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Pressure Cooker Baked Beans – Southern Style

Baked beans in white casserole dish.

Pressure Cooker Baked Beans

Southern-Style & Cooked from Scratch

This southern-style pressure cooker baked beans recipe is incredibly simple to make and full of rich, sweet, and savory flavors. And it’s perfect for all your summer BBQ’s and picnics. My wife and I are huge proponents of cooking from scratch for two reasons: 1. It’s typically cheaper than purchasing pre-made food. 2. You have total control of the ingredient list and can minimize artificial additives. However, there’s one draw back to cooking from scratch: It’s time consuming. Unless, of course, you own an Instant Pot!

Because this recipe is made in a pressure cooker, the hands-on time is relatively low. After quickly sautéing the bacon, onions and green pepper, add the rest of the ingredients, lock the lid, close the pressure valve, set the manual time for 60 minutes and walk away! No waiting hours for the beans to simmer on the stove top. And the result is a pot of delicious southern pressure cooker baked beans from scratch!

 

Baked beans in white casserole dish.

Do I have to soak the beans?

The short answer is: no. It is not a requirement that you soak the beans first. However… There is one huge benefit I’ve found in soaking the beans first – The whole digestion process! I don’t know about you, but I can definitely feel a difference when the beans are not soaked. And by feel, I really mean hear (and possibly smell). Catch my drift? Well, stand downwind and you’ll smell what I’m cooking.

 

The Truth About Salt & Beans

Do you know why you wait to add salt until your beans are fully cooked? Most people, like myself for a long time, think it’s because it helps the beans cook more quickly. This seems true, but is actually an illusion. The real reason to wait is this… Salt makes the skin of the beans tough, which is why they then take longer to cook. So this is probably the only time I will ever recommend you wait until the end to season your food. Only with beans!

 

The Process

Sea salt in empty Pyrex dish.

Add 1 tablespoon of salt to Pyrex dish.

 

Water in Pyrex dish.

Fill dish with about 6 cups of lukewarm water.

 

Dry navy beans soaking in Pyrex dish.

Add dry navy beans to dish and soak overnight (or for at least 8 hours). Drain beans, rinse, and remove any possible stones.

 

Diced uncooked bacon in Instant Pot.

Using sauté setting – add bacon to pot…

 

Bacon cooking in Instant Pot.

…and cook bacon until almost crispy.

 

Cooked bacon topped with onions and green bell peppers.

Then add onions, green peppers, and vinegar and cook until onions and peppers are semi-soft…

 

Bacon cooking with peppers and onions.

…and vinegar is evaporated, making sure to scrape up brown bits from bottom.

 

Chicken broth and uncooked navy beans in Instant Pot.

Add beans, stock to pot…

 

Pouring molasses into pot.

…along with maple syrup, molasses, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and pepper.

 

Uncooked baked beans in Instant Pot.

Mix well to combine. Lock lid and cook for 60 minutes at high pressure. Once cook time is complete, allow pressure to naturally release for at least 15 minutes. Then release remaining pressure and remove lid. Add salt, mix well, and let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

 

And this is the AMAZING result…

Baked beans in white casserole dish.

 

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Pressure Cooker Baked Beans

Southern-style baked beans from scratch with deep, rich, and sweet flavor!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Southern
Keyword baked beans
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 397 kcal
Author The Foodie Eats

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried navy beans soaked at least 8 hours
  • 1 lb. thick cut bacon roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup yellow onions diced
  • 3/4 cup green bell pepper diced
  • 4 cups chicken stock unsalted
  • 1/4 cup 100% maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar packed
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. sea salt

Instructions

  1. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to Pyrex dish. Fill dish with about 6 cups of lukewarm water. Add dry navy beans to dish and soak overnight (or for at least 8 hours). Drain beans, rinse, and remove any possible stones.

  2. Using sauté setting – add bacon to pot cook until almost crispy. 

  3. Then add onions, green peppers, and vinegar. Cook until onions and peppers are semi-soft and vinegar is evaporated, making sure to scrape up brown bits from bottom.

  4. Add beans, stock, maple syrup, molasses, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and pepper. Mix well to combine.

  5. Lock lid and cook for 60 minutes at high pressure. 

  6. Once cook time is complete, allow pressure to naturally release for at least 15 minutes. Then release remaining pressure and remove lid.

  7. Add salt, mix well, and let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts
Pressure Cooker Baked Beans
Amount Per Serving
Calories 397 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 16g 25%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 27mg 9%
Sodium 763mg 32%
Potassium 841mg 24%
Total Carbohydrates 46g 15%
Dietary Fiber 9g 36%
Sugars 20g
Protein 15g 30%
Vitamin A 1.7%
Vitamin C 11%
Calcium 9.9%
Iron 17.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

And as Always… Please Pin & Share the Love!

Baked beans image for Pinterest.

 

 

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14 Comments

  • Reply
    Karly
    June 6, 2017 at 9:03 am

    Baked beans are one of my all time favorite BBQ sides, and these look INCREDIBLE. Obviously love love love the pressure cooker-convenience factor as well. Cannot wait to dive into these!

  • Reply
    Tom
    June 21, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    Going have to try this plus fish sticks and biscuits with molasses yummy

  • Reply
    Potluck Recipes | Instant Pot Resources
    July 3, 2017 at 6:54 pm

    […] Southern Baked Beans-The Foodie Eats […]

  • Reply
    len
    August 15, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    This recipe is way too sweet. I will try with a
    Lb and a half of beans and no brown-sugar.

    • Reply
      Chef Gary
      August 16, 2017 at 8:39 am

      But what if we like sweet baked beans? 🙂

  • Reply
    Becky
    January 30, 2018 at 9:45 pm


    This recipe produced the best baked beans! I love the blend of spices and the perfect amount of sweetness!

  • Reply
    Anna
    July 3, 2018 at 8:53 am

    Soaking beans in salt water gives the beans softer skins! There’s actual science behind the technique. Cooks Illustrated explains. I’ve tried it. It works.

    https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/5803-salty-soak-for-beans

    • Reply
      Chef Gary
      July 5, 2018 at 9:10 am

      Hey Anna! Thanks for the tip. I’ve heard that before, but somehow I’ve never tried it. Always looking to become a better cook, so I appreciate the info!

  • Reply
    Carla Jackson
    March 13, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    I am allergic to nightshade veggies, any ideas on what to substitute the peppers and ketchup for. I would love to have good baked beans again.

    • Reply
      Gary
      March 13, 2019 at 6:59 pm

      You can omit both of them and still get great results I’m sure.

  • Reply
    Lynda Young
    March 17, 2019 at 10:15 am

    Do you add the soaking from the beans? It says to drain the beans but the picture shows lots of liquid.

  • Reply
    Lynda Younf
    March 17, 2019 at 10:18 am

    Sorry, just reread recipe? Chicken stock! Trying to do too much at once.

  • Reply
    Kim
    May 3, 2019 at 9:50 pm


    Hi, very yummy! I never send reviews about recipes! The recipe was easy to follow and when it was time to eat it looked like the picture 🥳 Husband kept saying how good they are! This is now my go to, baked beans recipe ! Thanks Kim

  • Reply
    Amy G.
    June 2, 2019 at 1:51 pm


    Very very good, but a little strong on the vinegar for me. Bean liquid was a bit thinner than what I expected so will also cut back on that, but will definitely make again!

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