Your family gatherings and backyard barbecues deserve better-than-canned when it comes to baked beans! These homemade Instant Pot Baked Beans are infused with rich, smoky flavor and just enough sweetness and taste like they were slow-cooked for hours – but they weren’t. Thanks to the magic of pressure cooking, just 15 minutes of hands-on time are all you need while the Instant Pot does the rest, leaving you plenty of time to tend to other party details.
Homemade Baked Beans for the win!
If you thought that perfect baked beans could only come from a can or start with canned beans that are then slow-cooked in the oven, then we are here to flip that script! Tender, mouth-watering, lightly sweet, and tangy beans that deserve a place at every backyard barbecue, tailgater, or potluck can be yours with these Instant Pot Baked Beans with Bacon.
We’ve reduced the cooking time and the need for soaking the beans significantly by using the power of a pressure cooker. And since the Instant Pot allows you to saute and sear, you can make the bacon in the same pot as the beans reducing the number of dishes to wash. How’s that for knocking it out of the park?
Looking for a great slow cooker baked bean recipe? Try our Slow Cooker Baked Beans
Ingredients for Instant Pot Baked Beans
- Dried Navy beans or other small white beans
- Bay leaf
- Cooking spray
- Ketchup (use unsweetened ketchup such as Primal Kitchen to reduce the total sugar)
- Maple syrup
- Spicy brown or Dijon mustard
- Apple cider vinegar
- Liquid smoke (optional)
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Fine salt and black pepper to taste
How to Make Instant Pot Baked Beans
You’ll start by cooking the beans in the Instant Pot. The beauty of using the Instant Pot for this recipe is that you get to skip the soaking process. Just 25 minutes at high pressure with 15 minutes of natural pressure release will give you perfectly tender beans.
Once the beans are done, you’ll drain and rinse them then set them aside so you can use the Instant Pot to cook the bacon. Reserving a little of the bacon grease for cooking the onions and garlic adds another layer of flavor to these homemade baked beans. If you want to make these vegetarian or vegan, simply omit the bacon and saute the onion and garlic in oil instead.
Before you add the beans back to the pot, add 1 cup of water to the pot and scrape up any browned bits of onion before adding the ingredients for the sauce. Once the sauce ingredients are in the pot, give it all a stir, then fold in the cooked beans.
Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. If you get a ‘Burn’ error, release any pressure that has built up and remove the lid from the Instant Pot. Stir in the remaining ½ cup water and set the cooking time to 10 minutes at high pressure. Once the cooking time is up, allow for 10 minutes of natural pressure release before flipping the vent valve to the ‘venting’ position to release any residual steam. Remove the lid and stir.
Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Any leftover baked beans may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Can Instant Pot Baked Beans be made ahead of time?
Absolutely! Making these homemade baked beans ahead of time means you can enjoy the convenience of reheating them whenever you’re ready to eat. They can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
How do I reheat homemade baked beans?
If you’ve made these Instant Pot Baked Beans ahead of time you can reheat them in several ways.
- On the stove – Place baked beans in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cover with a lid and heat for 10-15 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
- In a slow cooker – Place baked beans in a slow cooker set to low. Heat for 1-2 hours or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
- In the Instant Pot – Place baked beans in the Instant Pot. Select the ‘Saute’ function and heat for 8-10 minutes or until heated through, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Alternatively, you can use the ‘Slow Cook’ function and heat on low, covered, for 1 – 1 ½ hours or until heated through, stirring occasionally.
- In the Microwave – Place the desired amount of baked beans in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover loosely with a damp paper towel and microwave on high power for 2 minutes. Stir and continue to reheat in 1-minute increments until heated through.
- On the Grill – Place baked beans in a large oven-proof skillet, small Dutch oven, or enameled casserole/braiser (such as this one). Cover and heat over indirect heat (350-400℉) for 25-30 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, if your grill has a side burner, you can follow the stove-top directions above for reheating.
Can these be made in the slow cooker?
If you’re looking for a slow cooker version, be sure to check out these Slow Cooker Baked Beans with Bacon. They use canned beans as a shortcut but if you want to make your own beans, just follow the cooking instructions on the back of the bag of beans then proceed with the recipe as written.
Can these be made vegetarian?
Yes! To make these Instant Pot Baked Beans vegetarian or vegan, simply omit the bacon and replace the 1 tablespoon of rendered bacon grease with olive oil or avocado oil. To give your homemade baked beans a little smoky flavor, add a little liquid smoke to taste.
What can I serve Instant Pot Baked Beans with?
These homemade baked beans pair well with any of the usual barbecue and cookout fare: Burgers, hot dogs, and bratwurst are the first to come to mind but they are also delicious served alongside Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Spatchcock Chicken, or Grilled Steak Kebabs.
Other Side Dishes You Might Like:
- Creamy Mayo-Free Broccoli Salad
- Broccoli Cauliflower Salad with Bacon
- Creamy Ranch Pasta Salad
- Low Carb Mock Potato Salad
- Blue Cheese Potato Salad with Chives
- 1 pound dried Navy beans, rinsed and picked over
- 8 cups water
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 1 bay leaf
- Cooking spray
- 6 slices uncooked bacon, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 – 1 ½ cup water (see notes)
- 1 cup ketchup (use unsweetened ketchup such as Primal Kitchen to reduce the total sugar)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons spicy brown or Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- ½ – 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Fine salt and black pepper to taste
- To cook the beans: Add the dry beans, water, salt, and bay leaf to the Instant Pot. Lock the lid into place, flip the vent valve to the ‘sealing’ position, and cook for 25 minutes at high pressure. Allow for 15 minutes of natural pressure release before flipping the vent valve to the ‘venting’ position to release the remaining pressure.
- Drain and rinse the beans then set aside. Wipe the Instant Pot insert dry and select the ‘Saute’ setting. When the pot is hot, spray lightly with cooking spray. Add the chopped bacon and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the bacon is crispy, stirring occasionally. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel and set it aside. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the rendered bacon grease from the pot.
- Add onions and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onions start to soften, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for another 30 seconds or until the garlic is fragrant. Press the ‘Cancel’ button on the Instant Pot.
- Add 1 cup water to the pot and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits of bacon or onion before adding the ketchup, maple syrup, mustard, vinegar, molasses, and liquid smoke (if using). Stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the cooked beans and bacon back to the pot and stir.
- Lock the lid into place and cook for 10 minutes at high pressure. If you get a ‘Burn’ message, release the pressure and remove the lid. Stir in ½ cup water and lock the lid into place and set the cooking time to 10 minutes. Allow for 10 minutes of natural pressure release before flipping the vent valve to the ‘venting’ position to release any residual steam.
- Remove the lid and stir.
- Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.
- Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
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Start with 1 cup water and if you get a ‘Burn’ message on the Instant Pot, remove the lid and stir in an additional ½ cup water.
- Serving Size: ½ cup
- Calories: 197
- Fat: 2 g
- (Sat Fat: 1 g)
- Sodium: 408 mg
- Carbohydrate: 34 g
- (Fiber: 10 g
- Sugar: 10 g)
- Protein: 9 g
- Cholesterol: 3 mg
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Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Jess of Plays Well with Butter.