This sweet and savory homemade Baked Beans Recipe is infinitely better than buying it from a can and still so easy! It’s the perfect easy side dish for potlucks, BBQs, and also to accompany a beef, chicken, or pork dinner all year round.
Easy Homemade Baked Beans Recipe
This Baked Beans recipe is sweet and savory with rich molasses and real bacon. And while making homemade baked beans from scratch requires a few extra steps instead of just buying it premade from a can, the end result is absolutely worth it and still so easy!
Enjoy this classic baked beans recipe with your favorite grilled or smoked meats at your next potluck or any family dinner year round, too. They pair well with so many things like hot dogs, ribs, chicken, brisket, and ham.
Here’s what you’ll need to make these easy baked beans from scratch.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Navy beans – 4 cans, rinsed and drained.
- Bacon – I like to use thick-cut bacon. Either plain or maple flavored.
- Onion – Provides wonderful aromatics, flavor and texture.
- Ketchup – Adds a bit of acidity and rich tomato flavor.
- Molasses – Adds rich flavor and sweetness to the beans.
- Apple cider vinegar – Adds a bit of acidity to balance the other ingredients.
- Brown sugar – For a bit more sweetness.
- Worcestershire sauce – For depth of flavor.
- Seasonings – Salt, pepper, and dry mustard powder season the dish.
What Kinds of Beans Are Used in Baked Beans?
Navy beans are most commonly used in baked beans, including popular canned versions like Bush’s Baked Beans. Pink beans and Northern White Beans can also be used. I’ve substituted Northern White Beans in this recipe before and while good, they are not as tender as navy beans.
Here are a few easy oven baked beans variations.
- Include some bell pepper. Diced green or red bell pepper can be added into the mixture.
- Make the beans sweeter. If you’d like your beans sweeter after they’re cooked, you can add in 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup or more brown sugar.
- Spice it up. If you’d like them spicy, add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, or red pepper flakes. Smoked chipotle powder would also be great.
- Vegetarian baked beans. Simply omit the bacon. You may need to increase the salt by up to an additional teaspoon since the bacon contains a good amount of sodium.
How to Make Baked Beans
Here’s how to make baked beans in the oven, in just a few steps.
(Scroll to the bottom for our easy printable recipe with the complete directions, and don’t miss the video below.)
- Add ingredients to casserole dish. Add the beans, bacon, and onion to a greased 9×13 casserole dish.
- Make the sauce. Combine ketchup, molasses, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, dry mustard, and pepper in a large saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil. Pour sauce over the beans, stir gently.
- Cover and bake. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and transfer to a 325F preheated oven. Bake for about 2 hours, stirring every 1/2 hour or so until desired consistency is reached.
- Stir and serve. Remove from the oven, give it a gentle stir and then let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Can I Use Dry Beans?
Yes, if you wanted to make this baked beans recipe with dry navy beans, you can do so. You’ll need 1 & 1/3 pounds dry navy beans. Rinse the beans under hot water to remove any dirt, then place them in a container with fresh water that covers the beans by at least 1-inch. Seal tightly with a lid and soak for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
Drain the soaked beans and add them to a large pot. Cover beans by 1 inch with fresh cold water. Bring to a rapid boil, then reduce to a gentle bubble. Simmer for 1 hour. Drain cooked beans well. Follow the rest of the recipe as directed.
Alternatively, you can speed up the process by cooking the soaked beans in an Instant Pot as we did with our Instant Pot Baked Beans.
Video: Homemade Baked Beans
What goes with baked beans? BBQ baked beans pair well with pretty much any smoked or grilled meat or BBQ entree. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Baby Back Ribs
- Beef Brisket
- Glazed Ham
- Grilled Flank Steak
- Pulled Pork
- Crockpot BBQ Chicken
- Turkey Burgers
- Grilled Hot Dogs
- Fridge. Oven baked beans can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Store in an airtight container.
- Reheat. Reheat on the stovetop until heated through or pop individual servings in the microwave.
- Freeze. Prepare as directed, allow them to cool completely, then transfer the beans to a freezer-safe airtight container or freezer-safe bag, leaving 1-2 inches of extra space for expansion. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight. If you’re reheating a large amount, reheat in a baking dish covered with foil at 300F for 45 minutes or until warmed through. Alternatively, you can reheat in the microwave in a heat-safe dish fitted with a heat-safe lid for 5 minutes, stirring in 60 second intervals.
More Bean Recipes:
Homemade Baked Beans
- 4 cans (15 ounces each) navy beans , drained
- 6 sloces bacon , diced
- 1 medium yellow onion , diced
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- Add the beans, bacon, and onion to a greased 9×13 casserole dish or 3 quart dutch oven.
- Combine ketchup, molasses, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, dry mustard, and pepper in a large saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil.
- Pour sauce over the beans, stir gently. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.
- Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for about 2 hours, stirring every 1/2 hour or so until desired consistency is reached.(NOTE: The longer you cook the beans, the thicker they'll get. They will also thicken as they cool.)
- Remove from the oven, stir then let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.