our referral link). We’ve been ordering it for over a year now. It’s great produce and it makes us happy to help build a kinder, less wasteful world.
How to Make Baked Beans in the Instant Pot
1. Step One: Cook the Beans
I use pinto beans for this recipe. However, you can choose from many other beans. If you like navy beans better, you can substitute with those.
The first step is to cook the beans in the Instant Pot. It’s necessary to do this before adding the other ingredients because the addition of salt or acid can slow down the cooking of the beans. So those elements must be added after the beans have cooked.
It takes 30 minutes to cook the beans, and 30 minutes to allow the pressure to release naturally from the Instant Pot. When the beans are done, remove them and drain off the cooking water.
» Did you know: The process of cooking these beans is the same as for cooking other beans, like chickpeas, in the Instant Pot.
Step 2: Saute the Onions and Bacon
The next step is to use the Instant Pot’s saute setting to prepare the onions and bacon. Set the Instant Pot to Saute and allow it to heat up.
Add the cooking oil, the onion and the bacon. Saute (stirring regularly) for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another 1 minute before turning off the Instant Pot. Add the rest of the ingredients into the Instant Pot with the onions and bacon. Stir it to combine everything.
Step 3: Cook the Bean Mixture
Once everything is combined, you need to cook the mixture for 10 minutes on high pressure. When the time is up, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes, then carefully let the remain pressure out manually.
Note: if you thought the beans were not tender enough for you when you finished cooking them earlier, you can set the cooking time to 15 or 20 minutes to allow for extra tenderizing of the beans.
These beans are actually a complete meal on their own, but you’ll probably want to make them a side dish for something else. Here are some ideas for main dishes to make with them:
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Instant Pot Baked Beans
For the Beans
- 1 cup dried pinto beans
- 3 cups water or broth
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
For the Baked Beans
- 1 tsp cooking oil
- 3 slices bacon, chopped
- 1/4 onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 1/4 cup bbq sauce
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp liquid smoke
- 1 tsp dried ground mustard
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
To Cook the Beans
- Add dry beans, salt, pepper and 3 cups of water or broth to the Instant Pot. Cook on High Pressure for 30 minutes. Allow the cooker to naturally release pressure (about 30 minutes).
- Drain the beans in a colander and rinse under cold water. Clean the pot and return it to the machine.
To Make the Baked Beans:
- Turn the Instant Pot on Saute. Add 1 tsp cooking oil. Add the bacon and the onion and allow them to saute for about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn. Add the garlic. Cook for 1 more minute. Turn off the Instant Pot.
- Add the cooked beans to the Instant Pot with the rest of the ingredients. Stir to combine. Put on the lid and make sure the valve points to sealing.
- Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes followed by a 10-minute natural pressure release. After 10 minutes, manually release the rest of the pressure and remove the lid.
- Serve with green onions and/or fried onions on top, if desired.
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Laura is a home cook who loves making new recipes and finding new favorite things to eat, whether at home or abroad. She also runs a popular travel blog and spends a lot of her time traveling for food.