These homemade baked beans with bacon are made with pantry staples, they’re so simple to make and incredibly delicious! There’s a rich tomato base, along with molasses, brown sugar and rosemary. Enjoy on their own or as a hearty side with dinner. Oven-baked beans never tasted so good!
Hey everyone! How’s it going? Are you all ready for Valentine’s Day? Our fur baby’s birthday is that day (he’ll be 8!) so, of course, he is top priority.
But, I’m sure hubby and I will do something special to celebrate, like make a nice meal or something. Cards all lined up and ready to go.
I usually get hubby a mushy one and a funny one. I gotta say, the funny one was so funny, I chuckled out loud in the store!
Do you do anything special with your sweetie or your gal pals? There’s nothing sexier than baked beans with bacon (ha), so let’s get to it!
This recipe is definitely a dish that is perfect all year-round! They are great in the winter after coming in from outside; they warm ya up and fill your belly.
And in the summer, who doesn’t love baked beans sitting around a campfire? Lately, hubby and I have enjoyed them with steak for supper. Have a glass of wine with it and that’s fine dining I tell ya!
Baked beans has it goin’ on. Well, you know, as far as beans goes!
Why We Love Beans
Beans are something that we regularly eat at home. Why?
- Just looking at the bean package, you’ll notice that beans are loaded with fibre, protein, vitamins and are low fat (which means they are good for you and fill you up).
- They’re versatile! For instance, you can make old-fashioned homemade baked beans (like here), put them in bean soup, salads, and they are fabulous in dips and quesadillas.
- Beans are pretty budget friendly (especially dried beans)! You can buy a huge bag for a couple bucks and can get a whole bunch of meals from one bag.
Best Bean To Use
For this recipe you want to use dried navy beans (not canned beans).
How To Make Baked Beans With Bacon
There’s nothing complicated with making this recipe (which I’m a huge fan of). All of the ingredients are simple pantry staples. Full details are in the recipe card below, but here are the basics:
Step 1: Prepare Beans
Pick over the beans (that is, remove any foreign objects, like rocks, and any imperfect beans).
Then, rinse beans with fresh, cold water
Place the dried beans into a large bowl, cover with fresh, cold water (by about two inches) and let them soak overnight.
Then, the next day, remove them from the water and drain. Rinse again with fresh, cold water. Place beans into a pot with water and cook for a little until tender. Drain.
Step 2: Cook Bacon
Crisp bacon in the oven and crumble once cool enough to handle.
Step 3: Add Bean Base to Pot
Combine tomatoes, tomato paste, molasses, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce in a large oven-safe pot. Stir to combine, then stir in beans.
Step 4: Add Aromatics and Seasonings
Next, add bay leaves, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, rosemary, crumbled cooked bacon and black pepper. Stir to combine all those goodies!
Step 5: Top up Pot With Water
You want enough liquid in the pot because the beans need that to cook. Plus, water will be absorbed through cooking. Stir water in.
Step 6: Cook
Bake, checking on every so often by stirring and adding more water, as necessary.
Tip: When beans are tender and cooked to your liking, add a little more water if you like things looser. Remove bay leaves and season with salt to taste. Enjoy!
Can I Freeze These Beans?
As an added bonus, these baked beans with bacon freeze really well so you can make a batch and have ready to go when you you’re craving some delicious homemade beans.
After the beans have cooked and cooled, portion as desired (I like to portion smaller quantities so I can just take out what’s needed at any given time; plus, it thaws quickly) and place into vacuum sealer bags (follow the instructions for your vacuum sealer to seal). Once sealed, spread the bags out flat. Place onto a sheet pan and into your freezer. Once frozen, you can remove the sheet pan and stack the frozen packages of beans neatly in your freezer.
Alternatively, use your favourite sealable freezer-safe bags or freezer-safe containers (leaving some headspace at the top of the container for the liquid to expand as it freezes).
Freeze the beans for up to six months. Don’t forget to label the bag or container with the recipe name and date it was made, so you’ll know for later.
When ready to enjoy, thaw the black beans overnight in the refrigerator.
To reheat, place beans in a saucepan on the stovetop over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. If you want to loosen or thin them out, add a splash of broth or water
Tips and Variations
- When prepping the beans for the oven, if you don’t have an immersion blender, you can easily mix the wet ingredients (tomatoes, etc.) by mashing with a potato masher.
- You’ll want to check on the beans every 2 hours or so to check and see if more water is required and they aren’t sticking to the pot. I will usually add about ½ cup to a cup of water at a time, if necessary, to loosen the mixture up.
- If you want a slightly creamier consistency in the tomato-based sauce, after the beans are cooked you can remove about a cup of beans, place in a bowl, and mash with a potato masher. Then, add back to the pot. Stir to combine.
- Want to omit the bacon? Everything will still taste delicious! For instance, I’ve also used cubed, cooked ham or even shredded, cooked pork instead of bacon in this recipe. You can add either ham or pork during the last hour of the bean cooking time.
What to Serve with Beans
More Yummy Bean Recipes
Hope you enjoy these baked beans with bacon as much as we do. I’m pretty sure you’ll be going back to the pot for seconds!
If you make these old-fashioned baked beans, be sure to leave a comment below!
This oven-baked beans recipe was originally published in July 2015 but has been updated.
Homemade Baked Beans With Bacon
- 2 cups dried navy beans
- water, you'll need water for rinsing, soaking and cooking the beans
- 8 slices bacon
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, tomatoes crushed with your hands or potato masher
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- ⅓ cup molasses, I used fancy molasses
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 2 sprigs rosemary (leaves only), minced (or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary)
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Pick over beans (i.e., remove and discard any foreign objects, like rocks, and any imperfect beans). Rinse and drain beans.
- Place beans into a large bowl and generously cover with fresh, cold water so they're submerged (and at least two inches or so of water over top). Soak overnight, about 12 hours.
- Drain beans and rinse again with fresh, cold water. Place beans into a pot, cover with water (beans should be covered by an inch or two of water, fully submerged in the water), bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 35 to 45 minutes or until beans are tender, but not mushy (they'll finish cooking in the oven). Drain.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place bacon onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cook until crisp, about 15 to 20 minutes (or you could fry bacon on stovetop over medium heat until crispy). Drain grease. Once cool enough to handle, crumble bacon. Set aside. Reduce heat in oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place tomatoes into an enameled cast-iron Dutch oven (about 5 to 6 quart size) along with tomato paste, molasses, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine, then stir in beans.
- Next, add bay leaves, onion, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, rosemary, reserved cooked bacon, and black pepper. Stir to combine. Top up with water (start with about 3 or 4 cups; it will be a lot, but it will reduce and thicken as the beans cook). Stir.
- Bake, covered, for about 5.5 to 6.5 hours until beans are cooked through and tender, carefully checking on every 2 hours or so by stirring and adding more water (as necessary) making sure beans don't burn or stick. Note: Time may vary, depending on how fresh your beans are and how you like them done. Continue cooking and adding water until you've reached your desired doneness and consistency.
- Once beans are at desired doneness, season with salt. Remove and discard bay leaves. Serve and enjoy!
A note on times provided: appliances vary, any prep and/or cook times provided are estimates only.
Tried this recipe?
If you do make this recipe, thank you!! It would mean so much if you could leave a comment below. Love to know how you enjoyed it, and it helps other readers too!