Even though the weather is still less than ideal in some parts of the US and elsewhere, outdoor grilling season is upon us. As summer rolls in, so do the invitations to picnics, pool parties, and myriad outdoor gatherings. None of those outings ever seem complete unless we fire up the grill and load the table with summer favorites like pasta salad, potato salad, and baked beans.
As the weather warms it makes sense to move our kitchens to the outdoors to help keep the house cool. Grilling is a great way to do that and I love using the grill. But, I also love using my Instant Pot. While I’m not sharing a grilling recipe with you today, I am sharing a recipe for an old favorite that you can easily cook in your Instant Pot®: baked (that are not truly baked) beans !
I am grateful to Leslie Finnegan Conn for providing photos of this recipe. I always welcome my readers to share photos of recipes in either of my pressure cooking books. If you have taken any photos and would like me to consider using them, please send them along.
Baked beans is a popular side dish that is amazing any time of year but seems to really shine when people are outdoors. I’m excited to share my recipe for Instant Pot® “Baked” Beans. This recipe comes from my cookbook Vegan Under Pressure and is going to be perfect for your next picnic.
Cooking these beans in the Instant Pot®, or any other pressure cooker or multicooker means that you don’t have to heat up your house when it’s warm out. Plus, there’s nothing like shaving hours off a traditional recipe. These beans might not be quite as creamy as the long baked type, but if you aren’t tasting them side by side, I find beans “baked” in the pressure cooker to be mighty good.
Tips for Cooking Beans in Your Instant Pot®
The key to this recipe is to well-cook the beans before adding the other ingredients. Some of the other ingredients we will add can toughen the beans and you want these beans to be soft and creamy.
If you have hard water, it might take longer for your beans to cook through. This recipe has two parts as the beans need to get thoroughly cooked before adding the seasoning ingredients. I overcook the beans to soft in this recipe, and they always turn out great.
For more tips on cooking with your Instant Pot® or another pressure cooker, please visit my post THE INSTANT POT® LIQUID MYTH – HOW MUCH LIQUID DO I NEED?
When it’s hot out and you are craving baked beans, this recipe is perfect. The beans even freeze well for up to three months, so make a large batch and freeze in small servings to enjoy all summer long.
Instant Pot® “Baked” Beans
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil optional
- 2 cups very finely chopped onion
- 2 cups dry navy or other white beans, soaked and drained
- 2 tablespoons dry mustard
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- ¼ cup chopped dates
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
- 2 tablespoons Dijon or other prepared mustard
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Set your Instant Pot® or electric pressure cooker to saute, or heat a stovetop pressure cooker over medium heat; add the oil if using. Add the onion and sauté or dry sauté for 3 minutes, until the onion starts to look translucent. Add water by the tablespoon if needed to prevent sticking. Add the beans, dry mustard, paprika, and bay leaf. Stir.
- Add the stock and stir well. Lock on the lid. Bring to high pressure; cook for 15 minutes. Let the pressure come down naturally. Let the beans sit for 10 minutes after the pressure has come down, and then carefully open the pot, tilting the lid away from you.
- Taste a few beans to make sure they are cooked through and soft enough to squish between your fingers. If not, lock the lid, return the cooker to high pressure, and cook for a few minutes longer. Let the pressure come down naturally. Remove the lid, carefully turning it away from you.
- Remove and discard the bay leaf. Add the dates, tomato paste, molasses, Dijon mustard, and vinegar, then stir well.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer (on sauté mode or on the stove, if using a stove top cooker) and let it bubble gently for about 5 minutes so the flavors can blend, or lock on the lid and let it sit for 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and serve.
This appeared in my newsletter first. If you want to stay up to date with what’s going on please sign up for my monthly newsletter.
Mr A says
If you don’t have molasses, could you use, let’s say, maple syrup? Or is there another alternative?
Jill Nussinow says
You can certainly use something else, however traditionally molasses is what gives the beans a deep, rich flavor. You can use what you have. You will taste it and see what it needs.
sharon loduca says
If i want to cook without soaking the beans, what would the difference be for the amount of beans, amount of liquid, and cooking time?
Jill Nussinow says
You can cook this without soaking but I cannot imagine why since the beans needs to be well cooked before adding the sauce ingredients.
If you want to cook your dry beans, use at least 4 cups of liquid and cook for 30 to 35 minutes with natural release. Since I didn’t even try to cook them that way, I can’t say for sure. The goal is to have well cooked beans before adding the acidic foods.
I made this from your cookbook just the other day and it was phenomenal! I used syrup instead of dates (because I’m allergic to dates) and it worked just fine! Only problem was, I didn’t have enough leftovers!! If I want to make a double batch, should I double everything or don’t quite double the liquid?
Jill Nussinow says
Thank you for letting me know. I would actually double the liquid because it if ends up being too soupy you can always put it on low saute and evaporate some off. Just don’t let it cook too long to avoid burning. Let me know how it goes.