How to Make Baked Beans

Most cooks learn how to make baked beans very early in their cooking career. Since dried beans were a staple of early America, baked beans also became a staple tracked back to our Native American Indian tribes. Before the modern convenience of washers and dryers, every Monday was “wash day”. Early in the morning, Mom (as well as all homemakers) would fill up the old fashioned washer and tubs for a day of laundering. Also early in the morning each Monday, after soaking all night, a large pot of beans was placed on the stove for slow cooking. It would feed the family all day while Mom was busy doing the wash.

How to Make Baked BeansHow to Make Baked Beans

We all learned how to make baked beans with the leftover beans from Monday. Depending on how many family members stopped by on Monday to eat a bowl of beans determined if enough was left for baked beans. Sometimes we had no beans left and other times we had a lot.  When we had enough left for making baked beans, on Tuesday it was like a whole new meal. By adding tomato sauces, sugar and bacon, this was nothing like the beans on Monday.


Today when cooks learn how to make baked beans, it is usually by using commercially canned beans. Campbell’s pork and beans has always been a favorite but there are many to use. Today a shopper can even purchase baked beans in the can. I have always been partial to making mine by starting with dried beans because that is what I have always done. We never used canned beans. I like the flavor of the old fashioned beans better and it is much cheaper. 


Although baked beans are enjoyed in many other countries, they are a staple in America. Every picnic that I have ever been to has had a large pan of baked beans. Someone always brought a large pan of baked beans to all family get-togethers. Whether it was a reunion, funeral, birthday or anniversary party there was a pan of baked beans. I remember one year I hosted our family crowd for Thanksgiving. We had so much food; turkey, dressing, ham, potatoes and everything else imaginable. When Dad and Mom came in, among their bounty they were unloading was a huge pan of baked beans. Of course, everyone was happy to see them. It was tradition!


The one “key” when learning how to make baked beans is “slow cooking”. Of course you need good flavorful ingredients like tomato sauce, onion, sugar, pork and maybe things like molasses and bourbon. To be able to savor all the added seasonings, the beans need time to absorb the flavors. 


NOTE: If you are cooking beans on the stove top or baking them in the oven, check them occasionally for drying. If they dry out they will quickly begin to stick and burn.

NOTE: Grease baking pan lightly to make “clean up” easier. The sugar, molasses and other ingredients will bake hard on the pan. 

NOTE: Unless otherwise specified, bake the beans UNcovered. Most recipes will need to cook out some of the liquid.

FAVORITE BAKED BEANS FOR A CROWD

Favorite Baked Beans for a Crowd ServingFavorite Baked Beans for a Crowd Serving
Favorite Baked Beans for a CrowdFavorite Baked Beans for a Crowd

Learn how to make baked beans with one of my favorite recipes.

  • 2 Pounds dried mixed beans (I use 15 or 16 varieties; SOAK OVERNIGHT)
  • Ham bone or ham seasoning OPTIONAL *See note below
  • Salt/ pepper to taste

*NOTE: I save ham bones and small pieces for seasoning. If you do not have anything the bacon will season when baking the beans.)

Baked Beans

  • Cooked beans
  • 2 Cups ketchup
  • 2 Cups brown sugar
  • 1 Large chopped onion
  • ½ Cup Kentucky bourbon
  • ½ Cup molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 5 to 6 Slices bacon

TO COOK BEANS combine soaked beans and ham in large Dutch oven.

Add enough water to cover beans and having about 1 inch on top.

Bring to a boil; cover and REDUCE HEAT to medium low.

Simmer 2 to 2 ½ hours until beans are tender.

Season with salt and pepper.

NOTE: Check beans occasionally. If appear to be getting dry add a little water.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350f DEGREES.

FOR BAKED BEANS remove ham bone from beans if used in cooking.

Add ketchup and next 6 ingredients to the beans; stir to mix well.

Dump beans into a greased baking pan (16X12X 2 inches).

Level top of beans; place slices of bacon on top of beans.

Bake for 60 to 90 minutes; let stand 20 minutes before serving.

NOTE: Check occasionally for drying. Beans should absorb liquid but not get completely dry.

Makes 13 cups OR 26 half cup servings.

Preparing Baked BeansPreparing Baked Beans

HOW TO MAKE BAKED BEANS FOR A CROWD

Learn how to make baked beans to serve 80.

  • 24 Pounds canned baked beans (Like Bush’s)
  • 5 Large chopped onions
  • 6 Teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 ½ Pounds dark brown sugar
  • 2 to 3 Cups ketchup
  • 4 Pounds sliced bacon (Cut into 1 inch pieces)

PREHEAT OVEN to 325F degrees; grease several large pans.

In a large bowl or pan combine beans, onions and dry mustard.

Spoon HALF of the bean mixture into several large baking pans.

NOTE: Fill the pans no more than HALF FULL.

Sprinkle the tops of beans with HALF the brown sugar.

Dot top with HALF ketchup and sprinkle HALF the bacon.

Divide the remaining HALF of bean mixture into each pan.

Top with remaining ketchup first, brown sugar and bacon.

Bake about 2 ½ hours; let stand 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Serves 80.


SLOW COOKER BEAN BAKE

Learn how to make baked beans in crock pot with a hint of cinnamon.

  • 2 Pounds dry navy beans
  • 2 Pounds bacon
  • 2 Chopped onions
  • 1 Can tomato soup
  • 1 Teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ Cup molasses
  • ½ Cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons cinnamon
  • Salt/ pepper to taste

Rinse and drain beans; place in slow cooker.

Add enough water just to cover the beans.

Fry bacon crisp; add bacon and drippings to the beans.

Add onion and remaining ingredients to the slow cooker.

Cook on HIGH for 8 to 10 hours. 


LIMA BEAN BAKE

  • 1 Pound dry baby limas beans 
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 Can (16 Ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 Small can tomato sauce
  • 1 Medium chopped onion
  • 1 Cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 to 5 Slices bacon

Soak beans overnight; cover with water and cook until tender.

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350F degrees.

Drain liquid from beans; stir in remaining ingredients EXCEPT bacon.

Dump mixture in casserole baking dish; top with slices of bacon.

Bake for 1 hour.


SWEET AND SOUR BAKED BEANS

  • 8 Slices bacon (Fried crisp)
  • 2 chopped onions
  • ¾ Pound hamburger
  • 1 Teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ Teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • ¾ Cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 Cup cider vinegar
  • 2 Cans (15 Ounces) white lima beans (Drain)
  • 1 Can (16 Ounces) green lima beans (Drain)
  • 1 Can (16 Ounces) dark red kidney beans (Drain)
  • 1 Can (About 27 ounces) baked beans (Drain)
  • 1 Cup catsup
  • 1 Teaspoon liquid smoke

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Fry bacon; sauté onion in drippings.

Add hamburger stirring until brown; add remaining ingredients.

Stir well and cook for 20 minutes; pour into 3 quart casserole dish.

COVER and bake 30 minutes; UNCOVER and bake 30 minutes.


BOURBON BAKED BEANS

Learn how to make baked beans with pineapple, coffee and bourbon in slow cooker.

  • 4 Cans (16 Ounces each) Boston baked beans
  • 1 Can (16 Ounces) crushed pineapple (Drained)
  • 1 Jar (12 Ounces) chili sauce
  • ½ Cup strong brewed coffee (OR mix 1 teaspoon instant coffee in ½ cup hot water)
  • ½ Cup bourbon
  • ¼ Cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon molasses
  • ¾ Teaspoon dry mustard

Combine all ingredients in a 4 quart slow cooker.

Cover and cook on HIGH 2 hours.

Uncover and cook to desired consistency.

Serves 10 to 12.


TEXAS BEAN BAKE

Learn how to make baked beans with ground beef.

  • 1 Pound ground beef (Brown and drain)
  • 1 Package dry onion soup mix
  • 2 Cans (28 Ounces each) Northern beans
  • 1 Cup catsup
  • 1 Cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 2 Teaspoons vinegar

Preheat oven to 400F degrees.

Combine and mix all ingredients together.

Pour into large casserole; bake 30 minutes.

Serves 12 to 14.


SAUSAGE AND BAKED BEANS

Learn how to make baked beans to serve 20.

  • 3 Cans (32 Ounces) pork and beans
  • 2 Pounds sausage links (Cook and dice)
  • 2 Medium onions (Slice thin)
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 2 Teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 Cup dark corn syrup

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Combine and mix all ingredients together.

Bake for 1 hour; serves 20.


CRANBERRY BAKED BEANS

Learn how to make baked beans with cranberry sauce for 12 servings.

  • ½ Cup maple syrup
  • ½ Cup brown sugar
  • ½ Cup catsup
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 4 Cans (16 Ounces each) pork and beans (Drain)
  • 1 Can (16 Ounces) whole cranberry sauce
  • 2 Medium chopped onions
  • 6 to 9 Slices bacon (Cook partially and dice)

Preheat oven to 350F degrees; butter 3 quart casserole dish.

Combine syrup, brown sugar, catsup. Worcestershire and mustard in large bowl.

Stir in the beans, cranberry sauce, onion and bacon; dump into prepared dish.

Bake 2 to 2 ½ hours; serves 12.


TRUCKERS BAKED BEANS

Learn how to make baked beans with kidney beans and ground beef.

  • 1 Pound ground beef
  • 1 Package dry onions soup mix
  • 2 Cans (16 Ounces each) kidney beans (Not drained)
  • 2 Cans (16 Ounces) pork and beans (Not drained)
  • 1 Tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1 Cup brown sugar
  • 1 Can (16 Ounces) tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Sauté ground beef until it loses the red coloring.

Place beef and remaining ingredients in a large casserole baking dish.

Mix well and bake for 1 to 1 ½ hours; about 15 servings.


K.C. MASTERPIECE BARBECUED BAKE BEANS

Learn how to make baked beans with apple and raisins.

  • 2 Cans (16 Ounces each) pork and beans (Drain)
  • 1 Ounce golden raisins
  • ½ Cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tart apple (Peel, core, chop)
  • 1 Medium chopped onion
  • ¾ cup K.C. Masterpiece Original sauce
  • 3 Strips bacon (Uncooked; cut in half)

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Combine and mix all ingredients except the bacon.

Pour into a 2 quart baking dish; top with bacon.

Bake for 1 hour.


BEAN POT CASSEROLE

Learn how to make baked beans with hotdogs.

  • 2 Pound can pork and beans
  • ½ Cup catsup
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Pound hot dogs (Slice)
  • 1 Envelope onion soup mix
  • ¼ Cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Combine and mix all ingredients in a large casserole dish.

Bake for 1 hour.


BEAN MEDLEY 

Learn how to make baked beans using a variety of canned beans.

  • 2 Cans (16 Ounces) pork and beans
  • 1 Can (16 Ounces) kidney beans
  • 1 Can (16 Ounces) butter beans
  • 1 Can (16 Ounces) lima beans
  • ½ Pound bacon (Chop fine)
  • 2 Medium onions (Chop fine)
  • ¾ Cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 Cup cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared mustard
  • Salt/ pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Brown onion and bacon together in Dutch oven.

Add brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper.

Mix in the beans; dump in casserole baking dish.

Bake for 1 ½ hours.


CORN AND BEAN CASSEROLE

Learn how to make baked beans and corn with Mexican flare.

  • 1 Can (16 Ounces) kidney beans
  • 1 Can (16 Ounces) pork and beans
  • 1 Can Mexican corn
  • 1 Can Chili
  • ¾ Cup catsup
  • 1 Teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 Teaspoon chili powder

Preheat oven to 250F degrees.

Combine and mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

Dump mixture into a casserole baking dish.

Bake for 2 to 2 ½ hours.


BOSTON BAKED BEANS

  • 6 Slices bacon
  • 2 Cans (16 Ounces each) pork and beans
  • ¼ Cup catsup
  • ½ Teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons grated onion
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Combine all ingredients EXCEPT bacon in a large cast iron skillet.

Place bacon on the top; bake for 1 hour.


BAKED BEANS with sage sausage

  • 1 Pound bulk sage sausage
  • ¼ Green bell pepper (Chopped)
  • 1 Small onion (Chopped)
  • ½ Cup brown sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon prepared mustard
  • ¾ Cup catsup
  • 3 Cans (16 Ounces each) pork and beans (Drain)

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Brown sausage with the green pepper and onion; drain.

Combine pork and beans, brown sugar, mustard and catsup.

Add meat mixture to the bean mixture; stir well.

Place mixture in casserole baking dish; bake for 45 minutes.

› Baked Beans

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