These classic baked beans made in the Instant Pot are sweet, smoky, and so much faster and easier to make than traditional baked beans! Inspired by my family’s favorite baked beans recipe, they cook in about an hour, thanks to the Instant Pot, and are perfect for a BBQ, potluck, or anytime you’re craving this delicious side dish.
What Makes This Recipe So Good
- These baked beans go perfectly with classic Southern dishes like Grilled BBQ Ribs, Fried Chicken and Mashed Potatoes, Cornbread with Honey, and Air Fryer Okra!
- There’s so much delicious flavor in these Instant Pot baked beans. Molasses and brown sugar make it perfectly sweet, then there’s the tanginess of the ketchup and mustard, and the savoriness of the salty bacon… OH, it’s so good.
- No bean-soaking required! Yup, thanks to the Instant Pot, you don’t have to soak your dried navy beans in advance. Just toss them in the pressure cooker with water and they’ll come out the perfect texture!
- It’s much faster than traditional baked beans! With traditional baked beans, you’ve got to soak the dry beans overnight, then cook them, then fry the bacon, then mix everything together, AND THEN you still have to bake the beans for a couple of hours. We’re talking a minimum of 3-4 hours’ worth of cooking here, not including the soak time. With Instant Pot baked beans, though, it only takes a fraction of the time. You’ll go from dried beans to tender, saucy, perfect baked beans in a little over an hour.
Navy Beans – Navy beans are generally the traditional bean-of-choice for baked beans, whether you’re making them in the Instant Pot or not! I love them. They’re creamy and full of protein, fiber, and good-for-you nutrients. You should be able to find dry navy beans pretty easily in the bulk foods section of your grocery store. If you don’t have them, you can use dry pinto beans or Great Northern beans instead.
Molasses – The molasses gives the sauce this really incredible sweet, rich, sort-of smokey flavor that I can’t get enough of! There’s not much in this recipe, but it has a big impact.
Bacon – You’ll want to use good quality, thick-cut bacon for the best results. If you want vegetarian baked beans, all you have to do is leave out the bacon!
- If you like a really smokey flavor in your baked beans, you can add a small amount of liquid smoke to the sauce mixture. I don’t find that it needs the extra flavor, but some people really like that touch!
- I prefer my Instant Pot baked beans with dried beans, but you can use canned ones if you want! Make sure to drain and rinse them very well. Skip the step where you cook the beans in 8 cups of water and go straight to sautéeing the oil and onion. Follow the rest of the recipe as written.
- Older beans will need a longer cook time, so you’ll want to factor that in if you’re pulling dried navy beans from the back of your pantry!
- Don’t skip the deglaze! After you sauté the bacon and onion, pour in ½ cup water or even water and a little apple cider vinegar, then scrape any browned bits of food off the bottom of the Instant Pot. This is important not only to prevent the dreaded burn warning but to make sure you get all that flavor!
Other Instant Pot Recipes You Have to Try
- Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers
- The Best EVER Instant Pot Black Eyed Peas
- Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
- The Best Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala
- Instant Pot Corn on the Cob with Honey Butter
- Instant Pot Carne Asada
- Dreamy Instant Pot Chicken and Rice
- Instant Pot Chicken Wings
- Instant Pot Jambalaya
- 1 pound dried navy beans rinsed, not soaked
- 8 ½ cups water divided
- 3 tablespoons molasses see Notes
- 2 teaspoons salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- ½ cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup brown sugar see Notes
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 8 ounces bacon diced
- 1 medium onion finely diced
- Instant Pot (or similar multi-functional pressure cooker)
- Small bowl
- Add dried navy beans and 8 cups water to Instant Pot. Seal lid and set to Manual High Pressure. Set timer to 15 minutes.
- When timer runs out, Natural release pressure for 20 minutes. While pressure releases, whisk together molasses, salt, pepper, yellow mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire, and brown sugar in small bowl. Set aside.
- Quick release any remaining pressure, then carefully unlock and remove lid. Drain liquid, then rinse beans under cold water and set aside. Rinse out and dry Instant Pot.
- Set Instant Pot to Sauté. Add neutral oil and heat 2 to 3 minutes, until shimmering. Add diced bacon and finely diced onion and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in remaining ½ cup of water to deglaze Instant Pot, then turn off Sauté mode.
- Return beans to Instant Pot and add in molasses mixture. Gently stir to coat beans in sauce, then cover with lid and seal. Set to Manual High Pressure for 20 minutes.
- When timer runs out, Natural release 20 minutes, then Quick release any remaining pressure and serve.
- This recipe was tested and perfect using a 6-quart Instant Pot. If you’re using a larger Instant Pot you may need additional water to avoid a burn warning. Keep in mind the beans will expand as they cook, so don’t overfill the Instant Pot.
- Make it Vegetarian: Leave out the bacon. You may want to increase the amount of salt you use to make up for it.
- Make it Added-Sugar Free: Substitute Brown Swerve for the brown sugar. Instead of molasses, try yacon syrup or a sugar-free maple syrup like Lakanto, but keep in mind that the flavor will be slightly different. For the ketchup, use a no-sugar-added version.
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.