Instant Pot Baked Beans
on Aug 26, 2019, Updated Jun 23, 2023
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Instant Pot Baked Baked Beans can be made in just over an hour and for just a few dollars. One of my favorite side dishes, you’re going to love these homemade baked beans from scratch that taste just like you remember, or maybe even better!
Read on and discover another one of the magical recipes you can make using an Instant Pot.
Table of Contents
About this instant pot recipe
Get ready to journey through the secrets of a beloved classic – Instant Pot Baked Beans. This delicious side dish is a crowd-pleaser at any gathering, be it a summer BBQ or a cozy winter dinner.
Believe me when I say, I’ve made this so many times, and each time the pot gets scraped clean. Cooking under high pressure in an electric pressure cooker, we shorten the traditional cook time dramatically, resulting in beans that are tender, flavorful, and cooked to perfection in a fraction of the time.
One of the things that I love most about my Instant Pot is that I can make instant pot beans from scratch.
There’s no pre-soaking involved, no unknown preservatives in the can, and homemade baked beans are super inexpensive to make.
Instant pot baked beans ingredients
Here are the key players that contribute to the sweet and savory goodness of this recipe:
- Great Northern Beans: Our bean of choice, known for their ability to become incredibly tender under pressure. They also absorb flavors very well. Don’t fret if you can’t find them though; navy beans or even small white beans would work too! Shameless Plug: I’m partial to Great Northern Beans, largely because of my famous white chicken chili recipe.
- Low-Sodium Beef Broth: It gives our beans that rich, meaty flavor. But, for our plant-based protein lovers, switch it out with vegetable broth for an Instant Pot Vegan Baked Beans version.
- Olive Oil: This isn’t just for frying, it also lends a wonderful taste that forms the base of our flavor building.
- Onion: We’ve all been told an onion a day keeps everyone away, unless you cook them right, like in this recipe where they provide a sweet undertone. You can sautee the onions in the olive oil, or just toss them into the beans after they are finished cooking.
- Prosciutto: My secret ingredient! Adds a salty twist to the dish, but traditional bacon or even salt pork can be used too.
- Ginger: This brings a refreshing zing that contrasts and compliments the sweetness of the other ingredients.
- Garlic: Adds a punch of flavor and warmth, marrying well with the ginger.
- Maple Syrup: A touch of sweet smokiness to balance the savory elements.
- BBQ Sauce: The tangy, smoky, sweet trifecta that truly differentiates baked beans from just beans.
Instant Pot Beans are a Kid-Friendly Food
On top of all the other reasons that I like these instant pot beans: Our kids (teenage boys) will not only eat them, but they like eating them!
How to make these
We start with the olive oil, prosciutto (or extra bacon), and sweet onion in the inner pot using the sauté function of the Instant Pot.
Add a touch of brown sugar to help caramelize and capture those browned bits at the bottom of the pot. Then toss in the rest of the recipe ingredients along with some optional ingredients like
- Dried beans (quick-soaked in a cup of water for the best results.)
- A dash of Worcestershire sauce
- Some tomato paste
- A sprinkle of chili powder and black pepper for some heat
Next remove those ingriedients and set aside. Add the dried beans and broth to your Instant Pot.
Expert Cooking Tip: If you don’t have broth, some Better than Bouillon with a couple quarts of water works great. (Be sure it is all completely disolved before cooking.)
Set your Instant Pot to high pressure for 1 hour, and be sure you have at least an inch of broth covering the beans. This will ensure you avoid that dreaded burn notice.
After the cook time is done, allow a natural pressure release. You might want to use a wooden spoon to carefully shift the valve to release any remaining pressure. Then, get your slotted spoon ready to serve these beautifully cooked beans.
- Use dry beans
- You do not have to pre-soak them overnight!
- Allow for a natural release (NR) of your Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker
- Baking at the end is optional
- For a traditional look, texture, and taste, I prefer to finish my instant pot beans off in the oven, but you don’t have to bake them.
Substitutions and variations
- If Great Northern beans are not available, pinto beans or even kidney beans can substitute nicely.
- For a vegan twist, replace the prosciutto with smoked paprika or liquid smoke, and use vegetable broth instead of beef broth.
- Molasses adds a nice touch of flavor to these homemade baked beans. A couple tablespoons will do you nicely.
What to serve with baked beans
Hot and hearty right out of the pot is the easiest way to serve these baked beans.
They’re a perfect accompaniment to hot dogs or grilled or smoked meats. I always serve instant pot baked beans with great recipes like my smoked brisket flat, Cornell chicken barbecue, and grilled jerked beef.
The beans are even more flavorful the next time, so leftovers are a win!
FAQ for making Instant Pot Baked Beans
While canned beans can be used for convenience, using dried beans and the quick soak method gives a far superior texture and flavor.
The beans can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. For longer storage, transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze.
Absolutely! While it will take longer, slow cooking the beans on low heat for about 6-8 hours will yield equally delicious results.
No, once the instant pot beans are cooked, you can just add the rest of the ingredients in the recipe, and you are good to go!
- You can bake them for an hour or two in a hot oven for a traditional baked bean finish.
Next time you want to make some homemade baked beans try this instant pot bean recipe.
I know you’re going to like it!
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Instant Pot Baked Beans
- Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker
- Iron Skillet
- 12 oz great northern beans, dry and rinsed
- 32 oz low-sodium beef broth, may use chicken or vegetable broth as well
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, large, coarse dice
- 4 oz prosciutto , fried, chopped (or bacon)
- 2 tbsp ginger, fresh, peeled, fine chop
- 4 cloves garlic, fresh, peeled, fine chop
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 18 oz barbecue sauce
- Rinse the beans and place in the Instant Pot along with 1 32 oz box of broth. Pressure cook on high for 60 minutes and allow a natural release (NR) of at least 15 minutes.
- While the instant pot beans are pressure cooking, prepare the other ingredients.
- Coarsely dice and sauté your onion in some olive oil, using a 9-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat, until the onion is soft and translucent . Remove the onion and set aside. Fry the prosciutto or bacon till crisp, over medium heat then drain and chop coarsely. If you want to finish your instant pot baked beans in the oven, preheat the oven to 400°.
- When the bean are done, use a rubber spatula and gently stir them in any remaining broth. Add your sautéed onion, the chopped prosciutto or bacon the garlic, ginger, barbecue sauce and maple syrup. Mix it all gently with a rubber spatula and then transfer back to the iron skillet. You can eat them now, or for a traditional baked bean, go to the next step.
- Place skillet in oven at 400° F for two hours. At this point you can cover the skillet with foil and reduce the oven temp to 175° (or lowest setting) to keep warm, or serve them.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.