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Low Sodium Baked Beans – Instant Pot

By: Bill

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With these Low Sodium Baked Beans you can bring baked beans back to the table for a cookout or weeknight meal. These beans are cooked in the Instant Pot and can all be ready in a little over an hour. Using a Instant Pot, no pre-soaking of the beans is required or hours long simmering all day. And with just a few minutes prep and about an hour cook time, you’ll have cooked dried beans that are ready to eat. Plus you’ll have the most tender, flavorful baked beans you ever had with a huge sodium savings.

Typical sodium amount per serving = 1/2 cup410 – 570+ mg
Sodium per serving for this recipe = 1/2 cup28 mg
Calories per serving223

I have been finding more and more canned bean varieties with no salt added available in the store lately. But unfortunately not for baked beans. There is a reduced sodium version that has 410 mg per ½ cup, but that is still too much for our particular diet. And with a regular can at about 570 mg, per ½ cup does not really seem like much of savings.

Best low sodium baked bean recipe
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Best low sodium baked bean recipe

That is unfortunate as this recipe proves you can have baked beans at a fraction of the sodium level of canned beans. My low sodium baked bean recipe checks in at just 28 mg of sodium per half cup. With sodium this low you probably can allow yourself to have another serving of easy to make delicious baked beans.


If you don’t have an Instant Pot, I highly recommend getting one. I wasn’t that big on having different kitchen appliances when I wasn’t cooking fresh food all the time. But with a low sodium meal life style change, I didn’t necessarily want to be in the kitchen all the time either. Well, the Instant Pot helped me save time along with being easy to use. I use at least once or twice a week. It truly is a good investment with all that you can do with it for a busy person who wants to cook home cooked meals.


Even using low sodium bacon will add 70+ mg of sodium per serving to this recipe. So one of the biggest keys to making this recipe low sodium targets the bacon. And to do that you need uncured pork belly. Pork belly is really just bacon that has not gone through a curing process (think salted), is un-smoked and may be unsliced.

If you can purchase pre-sliced pork belly, that will be the easiest, or you could ask the butcher to slice up a slab of pork belly. Either way you get it though, you will most likely have to cut the skin or “rind” off. This is easily cut off with a sharp knife or some kitchen shears. The pork belly is also easier to cut and slice if it is “firmed” up in the freezer.


While navy beans are the traditional bean for baked beans, you may want to use another bean. Most dried beans will effectively triple in quantity when cooked. So for a 1 pound bag, or 2 cups, of dried beans, you will have 6 cups cooked beans. And if you use a recipe and can find canned no salt added beans of choice, most recipes call for 15 ounce cans of beans which is equal to about 2 cups cooked beans. So you would need 3 – 15 oz. cans of bean variety of your choosing. Then just skip step #8 the first pressure cook cycle.


Don’t be concerned if there seems to be a lot of liquid in the Instant Pot at the end of the cook cycle. The age of the bean can affect how much liquid will be absorbed. Fresh beans will continue to absorb more liquid after they are cooked. You can always simmer off some of the liquid to reduce, if you feel the beans are too watery. Or if you like lots of thick sauce like I do just add a tablespoon of corn starch and stir in at a medium boil. Add more cornstarch as desired. Remember though, beans will continue to absorb liquid after they are cooked, so add sparingly.

Baked beans simmering in instant pot
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Baked beans simmering in instant pot

Occasionally when making Instant Pot Baked Beans, you may find the beans are still hard and there is excessive liquid, it is probably due to beans being old. Hard beans just don’t absorb the liquid properly, though I’ve only had this happen once.

Mug of baked beans low sodium
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Mug of baked beans low sodium
My Instant Pot
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To make this awesome Instant Pot Low Sodium Meal I used my 6 quart Instant Pot LUX60V3 6 in 1*. The Instant Pot multi-cooker, combines 6 kitchen appliances in one, pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, sauté, steamer, and warmer. This Instant Pot is one of the very few appliances that stay on my counter since I use several times a week. It’s super easy to use and clean.

[su_box title=”A few of my other great side dishes to enjoy!” box_color=”#a92224″]

As always, please let me know how you like this recipe in the comments! I get motivated when I hear from you and am interested to learn about how you liked and served your Low Sodium Baked Beans. And please leave a comment or rating and share any tips you might have.

Thick and Saucy Low Sodium Baked Beans

Written by: Bill
This thick, saucy low sodium baked beans recipe quickly cooked in the Instant Pot can save you 100's of mg's of sodium!
4.60 from 20 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 16
Calories 223 kcal


  • 16 ounces dry navy or pinto beans
  • 8 cups water
  • 8 slices pork belly (remove and discard skin. chop to bits.)
  • 1 yellow onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper (cored, seeded, and finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Ketchup Heinz / Hunts no salt added
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (real is best has no sodium)
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 1/4 tsp mustard seed (ground)
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp chili powder


  • Rinse and sort beans, removing any debris.
  • Remove skin or "rind" from pork belly strips and discard. Chop remaining to bits.
  • Set the Sauté function to high on Pressure Cooker and allow to heat.
  • Add pork belly and onions to the pot and cook until bacon begins to render, stirring and scraping brown bits from bottom of cooking pot.
  • Add 1/4 cup of water and continue cooking until water has evaporated, bacon fat is rendered and onions are semi-soft. Scrape brown bits from bottom of cooking pot, until water has evaporated.
  • Gather and mix remaining ingredients in small mixing bowl to combine.
  • Add in order on top of sautéed ingredients beans, water, and the remaining mixed and combined ingredients. Do not stir at this point.
  • Lock on lid and close pressure valve. Cook at high pressure for 60 minutes. When cycle is done, let it naturally pressure release for 10 minutes and then carefully release the rest of the pressure.
  • Stir the ingredients in the pot well. Check some of the tenderness, if beans are still hard, cook for another 15 minutes. Add more molasses if a sweeter taste is desired now.
  • Set the Sauté function for low or medium and simmer until desired sauce consistency. Beans will continue to absorb liquid as they cool.

Utensils & special ingredients used

I use, own and recommend these products and ingredients used in this recipe and I may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.


Calories: 223kcal (11%)

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. Please understand that not everyone’s sodium and dietary requirements are the same, therefore some recipes may be higher than you’re allowed.

Did you enjoy this recipe?Leave a comment and rating to let me know how it was!

© 2024 Tasty Healthy Heart Recipes

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Nutrition InformationThe information shown is provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be substituted for a doctor’s or nutritionist’s advice. Please understand that not everyone’s sodium requirements are the same, therefore some recipes may be higher than you’re allowed. Always consult with your doctor for your recommended daily sodium allowance.

Low sodium baked beans in a white bowl
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Low sodium baked beans
My Profile Pic Bill

Hello, I'm Bill

Welcome!  After my stroke, I began to prepare low-sodium and reduced-fat meals. Tasty, easily prepared meals that can help you change to a low-sodium diet for a healthier life.  Read more

35 thoughts on “Low Sodium Baked Beans – Instant Pot”

  1. Hey Bill, just want to let you know how much we enjoy these beans. My hubs had quadruple bypass surgery 2 yrs ago and I am continually looking for tasty low sodium recipes. This is a big batch for the 2 of us so I freeze them in small containers and thaw as needed when we barbecue. Keep up the great work!

  2. Is the chili powder listed supposed to be pure ground Chili powder or is it the Chili powder mixed with cumin and other spices, as would be used in making chili easily?

  3. 5 stars
    I am new to the low sodium diet. I am always looking for new low sodium recipes to replace my old favorites. This recipe has given me back one of my favorite foods, baked beans. I followed the recipe to a “T” and they were perfect. Even my friends not eating a low sodium diet loved them. Thanks a million

  4. 5 stars
    Did them in oven with all the ingredients. Cooked bacon and onions on top of stove then added all the rest of ingredients and put in oven and let bake for 4-6 hours or more and turned out great. It looks liquidy at first but when it cools it comes out just right. My son did it in his insta pot the first time we had it and when he tasted mine he thought they tasted better.

    • I will have to try that and add to recipe. I used the instant pot to keep the time down. Thanks for the review Suzan!

  5. My 5 Year Old Baby girl has high blood pressure and is restricted to under 300 mg of sodium per day. She is killing me because she can eat nothing that she likes. This is so great I will be trying this out with your homemade low sodium ketchup. Hopefully this is something we can put back on the menu. Glad I found you.

  6. 5 stars
    These area great! Even no salt added canned beans are very high. I did use lower sodium bacon at 80mg per 2 slices (I had that) and simmered till thick. Husband approved.

  7. 5 stars
    Thank you for the thorough work you shared in this recipe. Due to congestive heart failure, we r on a total sodium intake of 2,000 mg per day per person.
    I have found My Salt salt substitute and am learning how to use it. Do you any recommendations for salt substitutes? Or other helpful low sodium products?
    How can I receive all of your recipes & tips? I love to cook, but low sodium is a whole new way of thinking.
    Thank you,

    • Hi JoAnn,
      You need to be careful with salt substitutes as are replacing the sodium with potassium chloride. Potassium chloride could potentially have adverse reactions with certain blood pressure medications. Either way I would consult your doctor on their use.

      I do not use any salt substitutes my self. I have found Mrs. Dash Original Table Blend which has no sodium and little potassium (10mg as compared to slat substitute at 690mg) to satisfy me. And I usually use it to replace salt in my recipes.

      You can join my FaceBook Page https://www.facebook.com/tastyhealthyheartrecipes where I post a notice when I have new recipes. Also, you can visit my Shop page where I have my favorite tools and low sodium ingredients. https://tastyhealthyheartrecipes.com/shop/

      Don’t worry, it will get much easier both in changing taste and cooking in general. I am usually easily under 1200mg per day.

      Thank you for your comment!

  8. It’s my first time ordering pork belly and my butcher gave me a 4 lb slab. You state 8 slices in your recipe. What would be the weight of a slice? or even better the total weight of pork belly needed please. I’m looking forward to making this recipe as I’m always looking for low sodium recipes for my Mum and she does love baked beans!

    • Hi Mary, It should be a standard bacon slice at 16g or 0.56oz. uncooked. Be sure to remove the skin if the butcher didn’t here is a good video on it. Pork belly skin removal you can also cut it off after it is sliced if need be.

  9. I have not yet made the recipe. However, in scanning the ingredients, I see liquid smoke listed twice. Is this correct?

    • Hi Robert, Should just be once. I use 2 tsp. I have corrected the recipe. Thanks for taking the time to point that out.

  10. How would you cook this recipe using can no salt added beans? Could you just use pot on stove in this case?

    • Hi Lisa, I don’t have a recipe but this is what I would do. Drain the beans, saute the bacon and onions, add the beans and rest of the ingredients and start with one to two cups water. You can always add more or simmer it off. I would let the pot simmer for at least an hour to let everything meld together. You will probably need 3 – 15oz cans of beans to equal 16 oz. of dried beans. And then use the same measurements for the rest of the ingredients except for the water.

      • Why not the liquid from the canned beans if you find no salt added beans. Think I saw no salt pinto beans. Maybe that would burn on the sauté function.

        • Hi Alan,
          The baked bean recipe uses the dried beans in the instant pot. You could use canned NSA beans but you would not want to use the high pressure cooking function of the instant pot. Since they are already cooked, they would more than likely turn to mush. I would just use a regular pot on the stove if using canned beans.

    • Hi Carole, Yes they can be made in the crockpot also. I don’t have a recipe instructions for that though, as I use the Instant Pot almost all the time now. I would say that everything would be basically the same except for the cooking method.

    • Did you try this recipe in the crock pot? If so, how did it work and did you soak the beans overnight? Thanks

      • Hi Kathryn, No, I have not done this in the crock pot. I don’t currently have crock pot recipe instructions, as I use the Instant Pot almost all the time now. I am guessing that everything would be basically the same except the need to soak the beans, eliminate the liquid from this recipe and obviously the cooking method.
        I have received numerous questions about this, so I will update the recipe with a crock pot version soon. (probably early summer)
        Thanks, Bill

  11. Can this be made without the pork belly as I don’t eat PORK?

    (Sorry if this shows up all caps, I’m not typing that way but that’s how it’s appearing.)

  12. I had been on the fence about the instant, but wanted to achieve success with this recipe. so I bought one yesterday and tried the recipe.
    my results: well I had pre-soaked my beans so the did not absorb the liquid. DUH on my part.
    Thanks for the info on pork belly.
    While the beans had the best flavor I’ve achieved so far. My husband likes sweeter and spicier. Thoughts on the best way to get spicy without hot sauce? Cayenne pepper? How much do you think?
    Thanks so much for these recipes. Looking forward to your stuffing recipe.
    My husband has heart failure and end stage ling disease. He almost died in November So I’m now the salt police. But he really loves baked beans and food has been so bland.
    I’m going to try your Italian sausage recipe too for spaghetti and pizza.
    Thank you so much!!!

    • Hi Debbi,
      I love my Instant Pot, but feel I have hardly scratched the “surface” with recipes it. It has been a real time saver and all the different functions that I have hardly used yet.
      To make it more spicy I would use the amount called for in the recipe initally. Then when you open it up and maybe add and stir in a teaspoon of cayenne at a time to taste. Then next time you make the beans put in the total amount of the recipe and what you added. I hate to say how much, because people all have a different spice level. I like spicy myself.
      The sausage would be great in spaghetti or pizza. Pizza recipe is on my list and will be out soon.

    • Hi Parrish, I’ve only used my Instant Pot, but yes you can. The beans would need to be soaked generally overnight and then cooked on low for 6-8 hours.

      • 5 stars
        Hi Bill! Love your site btw!… Tried these today and used the low salt bacon and added a bit more brown sugar. I used kidney beans instead of navy beans and that wont happen again! LOL they were more chewy than navy beans and didnt break down like I expected they would.LOL the low salt bacon brought the sodium up to 228 but still could work into the loso diet. thanks so much! I led me in the right direction!

        • Hey Pat, Thanks for your rating and comment. If you get a chance, do try the pork belly. It’s just uncured bacon without salt and all. Ask the butcher to slice it, that’s what I have been doing lately. Go Navy beans..ha
          Thanks Bill


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