Baked Beans

April 15, 2013
6 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 3 hours
  • Serves 4 to 6
  • 1/2 pound cranberry, pinto or cannellini beans, soaked overnight
  • Salt
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 small onion, diced (keep the ends for the beans)
  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat (you can also use oil or butter)
  • 1/8 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 pinch chipotle powder (optional)
  • 2 cups chopped canned tomatoes (I use tetra pack)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
In This Recipe
  1. Cover the beans by at least an inch with cold water. Add a few pinches of salt and the thyme, garlic and onion ends and simmer until tender, about an hour.
  2. When the beans are close to being done, heat the oven to 250 degrees F. Using a heavy, shallow ovenproof pan sauté the onion in the bacon fat over medium-low heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the spices and cook for another minute. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and simmer gently for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens slightly.
  3. Stir the beans and about 1/2 cup of their cooking water into the sauce in the pan. Cover the pan and put it in the oven for an hour to an hour and a half, until the beans are very soft and the sauce has thickened a bit.
  4. Uncover the pan and cook until the sauce is quite dry, and the edges of the pan are slightly caramelized, another 20 to 30 minutes.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • maam
  • ChristyBean
  • Merrill Stubbs
    Merrill Stubbs
  • aclincol

    14 Reviews

    aclincol February 6, 2021
    Made it as directed with a bit of jarred chipotle paste. And tomatoes from the freezer. It was easy and really delicious. The perfect amount of sweetness. Thanks!
    Author Comment
    Merrill S. February 9, 2021
    So glad you enjoyed it, and great idea to add chipotle paste!
    JJGood April 21, 2020
    Would I regret adding some diced carrots along with the onions for a little extra veg?
    Author Comment
    Merrill S. February 9, 2021
    Oh, JJ! I missed your question way back in April -- I'm so sorry! What did you end up doing?
    JJGood February 9, 2021
    I still haven’t made them, actually! I can’t remember why I didn’t at the time—but I don’t think it was for want of carrot advice :)
    Author Comment
    Merrill S. February 9, 2021
    Ha! Well, for the record I think adding carrots wouldn't hurt!
    food52fan July 9, 2019
    Like others who have commented, I'm also wondering whether the recipe calls for 2 tomatoes, or 2 cans of tomatoes. If cans, what size? I'm leaning toward just 2 tomatoes but would like to be sure. This will be a side dish for a family bbq. Looks delicious!
    Author Comment
    Merrill S. July 9, 2019
    Apologies, it should read "2 cups chopped canned tomatoes" -- fixing now!
    food52fan July 9, 2019
    Wow, that was fast! Thanks, Merrill! Your recipe is on my menu for my mom's 85th birthday party this weekend!
    Author Comment
    Merrill S. July 9, 2019
    Happy birthday to your mom!!
    food52fan July 9, 2019
    Thank you! :-D
    Rachel April 3, 2018
    Delicious. This is a keeper and will go into regular rotation in my house. I was liberal with the spices because we like things on the hot side and used butter since that's what I had. I have a home office and this is perfect to make during my mid-afternoon "coffee break". I can leave it in the oven and have something that smells wonderful while cooking and is ready for dinner when I shut off my computer.
    maam November 1, 2015
    Very good.
    I served them with BBQ dry rubbed pork loin chops. I was looking to find a recipe substitute for the high sodium canned beans...this is definitely it.
    They have a nice subtle more sophisticated flavour. As per popular request though (my husband), I will make an extra batch of the sauce. I will cook it in the oven separately for him to use with the beans and pork chops. I feel if I doubled the sauce in the recipe it would ruin that nice caramelization that occurs stove top at the end of the cooking time. Some extra served in a nice ramekin on the side would then be a good solution for the both of us.
    ChristyBean January 7, 2014
    I made this last night, and the husband loved it. I think I got him off of Heinz's canned baked beans, ha! I wasn't sure about the tomatoes (2 15-oz cans of chopped tomatoes or two whole, canned tomatoes that have then been chopped??), and since I threw the pan in the oven before leaving for aquagym, I put in 2 cans for fear of the beans drying out. This version was very tomatoey and delicious with a fried egg on top with some bread on the side. I need to find more non-slow-cooker recipes that I can throw in the oven for 90 minutes and come home to a meal ready to go!