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Instant Pot Cowboy Beans

A BBQ favorite side, these Instant Pot Cowboy Beans are made with a variety of beans, brown sugar, ground beef, and bacon.

Pressure Cooker Cowboy Beans

Pressure cooking beans is fast and simple. These cowboy beans are made using canned beans that have all been rinsed except for the pork and beans.

A bowl of Instant Pot Cowboy Beans with a scoop of beans on wooden spoon.

Pressure cooking dry beans is also simple but it requires additional work.

It's a good idea to soak the dry beans overnight before pressure cooking them because they cook more evenly but also because it makes them easier to digest.

If using dry beans, let them soak, pressure cook them, and then add them to this recipe.

Beef and Bacon

To make this recipe, first, the beef and the bacon needs to be cooked on the SAUTE mode in the Instant Pot.

To cook the bacon, cut the strips into small pieces before adding them to the beef. Once the beef and the bacon have been cooked, drain any excess fat from the pot. If you use leaner beef, there won't be as much fat to drain.

Saute the onion along with the bacon and beef to maximize the flavors of the onion.

Once the beef and the bacon have been sautéed, it is very important to deglaze the pot.

To deglaze the pot, add the water and use it to loosen any stuck-on bits. Scrape the bottom of the pot until all of the stuck-on bits are removed.

A blue bowl of cowboy beans sitting on decorative napkin.

Ingredients in Instant Pot Cowboy Beans

The ingredients in this recipe come together to create a very flavorful and delicious bean dish.

  • Ground Beef - lean is best because there is little to no fat to drain once it has been browned
  • Bacon - chopped and cooked ahead of time
  • Beans - Navy, pinto, black, and pork & beans
  • Onion
  • Molasses
  • BBQ sauce - of preference
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Seasonings - Garlic powder, salt, pepper, and dry mustard
Two bowls of Bbq potluck side of cowboy baked beans.

Layer the Ingredients

The next step is to layer the ingredients. This step is very important because this is how you avoid the burn notice.

Once the beef, bacon, and onion have cooked, drain the grease and make sure to scrape any cooked-on bits at the bottom of the pot by adding the water to allow the stuck-on bits to loosen.

Next, the apple cider vinegar, molasses, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce are added in. NOTE: Don't stir!

The spices are added next and they include dry mustard, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

The beans are added next. Drained and rinsed black beans, pinto beans, and navy beans are added next.

To top the beans off, undrained pork and beans are added to the pot.

Close the lid and vent, and start pressure cooking!

REMEMBER: Don't stir the ingredients, it will result in a burn notice!

After the natural release, open the lid and set the pot back to sauté. The last step is to add your favorite BBQ sauce and stir well to combine.

RELATED: Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese (Chick fil A Copycat)

A spoonful of cowboy beans made in the Instant Pot risen above a full blue bowl.

BBQ Sauce

Once the pot has come to pressure and the beans are pressure cooked, a 10-minute natural release is performed before opening the lid.

Once the lid is opened, turn the pot back to SAUTE and add the desired amount of BBQ sauce.

Perfect for Parties

These Instant Pot Cowboy Beans are perfect for potlucks, BBQs, cookouts, and great for Game Day. They're also a delicious side to your everyday meal.

This pot of beans makes enough to easily feed 10 people and is filling enough to feed a crowd!

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Instant Pot Root Beer Pulled Pork

Two bowls of beef and bacon baked beans.

📖 Recipe

Yield: 10 servings

Instant Pot Cowboy Beans

Cowboy Beans that were made in the Instant Pot and scooped on a spoon.

A BBQ favorite side, these Instant Pot Cowboy Beans are made with a variety of beans, brown sugar, ground beef, and bacon.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 7 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes


  • 1 lb ground beef, lean
  • 12 oz bacon, chopped
  • 1 can pork & beans
  • 1 can navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 cups BBQ sauce


  1. Cut the uncooked bacon into small pieces and place it in the pot along with the ground beef.
  2. Add the diced onion and cook until the meat is no longer pink. Drain.
  3. Add the water to the pot and deglaze by scraping off any stuck-on bits.
  4. Add the molasses, apple cider vinegar, dry mustard, Worchestershire sauce, brown sugar, salt, garlic powder, and pepper.
  5. Layer with the drained and rinsed navy, pinto, and black beans.
  6. Layer the undrained pork and beans.
  7. Do not stir. This is a very important step.
  8. Close the lid and set to MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK for 7 minutes.
  9. Allow the pot to naturally release pressure for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove the lid, set the pot to SAUTE, and add the BBQ sauce and stir.


Stirring the ingredients in the Instant Pot before pressure cooking can result in a burn notice. Layer the ingredients so that the liquid can create pressure inside the pot.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 573Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 1780mgCarbohydrates: 67gFiber: 8gSugar: 37gProtein: 33g

Nutrition calculation is a rough estimate and can vary depending on the cooking technique and the exact ingredients used. For informational purposes only.

Did you make this recipe?

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Thursday 24th of March 2022


One typo in the recipe: it doesn't mention when to add the apple cider vinegar. Adding it in at the same time as molasses etc works fine.


Saturday 25th of September 2021

Do you have recommendations for doing this on the stove top, instead of an InstaPot? Just wondering how long to let it all simmer together…


Saturday 25th of September 2021

I do not have a recommendation for the stovetop but I do for the oven. Prepare the beef and bacon as normal and then combine everything in a Dutch Oven (or a heavy bottom oven-safe pot or skillet) and bake at 350º with the lid on for 45-55 minutes. It will allow the flavors to blend together well. :)


Sunday 11th of July 2021

Wonderful recipe! We made this and ever my picky-eaters asked for second helpings!


Saturday 10th of July 2021

This is such a hearty side dish! The perfect way to transform beans into something more substantial!


Thursday 22nd of October 2020

I made this over the weekend and it was a big hit in my house! Thanks for sharing. This will be my recipe for now on!

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