While we weren’t looking to make a copycat recipe for Bush’s baked beans, we nearly ended up with one with this recipe for gluten-free vegan baked beans in the Instant Pot! Of course, this recipe is tastier, way more healthful, and vegan. Bush’s vegetarian baked beans are unlikely to be vegan, as they use two different kinds of sugar (brown and white), and of course that ambiguous ingredient, “natural flavor”. (Read here to learn why sugar may not be vegan.)
For those wondering, here are the ingredients in Bush’s vegetarian baked beans, seeing as it is difficult to find them on the Bush’s site: Prepared White Beans, Water, Brown Sugar, Sugar, Tomato Paste, Salt, Mustard (Water, Vinegar, Mustard Seed, Salt, Turmeric, Spices), Modified Corn Starch, Onion Powder, Spices, Extract Of Paprika, Garlic Powder, Natural Flavor.
On the other hand, our recipe for Instant Pot vegan baked beans has no sugar (although it does have maple syrup), and no modified corn starch (ewww). And no “natural flavor”, only flavors that are natural. :~)
Our recipe is based on a recipe for vegan baked beans in the Instant Pot that has been making the rounds on Facebook, which we then tweaked and adjusted to our liking. While we don’t know where the original recipe came from, and a search for comparable recipes turns up thousands of matches, a similar version has been making the rounds in our Vegan Instant Pot Recipes group on Facebook, and that is the one that we tweaked and made adjustments to. Unfortunately, because we have no idea where it originated (hence the reason for our searching online for it), we can’t give proper credit
Anyways, here’s our version of the recipe. :~)
Fabulous, Easy, and Gluten-Free Vegan Instant Pot Baked Beans
2 cups dry navy beans (do not soak!)
2 cups water
1 cup apple cider (if you don’t have any it’s ok to use water)
1 Tablespoon olive or other oil
1 small or 1/2 medium-to-large onion, chopped
1 6oz can tomato paste OR 1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup maple syrup (if you prefer your baked beans less sweet use less or omit)
2 teaspoons liquid smoke
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard OR 1 teaspoon mustard powder
salt and pepper to taste, but no more than 1 teaspoon each
Turn on the sauté function on your Instant Pot (we use the lowest temperature), and heat the oil in the pot. Add the chopped onions, and sauté until translucent.
Add all of the other ingredients, give it a gentle stir, and then lock on the lid and close the valve. Press the ‘Bean/Chili’ button and set the time for 2 1/2 hours. Yes, you read that right, two and a half hours, but oh my they turn out perfectly, not too firm, and not too mushy. You can also try doing it using manual high pressure for 1/2 hour instead, but we have not yet tried that (if you do, please let us know how it worked out!).
Let pressure release naturally for 20 minutes, and then quick release any remaining pressure.
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