Instant Pot Cowboy Beans

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Instant Pot Cowboy Beans are made with multiple types of beans mixed with bacon, ground beef, and a delicious combination of sauces and spices to make the perfect hearty side dish.

A blue bowl with a heaping mound of baked beans on an orange backdrop.

I’ll be the first to stand up and say that I’m not a big fan of baked beans.   I’m not sure why because I like beans and I like the barbecue flavor but something about baked beans just doesn’t do it for me.   My husband on the other hand loves them so he often enjoys them in the summer as a side dish when we grill.

When I first saw these Cowboy Beans I was intrigues.    Beans mixed in a tasty sauce along with beef and bacon sounded like something I would eat.   I decided to give it a go.

The original recipe I saw uses canned beans but I had two packages of dried beans that I needed to use so that’s what I went with.  I’ve included cooking times for both types of beans so you can use either one.   Obviously the dried beans take a little more time because they need to soak and cook longer.

A cutting board with a package of bacon, 2 packages of dried beans, a can of black beans, and a package of ground beef.

To make the beans I started by frying up the bacon in a skillet until it was crispy.  Then I cooked the ground beef, onion, and garlic until the beef was cooked through and the onion had softened.

I added everything to the Instant Pot and cooked on high pressure for an hour.   If I was using canned beans I would have only cooked on high pressure for about 30 minutes. 

The smell when I lifted the lid was amazing.   It smelled like bacon, barbecue, and beef and I could see the different types of beans.   I couldn’t wait to try a spoonful so I didn’t.   I dug right in the Instant Pot and tried a bite.

These beans are so flavorful!   They are so much better than any canned baked bean I’ve ever tasted.   The flavors were a little bit sweet, a little bit tangy, and the bacon and beef really made a flavor appearance.

Pin Image: A bowl of baked beans on an orange backdrop, text overlay, top view of an Instant Pot piled high with beans and ground beef.

So if you are looking for something a little different for your next cookout or social gathering give these hearty Instant Pot Cowboy Beans a try!

Pro Tips and Substitutions:

  • Feel free to use your favorite types of beans.  I used kidney beans, northern beans, and black beans because that’s what I had in the cupboard but you can use navy beans, fava beans, or pinto beans as well.
  • If you want to soak your dried beans the traditional way (not the quick method I have in the directions) cover them with water, add a teaspoon of salt, and let them soak for 6-12 hours before rinsing and using.
  • Ground chicken, turkey, or pork can certainly be substituted for the ground beef in this recipe.

A blue bowl with a heaping mound of baked beans on an orange backdrop.

Instant Pot Cowboy Beans

Cowboy Beans are made with multiple types of beans mixed with bacon, ground beef, and a delicious combination of sauces and spices to make the perfect hearty side dish.
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Author: Hezzi-D



  • 1 c. dried kidney beans
  • 1 c. dried northern beans
  • 1/2 lb. bacon cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3/4 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 c. water
  • 3/4 c. ketchup
  • 3 T. tomato paste
  • 1/4 c. brown mustard or yellow
  • 1/4 c. vinegar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 T. molasses
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 t. black pepper


  • Place the dried beans in a large sauce pan that has a lid. Add water to cover the beans by at least 2 inches.
  • Heat the beans over high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, stir the beans, and cover for 90 minutes.
  • Drain and rinse the beans.
  • Place the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute until the bacon is crispy. Remove to a paper towel lined plate.
  • Drain the grease from the skillet and add the ground beef. Saute for 5 minutes over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and continue to saute for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • In the Instant Pot combine the water, ketchup, tomato paste, mustard, vinegar, brown sugar, and molasses. Mix well to combine.
  • Add the rinsed beans, black beans, bacon, and ground beef to the Instant Pot and mix well to combine. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 1 hour if using dried, soaked beans or for 30 minutes if using canned beans.
  • After the cooking time is up allow the Instant Pot to release steam naturally for 15 minutes before manually releasing the remaining steam.
  • Mix the beans well and serve hot.


Recipe adapted from Blogghetti
A blue bowl filled with baked beans on an orange background.

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