Everyone needs a “best” baked bean recipe in their repertoire. You know, the beans that disappear before anything else at the barbecue because everyone wants seconds. The “Who made the beans?” beans, the “I must have your recipe for the beans!” beans. These are my BEST baked beans and they’re easy. You already have most of the ingredients on-hand. In fact, you might be skeptical that I might not know good beans because the ingredients are so common, the recipe doesn’t call for an entire pound of bacon, and the ingredient list is not 30 items long. Trust me, these beans have been tested over many years and have been given the “best” label by throngs of testers. —Good Dinner Mom
bacon, not thick cut, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 4-5 slices
medium yellow onion, chopped
brown sugar, packed (light or dark)
5-oz. can tomato sauce
fresh prepared horseradish
mustard, Dijon or yellow
hot sauce of your choice (I like Frank's Wing Style)
freshly ground black pepper
28-oz. can pinto beans, drained
15-oz. can red beans, drained
15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
In This Recipe
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. and place oven rack one place above the middle position.
Heat a large skillet to medium heat and add chopped bacon. Cook for about 3 minutes, until starts to soften and release fat.
Add onion and stir together with bacon. Continue to cook on medium heat until bacon is well crisped, stirring occasionally. If necessary, lower heat to medium-low during cooking. (Do NOT drain fat from mixture. This is one time you want it.)
Once bacon is cooked and onions are starting to caramelize, add brown sugar, tomato sauce, Worcestershire, horseradish, mustard, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Stir until brown sugar is well dissolved, about 3 minutes.
In a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish, add drained beans.
Stir bacon/onion mixture into the beans.
Bake for 25 minutes, uncovered. Lower heat to 325 degrees F and cook at least another 20 minutes, or up to 35 minutes. (You may start to think that the beans are getting too dry. Once you stir them after removing from the oven, all the ingredients come back together and the tastes will have melded perfectly!)
Cook's note: Dry beans are even tastier than canned, but require advanced prep. After beans have been soaked, you want a total of 5-6 cups beans, using quantities of 50% pinto beans, 25% each of red and black beans. I used canned most of the time due to time constraints and they're fabulous.