Go Back
+ servings
clear serving bowl of BBQ baked beans

Smokey Brown Sugar BBQ Baked Beans in the Instant Pot (Plant-Based)

Course: party food, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bbq beans, instant ot beans
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
natural release: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 244kcal
Author: Cindy Rainey
You can't go wrong with these smokey sweet BBQ baked beans. Everything is plant-based - but you'll still get that lovely smoked flavor. Made in in the Instant Pot but tastes like they've been slow cooking all day long.
Print Recipe


  • Pressure Cooker


Dry Beans, Pre-Soaking

  • 16 ounces dried navy beans
  • 7 cups water will be discarded


  • cups yellow onions chopped
  • cups green bell pepper chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic chopped

Cooking liquid and seasonings

  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • cup maple syrup
  • cup brown sugar packed
  • 4 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons vegan worcestershire sauce
  • Tablespoons molasses dark
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika

Optional Toppings and Add-Ins

  • cooked vegan bacon or sausage optional
  • sliced jalapenos


Presoaking the beans the Instant Pot way

  • Rinse the beans and pick through to make sure there aren't any little rocks. Add to the inner pot. Add in 7 cups of water.
  • Close the lid and the vent. Manually set the timer on high for 5 minutes. It will take 10-15 minutes to come to pressure.
  • After the Instant Pot comes to pressure and counts down for 5 minutes, allow for a natural release. This will take about 35 minutes.
  • After the Instant Pot has released its pressure, open the lid and with something to protect your hands, take out the inner pot and drain the beans. Discard the cooking water.

The Baked Beans

  • While the beans are "soaking" *(cooking) in the instant pot, you can prepare the other ingredients. Chop the onions, peppers, and garlic. Set aside.
  • Combine all of the other ingredients: vegetable broth, maple syrup, tomato paste, brown sugar, vegan Worcestershire sauce, molasses, apple cider vinegar, liquid smoke, mustard powder, and smoked paprika. Give it a really good stir.
  • After the pre-soaked beans have drained, return them to the pot. Add the chopped onion, peppers, and garlic and the liquid ingredients you already mixed. Give it a good stir.
  • According to the manufacturer's directions, close the lid and the seal. Set the pressure cooker on high for 30 minutes. It will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure.
  • After the baked beans have counted down to zero and have completed cooking, allow for a natural release. This should take up to 33 minutes. Carefully open the lid.
  • Top with any add-ins or toppings you'd like.


I'm sorry - I know that the idea of cooking beans in the Instant Pot is cooking without soaking. For this recipe, you need to soak. It's likely the tomato paste that won't allow the beans to thoroughly cook without soaking. This recipe gives the "pressure cooker" method. You may also soak overnight. 
Whichever soaking method you use, throw out the water after you drain the beans. 
The pre-soaking time in the Instant Pot is included in the prep time. While the beans are "soaking" (pre-cooking), you can do the other prep like chopping the vegetables and measure out the liquid ingredients. 
You are going to think the beans are really runny after they have cooked. The sauce part does thicken upon sitting - particularly if you make them the day before and refrigerate them.
If you choose to go extra then you can add in your cooked "meat" of choice after the baked beans have cooked. I have a recipe for Tofu Bacon Bits that would be pretty tasty!


Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 490mg | Potassium: 766mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 355IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 3mg