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Low Sodium Baked Beans – Instant Pot

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
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.

COOKING BEANS IN INSTANT POT = TIME SAVINGS

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.

USE PORK BELLY FOR LOWEST SODIUM BAKED BEANS

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.

HOW DO I KNOW HOW MUCH DRIED BEANS TO COOK FOR A RECIPE?

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.

TOO MUCH LIQUID IN COOKED INSTANT POT BAKED BEANS?

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
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
Mug of baked beans low sodium
My Instant Pot

MY INSTANT POT

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.

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.

Mug of baked beans low sodium

Thick and Saucy Low Sodium Baked Beans

This thick, saucy low sodium baked beans recipe quickly cooked in the Instant Pot can save you 100's of mg's of sodium!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 35 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 16
Calories 223 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 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
  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Nutrition

Calories: 223kcal
Did you make this recipe?Leave a rating and let me know how it was!

Nutrition InformationThe information shown is provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be substituted for a doctors 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
Low sodium baked beans

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

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

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

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

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  3. Can this recipe be made in a crockpot?

    Reply
    • 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.
      Bill

      Reply
  4. 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.)

    Reply
    • Yes. It is not required for the recipe.

      Reply
  5. 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!!!

    Reply
    • 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.
      Thanks
      Bill

      Reply
  6. Can this be made in a Dutch oven?

    Reply
    • 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.
      Bill

      Reply

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