Baked beans have become relegated to the action of opening a can and pouring the contents into a serving dish. Maybe there’s a little bit of heating them up first. Some recipes may show how to “doctor up” canned beans in the hopes of fooling guests that they’re homemade. But that’s not what happens in this recipe.
Instead, I opt for truly homemade baked beans, which was one of my grandma’s terrific recipes. These aren’t hard to make and the recipe is not complicated. All that’s needed is a bit of extra time and it’s completely worth it for these beans. Their creamy interior texture is unparalleled. The flavoring is simple, made from molasses and bacon.
Don’t be fooled by the simple ingredients. These beans deliver.
The ingredients in this recipe
- Navy beans are the traditional bean for baked beans. This small white bean needs to be soaked for eight hours. The soaking quickens the cooking time but also ensures that they cook evenly.
- Onion is essential to create a delicious baked bean flavor. The onion slowly bakes in the oven alongside the beans and takes on all the flavors.
- Yellow mustard adds a little tanginess to balance out the sweetness of the molasses. While mustard may seem surprising, without it the beans would taste flat and boring. Trust me on this one.
- Molasses is iconic as an ingredient in baked beans. And why is that? It’s both sweet and savory with a depth of flavor.
- Bacon imparts a smoky flavor and is a nod to those store-bought pork and beans recipes. But instead of limp and tasteless pork, the bacon is pre-cooked until crispy. While these beans cook, the bacon maintains its texture.
Make these beans once and the store-bought version will be forgotten forever. These beans have texture and flavor, all with simple ingredients. I find that these beans are never forgotten about or pushed to the back of the table. They get eaten right away.
Watch how to make this recipe
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Grandma’s Truly Homemade Baked Beans
- 1 lb dried navy beans
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3 tbsp yellow mustard
- 3 tbsp ketchup
- 6 tbsp molasses
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ cups reserved cooking liquid
- 12 oz bacon cooked and chopped
- Soak beans for 8 hours in 1 quart of water and 2 tsp salt. Once soaked, drain and cook the beans in a large stockpot with 2 quarts of water and 1 tsp salt until creamy on the inside, about 1 hour.1 lb dried navy beans
- Once the beans are fully cooked, preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Remove the beans from the heat. Drain and reserve the cooking liquid. Return the beans to the stockpot. To the beans, add the chopped onion, yellow mustard, ketchup, molasses, salt, pepper, reserved cooking liquid (if the cooking liquid is less than 1 ½ cups, add water to make the 1 ½ cups needed), and bacon. Stir to combine and pour into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish.1 medium onion, 3 tbsp yellow mustard, 3 tbsp ketchup, 6 tbsp molasses, ½ tsp pepper, ½ tsp salt, 12 oz bacon, 1 ½ cups reserved cooking liquid
- Cover the beans with tin foil and place them in the preheated oven. Cook for 45 minutes with the cover on and then remove the cover and cook for an additional 15 minutes. At this point, the sauce will be mostly reduced. Remove the beans from the oven and serve.
This the way mom made baked beans except she shortened the process by starting with Pork and Beans. Delicious
I just wanted to share how good this recipe is. I liked that it didn’t include a can of baked beans. So many of the recipes I was finding were just doctoring up a can of baked beans. Nothing wrong with that, I just didn’t have any. With that said: I admit I had to substitute canned navy beans for fresh cooked ones. It worked, but I’ll try it again starting with dry beans. I liked that it wasn’t overly sweet and the generous amount of bacon: you can never have too much, lol! Thank you for sharing your grandma’s recipe with us. Definitely bookmarking for future use 🙂
Made these for dinner and they are absolutely delicious. The beans had a nice texture (sometimes the canned beans are a bit mushy, in my opinion) and the flavor is very well balanced. I like that the recipe has a hint of sweetness, but isn’t overly sweet. The next time I prepare these I may add a bit of cumin and a dash of cayenne. I love sweet heat.
Definitely give these a go. You won’t be disappointed.
My dad (96) and I love baked beans, but I hadn’t made them in decades. Your recipe looked good, so I tried it. I liked the simplicity and the bacon. They cooked up good. We couldn’t stop eating them! The only reason I didn’t give 5 stars is I thought the were a little dry. The texture and flavor were perfect, (the boiled bean did taste great, just as you said!) it was the sauce that seemed “dry”. I wouldn’t know what to add next time to prevent that, but I will try again. Maybe I’ll cut the last bake time a little.
Additional liquid might make the difference. I noticed there wasn’T much liquid also which would be my preference too.
This is the best and easiest baked beans recipe! It’s sooo flavorful and crowed pleaser. It’s not that sweet and you can easily adjust to your liking. I make this recipe once a month since it’s so easy to make. I
These were perfect! I followed the recipe exactly and they were amazing. We we’re going to eat them as a side but ended up eating a big bowl of these instead. Thanks for the recipe!
This is just like my grandma use to make them. I remember her soaking them over night, so as we could have the for Sunday dinner. Just love your recipes Kalb. 😊💗