Baked Beans

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Are you ready for the ultimate summer BBQ or cookout side dish? Well, look no further than these savory Baked Beans! Made with a delicious blend of spices, bacon, and onion, these beans are the perfect addition to any summer party. The smoky and sweet flavors come together in perfect harmony and are sure to be a hit with all your guests. Not only are they delicious, but they are also a cinch to make. This means more time for you to enjoy the sunshine and good company. Whether it’s a backyard BBQ, a picnic at the park, or a potluck with friends, these beans are perfect for any summer occasion.

Overhead image of a bowl of Baked Beans

Our Favorite Baked Beans Ever!

Baked beans are a staple at any barbecue or cookout, and for good reason – they are delicious, comforting, and a great way to feed a crowd. But why settle for canned baked beans when you can make your own homemade version? Homemade Baked Beans are easy to make, incredibly flavorful, and can be tailored to your preferences. In this blog post, we will guide you through the steps to make your own delicious homemade baked beans, including tips and tricks for perfecting the recipe.

QUICK TIP

While baked beans got their name from being baked, we like these beans best slow simmered on the stove top best. If you’d rather bake them, transfer the beans to a well-greased 9×13-inch baking dish and bake for 55-65 minutes at 325 degrees F.

Process shots: Saute diced bacon and then add onion; continue to saute.

Homemade is Always Best!

When it comes to baked beans, many people love the convenience of cans from the grocery store. However, making your own homemade Baked Beans is a true game changer. Not only are they more delicious, but they are also more customizable and offer a level of control over the ingredients that canned beans simply can’t match.

  • You can control the level of sweetness, spiciness, or smokiness to your preference.
  • You can use different types of beans to include your favorites.
  • The quantity of bacon can be easily adjusted or you can add in different types of meat like ham or sausage.
  • You can adjust the recipe to fit your dietary needs. Canned beans can be high in sugar and sodium, and may contain preservatives and artificial flavors. By making your own, you can control the amount of extra ingredients you use.

Process shots: add tomato paste and seasonings; saute. Add drained beans and remaining ingredients.

Baked Beans Tips

  • Use high-quality ingredients. Choose fresh bacon, onion, and garlic. The quality of the ketchup you use can greatly affect the taste of the sauce. Using a high-quality ketchup (such as Heinz®) will enhance the flavor of the sauce. 
  • Use a variety of spices. Dry mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper are our go-to essentials. You can also add other spices like chili powder or cumin to add complexity and a touch of heat.
  • Simmer the beans low and slow. Beans should be cooked slowly, on low heat to allow the flavors to meld.
  • Adjust the consistency. If the beans are too thick, add a little bit of water or broth to make them the consistency you prefer. Too thin? Simmer for longer or raise the temperature a bit.
  • Be patient. Baked Beans need time to develop their flavors. Don’t rush the process– the end result will be worth the wait.
  • Adjust the sweetness and spiciness to your preference. Since everyone likes different levels of these components, taste and adjust to your taste.

Process shots: Simmer the Baked beans, stirring occasionally until thickened.

What To Serve With Baked Beans 

Baked Beans are a versatile dish that can be served with a variety of different foods. Here are a few popular options to consider:

STORAGE

What To Do With Leftovers

Leftover Baked Beans can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. We think they taste even better the next day!

When you’re ready to serve the beans, take them out of the refrigerator and transfer to a pot or microwave-safe dish. If they seem too thick, you can add a bit of water or  broth to adjust the consistency. You can reheat the beans on the stovetop, in the oven, or in the microwave. When reheating, be mindful to stir the beans frequently to prevent burning and ensure even heating.

Can You Freeze Baked Beans?

Yes, they can be frozen. After they have cooled completely, transfer them to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. Be sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When you’re ready to serve them, take them out of the freezer and transfer them to the fridge to thaw overnight. Once thawed, you can reheat them on the stovetop, in the oven, or in the microwave. If the beans seem too thick after thawing, you can add a bit of water or chicken/vegetable broth to adjust the consistency.

It’s important to note that freezing and thawing can affect the texture of the beans slightly, making them softer. But, the overall flavor is still delicious!

View of Baked Beans in a bowl with a spoon

Baked Beans FAQs

1What flavor additions can I add to Baked Beans?

There are many ingredients you can add to Baked Beans to enhance their flavor. Here are a few popular options:

  1. Spices: Add spices such as cumin, smoked paprika, dry mustard, black pepper, or chili powder for a bolder, smokier flavor.
  2. Herbs: Fresh or dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary, or bay leaves also add flavor to the dish.
  3. Sweeteners: Molasses, maple syrup, brown sugar, or honey can be used to add sweetness to the dish.
  4. Liquid smoke: Adding a touch of liquid smoke gives the baked beans a smoky flavor.

It’s always a good idea to taste the beans as you’re cooking, and adjust the seasonings as necessary to make sure the dish is balanced, and the flavors are to your liking.

2What kind of beans are in Baked Beans?

The most common type of beans used for Baked Beans is navy beans. These small white beans are mild in flavor and have a firm texture that holds up well during the cooking process.

In the United States, traditional Boston baked beans are made with navy beans. The beans are slow-cooked with a sweet and savory sauce made from ketchup, brown sugar, and spices.

For the recipe we’re sharing today, we recommend using a combination of navy and pinto beans. This creates a delicious balance of flavors and adds a nice variation to the dish.

3Are Baked Beans good for you?

Baked Beans are a healthy addition to a balanced diet, especially when they’re paired with other nutrient-rich foods like whole grains and vegetables.

Beans in general are a good source of protein and fiber, which can help with weight management and digestion. They are also cholesterol-free and low in fat. By making your own baked beans, you can control the ingredients, thus controlling the nutritional value. For example, reducing the sugar and limiting the amount of salt makes them a healthier option.

4How do you make Baked Beans into a meal?

Here are a few ways to make Baked Beans into an entree rather than a side dish:

  1. Add protein: Baked Beans can be made into a more substantial meal by adding protein such as cooked ground beef or sausage. Adding diced ham or chopped cooked chicken also works.
  2. Add vegetables: Mix in some sautéed or roasted vegetables such as bell peppers, onion, or squash, to make the dish more nutritious.
  3. Top with an egg: Serve the Baked Beans over toast, and top with a fried, poached, or scrambled egg for a protein-packed meal.
  4. Serve with a salad: Serve the beans with a simple green salad for a complete and balanced meal.
  5. Serve over rice: Serve Baked Beans over a bed of cooked rice or quinoa for a more filling meal.
  6. Top with cheese: Grate or crumble cheese on top of the beans before serving. This adds a nice creaminess and additional protein to make a more substantial meal.
  7. Make it a soup: If you like your beans saucier, you can also add more water or broth and turn the dish into a hearty bean soup.
  8. Create a sandwich: Make a Baked Bean sandwich by filling a bun with the beans and some toppings.

5What is the most popular type of Baked Beans?

One of the most popular types of Baked Beans is traditional Boston baked beans. Prepare them with navy beans and a sweet and savory sauce made from molasses, brown sugar, and spices. These beans are typically slow-cooked and are popular in the northeastern region of the United States, particularly in Massachusetts, where they originated.

Another popular type of baked beans is British-style baked beans, which are made with navy beans and a tomato-based sauce. These beans are typically sweeter and are popular in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe.

Both version of the beans have many different variations around the world, with local ingredients and seasonings being added to them.

 

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Baked Beans

5 from 1 vote
Are you ready for the ultimate summer BBQ or cookout side dish? Look no further than these savory Baked Beans! Made with a delicious blend of spices, bacon, and onion, these baked beans are the perfect addition to any summer party. The smoky and sweet flavors come together in perfect harmony and are sure to be a hit with all your guests. Not only are they delicious, but they are also a cinch to make,and that means more time for you to enjoy the sunshine and good company. These beans are perfect for any summer occasion, whether it's a backyard BBQ, a picnic at the park, or a potluck with friends.
Print Recipe

Baked Beans

5 from 1 vote
Are you ready for the ultimate summer BBQ or cookout side dish? Look no further than these savory Baked Beans! Made with a delicious blend of spices, bacon, and onion, these baked beans are the perfect addition to any summer party. The smoky and sweet flavors come together in perfect harmony and are sure to be a hit with all your guests. Not only are they delicious, but they are also a cinch to make,and that means more time for you to enjoy the sunshine and good company. These beans are perfect for any summer occasion, whether it's a backyard BBQ, a picnic at the park, or a potluck with friends.
Course Dinner, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword baked beans, baked beans recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6 -8 (as a side)
Calories 520kcal
Author Chelsea Lords
Cost $6.50

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 6 slices hardwood smoked bacon, finely chopped (~5.5 oz.)
  • 1 cup finely diced yellow onion (1 small)
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 2 teaspoons each: ground mustard powder & paprika
  • Fine sea salt & pepper
  • 2 cans (15.5 oz each) navy beans, drained and rinsed (See note)
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed (See note)
  • 3/4 cup ketchup good quality--we like Heinz
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, gently packed
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons each: Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice
  • 1-1/4 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth

Instructions

  • BACON AND ONION: Start by finely dicing bacon strips. Heat oil in a large cast iron pot over medium-high heat and add the bacon. Cook until the bacon is nearly cooked through and then add diced onions. Sauté until the bacon is fully cooked and the onions are golden, about 3-5 minutes.
  • TOMATO PASTE: Next, add tomato paste, garlic, mustard powder, paprika, plus salt & pepper to taste (I add ¾ tsp of each). Stir constantly until the mixture is deeply fragrant, 2-4 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  • SIMMER: Bring to a simmer, and then lower the heat to low; cover the pot with a lid. Cook for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes and promptly returning the lid after stirring. (Trouble-shooting: If the beans aren't thickening, slightly increase the heat or remove the lid. If beans are bubbling excessively, reduce the heat.)
  • FINISH: After an hour, the sauce should be thickened and the beans tender. Remove from heat, taste and adjust flavors by adding more salt and pepper if needed. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Note: Beans: If you prefer,  you can use homemade beans instead of canned. One can of beans is 15.5 ounces, which is the equivelent of two cups.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 520kcal | Carbohydrates: 84g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 736mg | Potassium: 1247mg | Fiber: 23g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 387IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 168mg | Iron: 6mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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