Vegetarian or Vegan Baked Beans Cooked in an Instant Pot ® Pressure Cooker – Instantly Delicious

I recently made amazing ​Baked Beans in my Instant Pot®. ​As soon as my younger son walked into the kitchen, he said, “baked beans?” His eyes lit up, until I said that they had bacon in them.  He’s a vegetarian.  He sweetly asked if I could make him vegetarian baked beans. How could I let him down?  After a little trial and error, I came up with a winner.

Baked Beans typically get their smoky, salty flavor from pork products – in my other recipe I use a lot of bacon. In order to replicate this flavor, I add plenty of smoked paprika and salt. ​Vegetarian Baked Beans ​are a total crowd pleaser for meat-eaters, vegetarians, and vegans alike.​  Just a quick note: After a lot of experimentation, I have found the best results come when you soak your beans overnight. I am including directions for a quick soak in the Instant Pot®,​ because I am the type of cook that often forgets to soak beans ahead of time.
​Vegetarian Baked Beans in the  Instant Pot®
Serves 6


1 cup dried great northern beans
5 cups water, divided (unless using quick soak method below)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
1/2 cup ketchup
​1/4 cup molasses
​1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika​
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

​1. Cover the dried beans with 4 cups of water and soak overnight, then drain and set aside.  For the quick-soak method, place rinsed beans in the instant pot with 6 cups of water and cook on manual at high pressure for 15 minutes, making sure the valve is in the sealing position.  Allow to vent naturally. Drain and set aside.

​2. Using the saute function, heat the olive oil in the pot and add the onion.  Saute for about 3 minutes, until the onion starts to become translucent. Add the beans to the pot.

​3. In a small bowl mix together the ketchup, molasses, brown sugar, and seasonings. Pour over the beans and onions. Add 1 cup of water.

​4. Set the pot to manual -high pressure, making sure the valve is in the sealing position. Adjust the time for 40 minutes.  When finished, allow the steam to release naturally.  Test a couple of beans to make sure they are tender.  If not, repeat the process for about 5 more minutes.

​5. When safe to open, switch the pot to saute and thicken the sauce for 8 minutes.

UPDATE: After a few readers commented that their beans were not soft, I retested the beans at 50 minutes. They were great, too.  My guess is that if your beans remain hard after an overnight soak and 50 minutes of cooking time, they are old and no amount of cooking will soften them.

Enjoy, Julie

3/3/2016 01:38:02 pm

I love baked beans, and your recipe sounds delicious. It’s a great idea to use smoked paprika to give that smoky flavor without meat.


Instantly Delicious
3/3/2016 04:06:12 pm

Thank you!


Muriel bruton
4/16/2016 07:08:36 pm

How about some liquid smoke to replace some of the smokiness of bacon?


4/18/2016 04:53:24 pm

I have never tried liquid smoke, but I bet it would be a great addition. Let me know if you try it.

Take care,



7/16/2016 10:36:32 am

I am in love with smoked salt. I am going to sautee little bits of tofu with it to make chewy little bacony bits for texture in this. Looks great, thanks!


7/16/2016 11:16:46 am

That sounds great! I love smoked salt, too!


8/7/2016 07:44:43 am

I’m making a double batch of these right now. I’ve made it twice before, as soon as I got my instant pot, and I have to say these are fantastic. The flavour texture and colour are bang on. Thanks for posting this. Great work.


8/7/2016 09:33:16 am

I love hearing that! Enjoy.


4/3/2017 03:56:47 am

If you double the recipe, do you double all ingredients?

4/3/2017 03:31:46 pm

Yes – double everything

4/23/2017 11:11:57 pm

I can’t tolerate pork & so l was very excited to find your recipe. We recently bought an IP, l’m looking forward to making baked beans this week, it’ll go good with veggie ribs & of course cornbread 🙂


5/13/2017 10:46:13 am

Just tried these yesterday- first time using my Instant Pot – they were awesome! Today I’m making a bigger batch because everyone liked them so much. Thanks for sharing your recipe!!


5/17/2017 09:45:56 pm

Thanks, Monica. Glad you liked them.


5/18/2017 05:48:58 pm

I tried your recipe in our IP, holy moly they turned out DELICIOUS 😋! I reduced time to 30 mins because l used navy beans, perfection. We’ve been buying canned beans for yrs, not anymore. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe 💃


5/19/2017 11:50:51 am

So glad to hear that! I will have to try with navy beans – they are my favorite white bean. And Carolyn is my middle name. 😀


5/30/2017 05:23:02 pm

Can I sub pintos or kidney beans?


6/1/2017 10:14:00 pm

I don’t see why not!


6/15/2017 08:12:27 pm

Making right now want a touch more smokes flavor so I add a about 3 drops of liquid smoke to me sauce. So yummy. Thank you for sharing. Making Father’s Day dinner with some vegan family


6/15/2017 10:38:10 pm

Me too, I’m making these with Bar B Q portabella Mushroom burgers.


6/18/2017 09:40:58 am

I love that idea. Shhhh…I have never used liquid smoke. I might just have to pick some up to try it.


6/21/2017 12:32:57 pm

WHAT a good idea about the smoked paprika!! I loved baked beans as a kid, but since being vegan, I have found I don’t like them, and never quite figured out why. I think THIS is the key ingredient for great vegan baked beans!! Thank you!!


7/4/2017 01:13:37 pm

This recipe was so successful the first time no very good. The next two times I used same kinds of beans but did an overnight soak but the beans are always crunchy. Even after cooking double the time. What can I do t get soft beans.


7/5/2017 09:16:05 pm

You soaked overnight and they were still crunchy? I have never had that happen before. I am sorry. You can try this method for a quick soak.

Maybe your beans were old or something.


9/29/2017 10:53:32 pm

I’m having the same problem. I have been recooking them for hours trying to get them to soften. 🙁


10/1/2017 07:42:37 pm

Hi Christi,

I am sorry to hear this. I am going to retest the recipe soon, to see if I can offer any fresh insight. I made these quite awhile ago. Stay tuned.

10/2/2017 10:41:54 pm

Christi, I remade the recipe with the quick soak method and boosted the cooking time to 50 minutes with a natural pressure release. They were soft (they were soft for me after the original 40 minute recipe -version. I just wanted to see if they would hold up to longer cooking.) I’d try again with new beans and maybe a quick soak as described above. It should work.


Dova Weinberger
10/22/2017 02:54:20 pm

Hi – I made this today, I soaked the beans overnight and put it in the pressure cooker around 10:00am. I thought it was for 1 lb of beans so I ended up doubling the recipe and set the pot for 45 minutes. I simmered the beans after and kept the pot on warm during lunch. I loved them! I am wondering if you have frozen the leftovers with good results. Or do you think they will keep in the fridge for 5 days?


10/23/2017 03:20:09 pm

Hi Dova,

So glad you loved them. I have frozen them and they reheat just fine. You can also keep them for 5 days in the fridge, but they never last that long around here.



Anita H
1/1/2018 05:27:11 pm

These beans turned out delicious, but a little sweeter than I like. I will try again with a bit less sugar and a squirt if mustard. I also added a little splash of liquid smoke. I used navy beans. Instead of soaking them I cooked them under low pressure for 5 minutes with water to cover and a pinch of baking soda, quick released pressure and rinsed them in a colander. The skins softened and rinse right off. The end product was nice tender beans.


Amber Townsend
1/15/2018 07:15:42 pm

I used this recipe as more of a guide but they turned out perfectly. Really soft and flavorful. I nixed the brown sugar and onions, and used only 2/3 of the molasses and ketchup (to make them a little bit healthier). I used dry unsoaked beans and cooked them on high pressure for 15 minutes, drained them, added a cup of water and the remaining ingredients and cooked on high for 40 minutes. Had no problem at all with the beans not softening.


1/15/2018 08:57:37 pm

Glad they worked for you. Thanks for the feedback.


3/28/2018 05:11:20 pm

I made it and found it delicious!! It was even better the next day. I used 2 1/2 x the ingredients. I am making it again on Friday for Easter dinner. Yum!!


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