Instant Pot baked beans are made from scratch with dried pinto beans and there's no pre-soaking required! Treat your family or take them along to a potluck or cookout. And it's a great dish to make for the game-day crowd. Serve the beans with a skillet of freshly baked cornbread or biscuits.
The dish is cooked in two stages. First, the beans are cooked until they are tender. Then, they're finished with the bacon, chopped vegetables, and barbecue sauce. The total cook time is about 37 minutes, but you'll need to plan on about 45 minutes for the pressure build and release times. All of the cooking is done right in the Instant Pot, so its hands-off and cleanup is a breeze.
The recipe is easily customized. Add extra bacon or some diced ham or smoked sausage. Browned ground beef is another excellent option. Or, if you prefer vegetarian beans, feel free to omit the bacon and add a few drops of liquid smoke. If you like spicy food, add extra crushed red pepper flakes or a few tablespoons of finely chopped jalapeño pepper.
- 1 pound dried pinto beans
- 8 cups water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (divided, or to taste)
- 6 strips thick-cut bacon
- 1 cup onion (chopped)
- 1 cup green or red bell peppers (chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 cups barbecue sauce (homemade or store-bought)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- Optional Garnish: chopped green onions
Gather the ingredients.
Rinse the beans and pick them over. Look for small stones and discard any malformed beans.
Add the beans to the pot with 8 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.
Lock the lid in place and make sure the valve is in the sealing position. Choose pressure cook/manual, high pressure, and set the timer for 25 minutes. When the time is up, cancel the keep warm button and let the pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes. Move the valve to the venting position to release the remaining pressure.
Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid and drain the beans. Set the beans and reserved liquid aside.
Wipe out the inner pot and choose the sauté button. Add the diced bacon to the pot and cook for about 5 minutes, or until browned.
Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the pot and cook for 2 minutes longer.
Add the brown sugar, molasses, ground mustard, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and the reserved liquid. Stir to blend and scrape up any browned bits stuck on the bottom of the pot.
Add the beans back to the pot and top them with the barbecue sauce (the tomato paste will be added later). Do not stir.
Lock the lid in place and check that the valve is in the sealing position. Choose the pressure cook/manual button, high pressure, and set the timer for 5 minutes. When the time is up, let the pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes and then carefully release the remaining pressure manually.
Stir the tomato paste into the beans.
Serve the beans with cornbread, biscuits, or brown bread and garnish them with sliced green onions, if desired.
- To make ahead, cook the beans through step 5. Refrigerate the beans and the reserved liquid until the next day. If desired, chop the bacon and vegetables and refrigerate them overnight as well. Pick the recipe up at step 6 to finish the beans.