Tested, tried, and true, these Instant Pot Baked Beans are the best! Made with dried beans and a rich maple sauce, these baked beans are irresistible and incredibly easy to make!
Instant Pot Baked Beans are a staple for summer gatherings or a side dish to your family's meals. I love to serve these beans with Crock Pot Chicken Legs, Bacon Ranch Potato Salad, and Creamy Cucumber Salad for a perfect summer meal.
My Papa was known for his Old Fashioned Baked Beans.
While I love his recipe for Boston Baked Beans, I wanted to perfect the recipe for the Instant Pot.
This recipe for Instant Pot Baked Beans took me weeks to perfect. I bought 20 pounds of dried beans and tried this and that and had so many failures. I had mushy baked beans, hard-baked beans, flavorless baked beans--but finally, I have NAILED how to make the most Perfect Instant Pot Baked Beans!
They are perfectly tender, perfectly flavorful, and a must for summer gatherings.
- Dried Navy Beans--Pinto beans can be used as well, but navy beans are traditional for baked beans.
- Maple Syrup--I love maple flavored baked beans. And because maple syrup is so rich in flavor, a little goes a long way.
- Apple Juice--This may sound crazy, but the apple juice sweetens the beans and pairs beautifully with the maple syrup.
- Tomato Sauce--The tomato sauce will add a nice depth of flavor and balance out the sweetness.
- Molasses--Is rich and smokey and is a must in baked beans.
- Onion--Super traditional in baked beans to balance out the sweetness of the beans.
- Bacon (Optional)-- Add bacon to baked beans for smokiness or omit for Vegetarian Baked Beans.
- Seasonings--I use salt and dried mustard. The dried mustard adds a bit of tang and helps cut through the richness of the beans.
- Apple Cider Vinegar--The vinegar works a lot like the mustard to balance out the richness in this recipe. Feel free to use distilled white vinegar in place of apple cider vinegar.
How To Make Instant Pot Baked Beans
- Place beans in the inner pot of the Instant Pot and cover with cold water.
- Place lid on the pressure cooker and cook for 20 minutes on high pressure.
- Let pressure release naturally for 20 minutes, before releasing the steam valve to release any remaining pressure.
- Pour cooked beans into a colander to drain any remaining liquid off cooked beans and return the empty inner pot back to the Instant Pot. Be sure to wipe out the outside of the inner pot to remove any liquid.
- Turn Instant Pot to Saute and let it heat up for a couple of minutes.
- Add in bacon if using, or ½ tablespoon canola oil to the inner pot.
- Add onions into the bacon or oil and saute for 2-3 minutes or until bacon is browned and the onions begin to soften. Turn instant pot OFF.
- Add in apple juice and scrape up browned bits on the bottom of Instant Pot. NOTE: This recipe has been developed for the 6-quart Instant Pot, if you have an 8-quart instant pot, you will need to either DOUBLE this recipe or use 1 full cup of apple juice plus ¼ cup water to prevent a burn warning.
- Add in the tomato sauce maple syrup, molasses, and vinegar to the inner pot and stir gently to coat.
- Add in cooked beans back to the Instant Pot and gently fold into the mixture.
- Close lid, be sure vent knob is sealed, and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes.
- Once cook time has elapsed, let pressure release naturally for at least 15 minutes, before doing a quick release of any remaining pressure.
- If you would like your baked beans to have a thicker sauce, you can saute beans after they have cooked. Simply turn on Saute and stir well for 10-15 minutes or until sauce reaches your desired thickness.
Make-Ahead and Storing Instructions
This recipe prepares A LOT! Which makes it perfect for freezing small batches or preparing for a larger gathering.
To store the baked beans, allow to cool fully and then store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
To prepare in advance:
- Prepare the recipe as indicated and store covered in the refrigerator for up 3 days.
- When ready to serve, stir in 1 cup of additional liquid BEFORE reheating. I choose to add apple juice to keep these beans really flavorful. You can add water or tomato juice instead if you would like.
- Reheat the baked beans in the slow cooker on low for 1-2 hours, in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes at 300 degrees, or cook on high pressure for 5 minutes in the Instant Pot.
Dishes to Pair with Instant Pot Baked Beans
- Instant Pot Ribs
- BBQ Chicken Burger
- Instant Pot Chicken Wings
- The Best Burger Recipe
- Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Thighs
Instant Pot Baked Beans Recipe
For the Beans
- 1 pound dried navy beans or pinto beans, see notes
- 6 cups cold water
For the Baked Beans
- 4 ounces bacon, chopped optional
- 1 onion minced
- ¾ cup apple juice
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried mustard
- ¼ cup molasses
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Place navy beans in pressure cooker with the 6 cups of water. Close lid on Instant Pot and cook for 20 minutes on high pressure.
- Let pressure release naturally for 20 minutes, then do a release of any remaining pressure. Remove beans from Instant Pot and drain off any excess liquid in a colander.
- Turn Instant Pot to Saute and let heat up until pressure cooker reads, HOT.
- Add in chopped bacon if using, if not using bacon add in ½ tablespoon canola oil. Add in chopped onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until bacon begins to brown and the onion begins to soften. Turn the Instant Pot OFF.
- Add in apple juice and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of Inner Pot. Add in tomato sauce, seasonings, vinegar, molasses, and maple syrup and stir well. Stir in cooked beans. NOTE: If using an 8 quart Instant Pot you need to use 1 full cup of apple juice plus ¼ cup water.
- Place lid on the pressure cooker and be sure the vent knob is sealed. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes.
- Once cook time has elapsed, let the pressure release naturally for at least 15 minutes.
- OPTIONAL: If you would like your baked beans to have a thicker sauce, you can saute beans after they have cooked. Simply turn on Saute and stir well for 10-15 minute or until sauce reaches your desired thickness.
- This recipe has been developed for the 6 quart Instant Pot, if you have an 8 quart instant pot, you will need to either DOUBLE this recipe or use 1 full cup of apple juice plus ¼ cup water to prevent a burn warning.
- While not traditional, feel free to use pinto beans or small red beans in place of the navy beans. The cook time will remain the same.
- If your family is opposed to chopped onions, omit the onions and add in 2 teaspoons dried onion powder.
- If you use water in place of the apple juice, you will need to double or triple your maple syrup or sweetener of choice and add in more salt for flavor.
- If you do not use bacon, you may need to increase your salt for more flavor.
- It is really important to let your instant pot release pressure naturally when cooking beans.
- For a sweeter, darker result add in an additional ¼-1/3 cup brown sugar. For my classic baked beans recipe, I add in the brown sugar for a more decadent side dish!
- To use canned beans in place of dried beans, skip the step of cooking dried beans in water and use 4 cups of canned navy beans that have been rinsed and drained.