This is the BEST baked beans recipe, made from scratch using dry beans but with NO SOAKING required! The Instant Pot transforms this into a flavorful side dish, made even more delicious with bacon. The beans cook perfectly every time. Perfect party food or side for any meal or gathering!
When I think of baked beans I think of hot summers in Iowa. My dad liked to grill steak and burgers on the grill on those hot days, alongside perfectly-cooked, buttery sweet corn, watermelon slices and baked beans. Ahhh, now that is Midwestern food perfection. The only type of baked beans we ate growing up was the kind we poured out of a can and heated in a saucepan. That version was good (I can practically taste it now), but I have an even tastier version for you.
I came up with a slow cooker recipe for baked beans a few years ago and fell in love with that. I'd never tasted anything quite like it. The flavors are incredible! Then I fell in love with this contraption called the Instant Pot and knew I had to make a new NEW version of baked beans because everything is better when made in an Instant Pot. If you don't know that yet, test it out. It's true! There's some sort of magic going on in that shiny little pot.
Instant Pot Baked Beans are even tastier than the crockpot version and they take a fraction of the time to make. I love that this recipe uses dried beans that do not need to be soaked. The bacon in the recipe adds YUM, as does the onion, tomato paste and brown sugar. It's the perfect sweet and savory little side dish that you will fall in love with!
HOW TO MAKE BAKED BEANS FROM SCRATCH IN AN INSTANT POT - NO OVERNIGHT SOAKING REQUIRED!
Follow these SUPER simple steps to make the perfect side dish in your pressure cooker!
Add 1 pound of dry beans (red kidney, pinto or a combo of both), 8 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt to the pot and stir. Place the cover on the pot and set timer to 25 minutes on high pressure (use the pressure cook setting). It will take the Instant Pot pressure cooker around 20 minutes to build up pressure before it begins cooking.
When cooking time is done, let the pressure naturally release for 5 minutes, then do a quick release. Remove the cover and drain the beans.
Set the Instant Pot to saute and add 1 pound of bacon that has been cut into pieces. Stir until the bacon is cooked through and drain the grease from the pot (keep browned bits in the pot). Add 1 chopped yellow onion, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper to the pot add cook for 3 minutes or until soft and fragrant. Add 1 cup of beef broth or water, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 3 tablespoons tomato paste, 2 tablespoons mustard, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce and the beans to the pot.
Place the cover on the pot and set the timer to 5 minutes on high pressure (use the pressure cook setting). It will take the Instant Pot around 5 minutes to build up pressure before it begins cooking.
When cooking is done, do an immediate quick release. Remove the cover and serve immediately.
RECIPE TIPS: MAKE THIS GREAT RECIPE FOR BAKED BEANS EVEN BETTER!
This recipe has tons of flavor and I am so in love with it exactly as it is, but if you want to play around with extra flavor consider one or more of the following: Add a couple tablespoons of maple syrup or bbq sauce. Add a drop or two of liquid smoke for a delicious smoky flavor! Replace all or some of the bacon with ground pork. Use additional salt and pepper or even a seasoned salt.
It is recommended that 1 pound of beans total is used in the recipe, but feel free to use a variety of bean types. Great options include: pinto beans, red kidney beans and navy beans.
To cut down on time, use canned beans in place of dried beans and skip steps 1 and 2. With that said, I highly recommend using dried beans!
ARE BAKED BEANS GOOD FOR YOU?
Beans themselves are a nutrient-dense, healthy food. Different varieties of beans contain different vitamins and nutrients and also different health benefits. Kidney beans are high in fiber and protein. Pinto beans are high in magnesium and folate. Navy beans can assist in regularity and antioxidant defense.
When combined with other ingredients, however, to create a typical baked bean recipe the healthiness of the dish decreases. Bacon, sugar and sodium are all added to this recipe, raising the calorie and fat content by quite a bit. If you are looking for a healthy bean dish, baked beans is probably not the recipe you're searching for.
WHY DOES IT TAKE MY INSTANT POT SO LONG TO HEAT UP?
The time leading up to actual cook time may seem long and even confusing (“What is going ON in there?!”), but it’s an important part of the process! The Instant Pot is working on building up the appropriate amount of pressure that it will be cooking the food at. It handles liquids and solids differently and also fresh and frozen differently, so the time can vary. Most recipes take between 10 and 30 minutes to build up pressure.
INSTANT POT BURN NOTICE
If you see that dreaded burn notice flash on your Instant Pot, do not fret! Know that your pressure cooker is keeping a good eye on your food. It has sensed that the temperature toward the bottom of the pot is too high and has therefore turned it off temporarily. It is giving you a chance to fix the problem! This can happen especially with thick sauces or chilis because of the heaviness of the contents inside the pot. It can also happen if there is not enough liquid inside the pot.
If you see the burn notice, press CANCEL as soon as possible. Do an immediate quick release and wait for the silver float valve to drop. Transfer the inner pot to a hot pad holder. Scrape any bits of food that may have adhered to the bottom of the pot using a spoon.
If there are no burned bits:
Add 1/2 cup of water or broth to the recipe to help thin out the consistency.
Stir the contents of the pot thoroughly and resume cooking.
If you see burned pieces in the mixture:
Pour the contents into a saucepan and clean out the pot using soap and water, making sure any charred pieces of food are removed from the bottom of the pan. Remove visible pieces of burnt food and pour it back into the pot.
Add 1/2 cup of broth or water to the recipe, stir the contents thoroughly and resume cooking.
BEST RECIPES TO MAKE IN AN INSTANT POT
The list of recipes you can make in an Instant Pot is endless! It can act as a slow cooker, saute pan, steamer, rice maker, yogurt maker and pressure cooker. It can cook soup, chili, pasta, meat, potatoes, veggies, cake, beans and so much more. Here are a few of my favorite Instant Pot recipes:
HOW TO CLEAN AN INSTANT POT
Keep your Instant Pot shiny, clean and scent-free by following these simple steps:
EXTERIOR - Use a clean, damp cloth to wipe down any grease or gunk on the outside of the Instant Pot. Use a brush or the edge of a clean cloth to reach inside the rim to remove food that may have gotten stuck in the grooves. The exterior “housing” should never ever be immersed in liquid or run underwater.
INNER POT - The stainless steel inner pot can be hand-washed OR run through a dishwasher. See below tips for deep cleaning when needed.
COVER - The inside of the IP cover can usually just be wiped down with a clean cloth after use. If there is food stuck to the inside of the cover, remove the sealing ring and run the cover under hot water and scrub with a brush or cloth.
SEALING RING - The sealing ring can be easily removed from the Instant Pot and hand-washed with warm, soapy water OR run through a dishwasher when needed.
TRIVET - The trivet that is inserted into the Instant Pot can be scrubbed with a brush, hand-washed with warm, soapy water or run through a dishwasher.
DEEP CLEAN - If the inner pot starts to show signs that it needs a deep cleaning (cloudiness or discoloration), pour either 2 cups of white vinegar OR 2 cups of water plus 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into the pot. Place the cover on the pot and set to STEAM for 3 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally and remove the cover. Remove sealing ring and inner pot and allow to air dry.
WHAT TO SERVE AT A PARTY
I LOVE party food, so you have come to the right place if you are looking for recipes to make for your next gathering. Baked Beans are one of my favorite party foods, but here are some other options that are easy, delicious and crowd-pleasing!
Fruit Pizza - The classic, crowd-pleasing Fruit Pizza has a cookie dough crust, dreamy cream cheese frosting and a colorful top layer of fruit and a tasty glaze. Great appetizer/dessert for parties of any kind, any time of the year!
Taco Ranch Pasta Salad - This delicious pasta salad gets totally devoured at gatherings, no matter the season.
Sausage Cheese Dip - Sausage Cheese Dip is easy to make (let your crockpot do the work for you!), cheesy, flavorful and totally irresistible! Serve as an appetizer at your next party and it won’t last long. Only 6 ingredients required for this delicious party food!
7-Layer Taco Dip - This is the best 7-Layer Taco Dip you'll ever meet! It's the perfect appetizer and party food and it is always the first thing to get devoured.
Crockpot Meatballs - These require only a few ingredients with only a few minutes of prep. They are SO EASY to make, totally packed with delicious flavor and great for game-day parties or holidays. Let your slow cooker do all of the work for you!
Spinach Artichoke Dip - This hot Spinach Artichoke Dip is a party staple! People always get excited about this dip and its so easy to make! It’s a filling, cheesy snack or appetizer that you can put on pita squares, crackers or chips. Let your slow cooker do all of the work for you!
I hope you enjoy this delicious, comforting side dish recipe, friends. Thank you so much for being here. Please stop back and let me know how much you enjoyed the recipe!