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Instant Pot Cowboy Beans Recipe

Instant Pot Cowboy Beans Recipe

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 1x
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free


These Instant Pot cowboy beans (also known as chuckwagon beans or calico beans) are loaded with ground beef and bacon cooked in a sweet, tangy and smoky sauce. This homemade recipe gets rave reviews from everyone that tries them! Perfect side dish for holiday gatherings, potlucks, and parties, and it is a must for game day.


  • 1 cup diced bacon
  • 1 tablespoon oil (e.g. olive oil)
  • 1 pound / 450 g ground beef (90-95% lean)
  • 1 medium onion, diced (approximately 1 cup)
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced (approximately 1 cup)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili or cayenne pepper
  • 12 teaspoons brown sugar (optional, depending on the sweetness of the BBQ sauce) 
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 
  • 1 can red or pinto beans (14-15 oz)
  • 1 can white beans or black-eyed peas (14-15 oz)
  • 1 can tomato-based baked beans (14-15 oz)
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce


  • Press the Saute function key on Instant Pot (press more than once to cycle to More mode) and add the oil and bacon. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring a few times until browned and crispy. Remove the cooked bacon and set it aside in a bowl.
  • Add onions, bell peppers and ground beef and cook for 4-5 minutes to brown off.
  • Add the stock and stir scraping up the bottom with a spatula to remove any stuck bits. This is important because if there is anything burnt stuck on the bottom, you will get the Burn signal.
  • Add the remaining ingredients except for the barbecue sauce. Add half of the cooked bacon back to the pot and reserve the rest. Stir through and then spread the BBQ sauce over the top but don’t mix through. This (again) will prevent the possible Burn error.
  • Secure and lock the lid. Set to Pressure Cook for 5 minutes on HIGH pressure. The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure and then the timer will start. Once done, let the Instant Pot stand undisturbed for about 5 minutes and then use the quick release to let off the remaining pressure.
  • Open the lid and stir the beans. Saute on More for 5-7 minutes to reduce the sauce by about a third.
  • Top with the reserved cooked bacon and serve with a side of grated cheese.


Saute time: 15 minutes (before and after pressure cooking) | Coming to pressure:  10 minutes | Pressure cooking time: 5 minutes | Release: Natural release 5 minutes followed by quick release | Total cooking time: 35 minutes 


  • Serving Size: A heaping pile, recipe made with no added sugar
  • Calories: 338
  • Sugar: 19.7 g
  • Sodium: 756.4 mg
  • Fat: 9.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 44.7 g
  • Fiber: 7.4 g
  • Protein: 20.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 40.1 mg

Keywords: Calico Beans, Chuckwagon Beans, Baked Beans, Instant Pot bean recipes, barbecue beans, side dishes