This Instant Pot Baked Beans Recipe is made with dried pinto beans, onion, vinegar, sugar and tomato puree and cooked in the Instant Pot.
Baked beans have a sweet and tangy taste due to the combination of ingredients used in the sauce. The sauce can vary in thickness and flavor depending on regional preferences and family recipes. Baked beans are typically served hot and can be enjoyed on their own, as a side dish with grilled or barbecued meats, or as a topping for toast or baked potatoes.
I love the combination of the tangy sweet barbecue sauce and the fibrous beans. It Is so flavorful and making them from scratch in the instant pot has never been easier. You can substitute the brown sugar with maple syrup, it is just as effective. I absolutely love this dish and I know that you will love making these baked beans as a side.
- What are Baked Beans?
- Why you will love this recipe
- Instant Pot Baked Beans Recipe Ingredients
- How to make Instant Pot Baked Beans
- What to serve with Instant Pot Baked Beans Recipe
- Instant Pot Baked Beans Recipe Variations
- How to store Baked Beans
- Instant Pot Baked Beans Recipe Top tips
- Instant Pot Baked Beans Recipe
- Food safety
What are Baked Beans?
Baked beans are a popular dish made from haricot or navy beans that have been slow-cooked with a sweet and savory sauce. They are a staple in British and American cuisines and are often enjoyed as a side dish or as part of a full breakfast.
The traditional preparation of baked beans involves soaking the beans overnight, then cooking them slowly in an oven with ingredients such as tomatoes, sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and sometimes bacon or salt pork for added flavor. The slow cooking process allows the beans to become tender while infusing them with the rich flavors of the sauce.
Why you will love this recipe
- Flavor: Baked beans have a unique, sweet and savory flavor profile that combines ingredients like tomatoes, molasses, sugar, and spices. The balance of these flavors creates a delicious taste that many people find satisfying and enjoyable.
- Versatility: Baked beans can be served in various ways, making them versatile. They can be enjoyed on their own as a main dish, as a side dish with meats such as barbecue or grilled sausages, or as a topping for toast, baked potatoes, or hot dogs. Their versatility allows them to be incorporated into different meals and cuisines.
- Comfort food: Baked beans are often associated with comfort food. They are warm, hearty, and satisfying, providing a sense of coziness and nostalgia. Many people have fond memories of enjoying baked beans at family gatherings, picnics, or while camping, which adds to their appeal.
- Nutritional value: Baked beans are a good source of plant-based protein, fiber, and essential nutrients. The beans themselves are rich in protein and fiber, which can help promote feelings of fullness and contribute to a balanced diet. Additionally, the sauce used in baked beans often contains tomatoes, which are a good source of vitamins and antioxidants.
Instant Pot Baked Beans Recipe Ingredients
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
- Pinto beans
- Olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Tomato sauce
- Apple cider vinegar
- Brown sugar
- Soy sauce
- Honey mustard
- Worcestershire sauce
- Onion powder
- Optional: Bacon
See recipe card for quantities.
How to make Instant Pot Baked Beans
Add beans, water and salt to your pressure cooker and pressure cook on high for 25 minutes. Allow to naturally release. Take the beans and strain into a colander.
Hit sauté function for 10 minutes and add oil and onions. Using a wooden spoon, cook onions until soft about 5 minutes. Scrape bottom with wooden spoon if there are any brown bits stuck to prevent “burn” signal.
Turn the pressure cooker off and add the tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, soy sauce, honey mustard, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, onion powder, cayenne, pepper and salt.
Add the strained beans back into the pot, as well as the cooked bacon, and stir. Cook on manual (high pressure) for 15 more minutes. Let it naturally release.
What to serve with Instant Pot Baked Beans Recipe
- Grilled or Barbecued Meats: Baked beans are often served as a side dish with grilled or barbecued meats. Consider pairing them with burgers, hot dogs, sausages, chicken, or ribs.
- Cornbread: Serve the baked beans with a side of freshly baked cornbread. The sweet and savory flavors of the beans go well with the slightly crumbly and slightly sweet cornbread.
- Roasted Vegetables: Roasted vegetables like carrots, Brussels sprouts, or sweet potatoes can be a delicious and nutritious side dish alongside the baked beans. The caramelized flavors of the roasted vegetables can add depth to the meal.
- Corn on the Cob: Grilled or boiled corn on the cob is a classic side dish that pairs well with baked beans. The sweetness of the corn complements the flavors of the beans. Check out my Mexican Corn Recipe.
- Macaroni and Cheese: For a comforting and indulgent combination, serve the baked beans with a side of creamy macaroni and cheese. This combination is especially popular in American cuisine.
- Pinto beans: You can use navy beans, black beans, or kidney beans as alternatives to pinto beans. They have similar textures and flavors.
- Yellow onion: White onions or red onions can be used instead of yellow onions. They provide a similar flavor profile.
- Tomato sauce: Tomato puree or crushed tomatoes can be used as substitutes for tomato sauce. You may need to adjust the consistency or thickness of the sauce accordingly.
- Apple cider vinegar: White wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, or distilled vinegar can be used as alternatives to apple cider vinegar.
- Brown sugar: Granulated white sugar, maple syrup, or honey can be used as substitutes for brown sugar. Keep in mind that the sweetness levels may vary, so adjust accordingly.
- Soy sauce: Tamari sauce or liquid aminos can be used as alternatives to soy sauce. They provide a similar umami flavor.
- Honey mustard: Dijon mustard or spicy brown mustard can be used instead of honey mustard. You can add a touch of honey to the mustard to replicate the sweetness if desired.
- Worcestershire sauce: Soy sauce mixed with a dash of hot sauce or balsamic vinegar can be used as a substitution for Worcestershire sauce. Worcestershire sauce has a complex flavor, so it might be challenging to replicate it exactly.
Instant Pot Baked Beans Recipe Variations
- Vegetarian/Vegan Baked Beans: Omit the bacon or any meat-based ingredients from the recipe and focus on enhancing the flavors using spices like smoked paprika, liquid smoke, or additional herbs and seasonings. You can also add some finely diced vegetables like bell peppers or carrots for added texture and flavor.
- Spicy Baked Beans: If you enjoy some heat, add cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, or a diced jalapeño pepper to the recipe. Adjust the quantity to your desired level of spiciness.
- Maple-Smoked Baked Beans: Replace some or all of the brown sugar with maple syrup to give the baked beans a sweet and smoky flavor. You can also add a few drops of liquid smoke to enhance the smokiness.
- Bourbon Baked Beans: For a boozy twist, add a splash of bourbon to the recipe. The bourbon will infuse a subtle flavor into the beans. Adjust the quantity according to your preference.
Check out my Charro Beans Recipe.
- Instant Pot: You'll need an Instant Pot or any other electric pressure cooker with a pressure cooking function. The size can vary depending on the quantity of beans you plan to cook.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons: To accurately measure the ingredients for the baked beans recipe, you'll need measuring cups and spoons.
- Cutting Board and Knife: You'll need a cutting board and a sharp knife to chop ingredients like onions or bacon if you're using it.
- Mixing Spoon or Silicone Spatula: A mixing spoon or silicone spatula is necessary to stir the ingredients together and scrape the sides of the Instant Pot during cooking.
- Can Opener (if using canned tomato sauce): If you're using canned tomato sauce, you'll need a can opener to open the can.
- Serving Dish: Once the baked beans are ready, you'll need a serving dish to transfer and serve them.
- Optional: Immersion Blender: If you prefer a smoother consistency for the baked beans, you can use an immersion blender to partially blend them after cooking. This is not necessary if you prefer a chunkier texture.
How to store Baked Beans
To store baked beans properly, follow these guidelines:
- Allow the beans to cool: Before storing baked beans, allow them to cool completely at room temperature. This helps prevent condensation and moisture buildup when they are stored.
- Use airtight containers: Transfer the cooled baked beans to airtight containers such as glass jars or plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. Ensure that the containers are clean and dry before adding the beans.
- Refrigeration: Baked beans can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. Make sure to keep them in the coldest part of the refrigerator, such as the back or lower shelves, to maintain their freshness.
- Freezing: If you want to store baked beans for a longer period, you can freeze them. Place the cooled beans in freezer-safe containers or resealable freezer bags. Leave some headspace in the containers or bags to allow for expansion during freezing. Label the containers with the date for easy identification.
- Thawing and Reheating: When you're ready to use the stored baked beans, thaw them overnight in the refrigerator if frozen. To reheat, you can warm them up on the stovetop in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat them in the microwave using a microwave-safe dish, stirring occasionally for even heating.
- Check for freshness: Before consuming stored baked beans, check for any signs of spoilage, such as an off smell or mold growth. If you notice any signs of spoilage, discard the beans.
Instant Pot Baked Beans Recipe Top tips
- Rinse and soak the beans: If you're using dry pinto beans or any other type of dry beans, it's recommended to rinse them thoroughly and soak them overnight before cooking. This helps to reduce cooking time and improve the texture of the beans.
- Adjust cooking time: The cooking time in the Instant Pot may vary depending on factors such as the size of the beans, the desired texture, and your personal preference. If you prefer softer beans, increase the cooking time by a few minutes. If you prefer firmer beans, decrease the cooking time slightly.
- Use natural pressure release: After the cooking cycle is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally for about 10-15 minutes before manually releasing any remaining pressure. This helps to ensure the beans are fully cooked and tender.
- Adjust seasoning to taste: The provided recipe may serve as a starting point, but feel free to adjust the seasonings according to your taste preferences. Taste the beans once cooked and add more salt, brown sugar, spices, or other seasonings if desired.
- Customize the flavor: Don't hesitate to experiment with different flavor variations by adding additional ingredients such as molasses, diced bell peppers, smoked paprika, or other herbs and spices. Tailor the recipe to your liking and create your own signature baked bean flavor.
- Add bacon for extra flavor: If you enjoy the flavor of bacon in your baked beans, you can crisp up some bacon separately and crumble it on top of the cooked beans before serving. This adds a delicious smoky and savory touch.
- Partially blend for desired consistency: If you prefer a thicker or smoother consistency for your baked beans, you can use an immersion blender to partially blend a portion of the cooked beans. This will help create a creamier texture without completely pureeing the entire dish.
- Let the flavors meld: Baked beans often taste even better after they've had some time for the flavors to meld together. Consider making them a day in advance and refrigerating them overnight before reheating and serving. This allows the flavors to develop and intensify.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove