This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This classic Baked Beans recipe is like a comforting and delicious warm hug! With the perfect blend of tender beans, rich molasses, and smoky bacon, this cherished family favorite has been pleasing palates for generations!
Easy Best Baked Beans recipe
Slow-baked tender homemade baked beans are a timeless classic that never goes out of style! But no store-bought canned baked beans will ever compare to making them yourself. You can’t get the same creamy caramelized bean texture and delectable sweet and tangy spiced sauce from a can.
But don’t let the long baking time of this recipe discourage you! Making baked beans from scratch is incredibly simple. With just a few cans of beans, some bacon, molasses, and a handful of other pantry ingredients, you can prep this dish in mere minutes. This also leaves you with plenty of time to whip up some pulled pork and coleslaw to pair with your tasty beans.
Why You’ll Love These Baked Beans
- Easy Recipe! Say goodbye to bland canned baked beans! With just a handful of affordable ingredients and a few minutes of prep time, making them yourself is incredibly easy!
- Delicious Classic! The combination of creamy beans with sweet molasses and savory bacon with a touch of ketchup and warm spices creates a delicious dish that is comforting and layered with flavor!
- Versatile Dish! People typically serve baked beans as a side dish with meats such as ribs and BBQ chicken drumsticks. But you can also serve them as a main with dishes like corn fritters.
- Canned Beans: Great Northern beans or navy beans form the base of the dish. You can also use other types of beans like black beans or pinto beans if you like.
- Onion: Chopped onion adds an aromatic and savory element.
- Molasses: Contributes a robust sweetness and layer of complex flavor. You can also use honey or maple syrup.
- Brown Sugar: Provides sweetness and helps to caramelize the beans.
- Ketchup: Adds tanginess and depth of flavor to the dish.
- Yellow Mustard: Contributes a slightly pungent taste that cuts through the sweetness. You can also use Dijon mustard.
- Seasonings: Salt and black pepper enhance the overall taste and balance the flavors.
- Spices: Ground cloves and allspice bring warm and spicy undertones, which add depth to the dish.
- Thick-Cut Bacon: Bacon just makes everything better! It infuses the beans with a smoky and savory flavor.
This classic recipe is incredibly easy! You’ll never need to buy another can of baked beans again! All you have to do is mix a few ingredients together and pop them into the oven for a delicious dish of flavorful beans.
Begin by preheating your oven to 325°F (160°C). This ensures that your beans will cook evenly and thoroughly. Then grab a 3-quart oven-safe baking dish or Dutch oven and set it aside.
Next, combine the chopped onion, molasses, brown sugar, ketchup, mustard, salt, black pepper, ground cloves, and ground allspice in a large bowl. Then stir in the drained beans and coat them fully with the sauce.
First, spread half of the diced bacon on the bottom of your baking dish or Dutch oven. Then pour the bean mixture on top of the bacon. If needed, add a small amount of water to cover the beans. Now, top the beans with the remaining bacon.
The oven does the rest! Cover the baking dish with a lid or aluminum foil and place it in the preheated oven. Now, let the beans bake for 60 to 90 minutes. You need to check the beans every so often to make sure that the beans aren’t drying out. You may need to add a little water.
After the initial baking time has passed, remove the lid or foil and bake the beans for an additional 30 to 45 minutes or until the sauce thickens up. This step helps to create that irresistible, slightly sticky texture that characterizes beans.
Frequently Asked Questions
What beans are baked beans made from?
Traditionally, navy beans or great northern beans form the base for this dish. These varieties offer a creamy texture that complements the rich flavors of the sauce. However, you can also experiment with other types of beans.
Can I make baked beans in a crockpot?
Absolutely! Simply follow the recipe instructions for mixing the sauce and beans, then transfer the mixture to the pot of your slow cooker. Then cook them on low for about 6 hours or until the beans reach your desired consistency.
What can I add to the beans?
Baked beans are wonderfully versatile. You can add diced vegetables like bell peppers, onions, or even jalapeños for an extra kick. You can also experiment with different types of meat like smoked sausage or ground beef. Liquid smoke works wonders in enhancing the flavor of vegetarian baked beans.
- Let the beans slowly bake. While you may be tempted to speed up the baking process, you need to let the beans slowly cook. This lets the flavors meld gradually and produces a caramelized sauce.
- Drain your beans well. This removes not only the liquid but also the excess starch and sodium.
- Add water if needed. While baking, keep an eye on the moisture levels. If you notice the beans becoming dry, add a splash of water.
- Add some spice. Feel free to add some smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, chipotle, or chopped jalapenos for a little added heat.
- Let the beans rest. Giving the beans a few minutes to rest allows the sauce to thicken up a little more and for the flavors to intensify.
Let your beans cool to room temperature and then put them in an airtight container. You can then store them in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just them thaw out overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Discover Other Bean Recipes
- Instant Pot Baked Beans
- Refried Beans
- Tuscan Bean Soup
- White Beans with Bacon and Herbs
- One Pot Smoked Sausage and Beans
- Instant Pot Tuscan White Beans
- Mom’s Pork And Beans
- Red Beans and Rice
- Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C).
- In a large bowl, mix together the chopped onion, molasses, brown sugar, ketchup, mustard, salt, black pepper, ground cloves, and allspice.
- Stir the drained and rinsed canned beans into the sauce mixture, making sure each bean is coated with the sauce.
- Scatter half of the diced bacon on the bottom of a 3-quart oven-safe baking dish or Dutch oven. Pour the bean and sauce mixture into the dish. If needed, add a small amount of water to just cover the beans. Top with the remaining diced bacon.
- Cover the baking dish with a lid or aluminum foil and bake for 1-1.5 hours, checking occasionally to ensure the beans don't dry out. Add a little water if necessary.
- Remove the lid or foil and bake for an additional 30-45 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
- Remove the baked beans from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.
- Bean Varieties: This recipe calls for navy beans or great northern beans, but you can also experiment with other types like pinto or kidney beans. Just make sure to adjust cooking times as needed.
- Molasses Substitute: If you don’t have molasses on hand, you can use maple syrup or dark corn syrup as a substitute, but keep in mind that the flavor profile will vary slightly.
- Bacon Bits: Thick-cut bacon is recommended for a richer flavor, but you can opt for turkey bacon for a leaner option. Alternatively, you can omit the bacon entirely for a vegetarian version; just add a dash of smoked paprika for that smoky flavor.
- Water Level: Check the water level occasionally while baking. If the beans seem to be drying out, you can add a little water to keep them moist.
- Serving Suggestions: These baked beans pair excellently with grilled meats and are a great addition to any barbecue spread. They also reheat well, making them a fantastic make-ahead option.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.