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Published July 7, 2021. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
No need to ever buy the canned version again because this easy-to-make homemade baked beans recipe from scratch is jam-packed with flavor.
We are all about the side dishes in our family to help bring about a lot of different flavors to the dinner table. If you’re similar to us then you should absolutely try my potato salad or homemade cornbread recipe.
Baked beans have a very long history stemming all the way back to Native American tribes. They would soak native or “navy” beans with bear fat, venison meat, and maple syrup and then cook them over the open fire for long periods of time until tender.
Fast forward to the present day and we still are essentially preserving that same ancient method of slow cooking beans with sweeteners and protein. This dish is loved globally and is an excellent source of protein, fiber, and healthy fat.
Beans You Could Use
While baked beans would classically use the smaller white navy bean, you can absolutely go a bit outside of the normal standard and use a variety of beans to make this recipe. Here are some great beans to use:
- Great Northern
How to Make Baked Beans from Scratch
Use these simple step-by-step instructions for making this tasty homemade baked bean recipe from scratch:
Soak the dried navy beans in cold water overnight.
Brown the bacon in a cassoulet pot over medium heat until crisp and then set aside.
Add in the onions and brown until they are very well caramelized on low to medium heat, which takes about 30-40 minutes.
Next, add in the garlic and peppers and cook for a further 5-7 minutes.
Drain the beans, rinse them, and then add them to the cassoulet pot along with tomato puree, mustard, mustard, apple cider vinegar, molasses, brown sugar, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and beef stock and stir until completely combined.
Place a lid on the cassoulet pot and then bake in the oven at 325° for about 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until the mixture is thick and the beans are cooked.
Garnish with more chopped crisp bacon and finely minced parsley or chives.
Additional Ingredients to Add-In
You can get creative when making these baked beans to enhance the flavor and make them your own. Here are some other things you can add:
- Cooked Ground Beef
- Chunks of Cooked Pork
- Dry Mustard
- Dijon Mustard
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Spicy Peppers
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can make these up to 1 day ahead of time, simply reheat them before serving.
How to Reheat: Add the desired amount to a small saucepot and heat over low heat until warmed. You can also heat in the microwave.
How to Store: Cover and store for up to 7 days. Cover and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw them in the refrigerator for 1 day before reheating.
chef notes + tips
- If you don’t have a Dutch oven pot you can use your favorite oven-safe pot with a lid.
- Beans can be goofy sometimes, because while sometimes they seem to cook relatively quick, other times they can take a lot longer. in fact, this can even take up to two to three hours longer than the 3 1/2 hours it took me. just watch it and check it for doneness and tenderness.
- To slow cook these, simply follow procedures 2-4 on the sauté function, and then once you add in all of the ingredients, slow cook on high heat for 6-7 hours.
- You can substitute the tomato puree for canned tomato sauce or blended or finely pureed fresh tomatoes.
- Swap out the dried beans for 6 15-ounce canned beans and reduce the baking time to 30 minutes. In addition, remove the beef stock completely.
More Side Dish Recipes
Homemade Baked Beans Recipe from Scratch
- 1 pound dried navy beans
- 6 strips thick-cut bacon, cut into thick slices
- 2 medium-size peeled and small diced yellow onions
- 3 finely minced cloves of garlic
- ½ seeded and small diced red bell pepper
- ½ seed and small diced green bell pepper
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup molasses
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- dash of hot sauce
- 3 cups beef stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add the navy beans to a large container and cover them with water by about 4 inches. Set aside overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 325°.
- Drain the beans, rinse them, and set them aside.
- In a medium to large size cassoulet pot or Dutch oven, add in the bacon and cook over medium heat until crispy, about 6-8 minutes.
- Set the crispy bacon lardons aside and then add in the onions. Turn the heat down to low and cook until well browned about 30-40 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Add in the garlic and peppers and cook for 6-8 minutes on low to medium heat. Stir occasionally.
- Add in the remaining ingredients, rinsed beans, tomato puree, mustard, tomato paste, vinegar, molasses, brown sugar, hot sauce, beef stock, salt, and pepper, and mix until completely combined.
- Cover with a lid and bake in the oven at 325° for 3 to 3 ½ hours or until the beans are tender and the mixture is thick. You may need to add ½ to 1 cup more of beef stock at the 90-minute cooking mark. All dry beans seem to cook differently, so don’t be surprised if this takes up to 3 hours more of cooking. If you find this is the case, add 1/2 to 1 cup of beef stock every 90 minutes. The beans should be tender but also hold shape.
- Garnish with additional crispy bacon and optional chopped parsley or sliced chives.