Baked Beans from Scratch

My baked beans recipe is a fan favorite on the blog, but readers have been asking for a baked beans recipe from scratch.  I am showing you how to make the best baked beans from start to finish.  Making homemade baked beans is a lot easier than you think!

If you are looking for more family favorite side dishes that are perfect for a barbecue try Classic Potato Salad or KFC Copycat Cole Slaw.  They are great with the smokey flavors from the grill!

Scooping up baked beans with a serving spoon.

Boston Baked Beans:

Summertime is in full swing and our grill is full of smoky tender meat like my grilled barbecue chicken.  Meat that good begs for an incredibly delicious side, like these family favorite baked beans.  The best part is, making them from scratch is so simple!  From beginning to end you will find that you are using familiar ingredients that you love.  This will be a recipe you end up memorizing because it is such a huge hit and you will make it again and again.

Homemade Boston baked beans are packed with sweet and savory flavors the whole family will go crazy over.  The sweetness from the brown sugar and molasses keep you craving more. The savory bacon adds incredible flavor and crunch to the creamy sauce and tender baked beans.  If you are looking for an outstanding made from scratch favorite, you must try this recipe!

Ingredients in Homemade Baked Beans:

The sweet and tangy flavors in these baked beans are so perfectly balanced and insanely delicious! The best part is how easy it is to create using all simple ingredients you know well!

  • Dried beans: Navy beans or northern beans work great!
  • Bacon: Crispy, chewy, and salty bites of heaven in these beans.
  • Green bell pepper: Slightly bitter taste to balance the sweet and tangy flavors.
  • White onion: Dice finely so it blends well.
  • Ketchup: Adds both sweet and tangy flavors.
  • Brown sugar: Adds sweetness.
  • Molasses: Even more rich sweetness!
  • Worcestershire sauce: Tangy flavor in the creamy sauce.
  • Water: You can either use fresh water or some of your soaking water.

How to Make the Best Baked Beans:

Making baked beans from scratch is so easy you will wonder why you have never done it before!  It is so simple and will become a favorite to make and take or just enjoy at home!

  1. Soak Beans: Start by adding your beans to a container and filling with water until the beans are covered with an inch of water. Soak the beans for 12 hours or overnight.
  2. Cook and drain beans: Rinse the beans and place into a large pot. Fill with water until completely immersed and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for one hour or until beans are tender.  Drain the beans and rinse. Return the beans the pot.
  3. Fry Bacon: In a medium saucepan add the bacon and cook until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon.  Add in the onion and green pepper and sauté until tender.
  4. Combine ingredients: Add the bacon and the onion and green pepper to the large pot. Then add in the ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, and water.  Mix and add more water if needed.
  5. Bake: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Add the beans to a 9×13 inch dish and bake covered for 2 hours.  Remove the foil the last 30 minutes.

Steps to soak beans for baked beans.

Easy Tips for Baked Beans:

This comfort food is a simple way to liven up any summer meal.  Since it is a made from scratch recipe there are a few tips to keep in mind as you are cooking.

  • Serve: These baked beans are great when paired with hamburgers and hot dogs, so even your kids will love it!
  • Do not add salt: Resist the urge to salt the water as you soak the beans.  Adding salt will keep the beans from getting tender.  If you feel the need to add salt, wait and add it along with the ketchup and other sauces at the end. However, keep in mind your bacon will be salty and taste before adding to much salt.
  • Quick soak: If you are short on time and do not want to wait 12 hours to soak your beans, you can do a quick soak.  You will pour beans into a pot of cold water.  Then bring the water to a boil.  Now, turn off the stove and let the beans continue to soak for another hour and a half.
  • Use the soaking water: Set aside some of your soaking water to use for your 1/2 cup water later in the recipe.

Steps to make baked beans.

Storing Made from Scratch Baked Beans:

Baked beans are a great dish to enjoy at home or to pack and bring with you on a picnic.  They also make great make ahead camping food if you are out enjoying nature and are looking for a hearty meal.

  • Make ahead: These beans will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator.  So they are great to make ahead and pack in a heavy duty cooler or RV refrigerator.  Then, just reheat over a campfire.
  • Freeze: Pack tightly and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Word of warning the beans will be even softer after freezing and thawing.
  • Reheating: Heat in a microwave stirring every 30 seconds, on the stove top over low heat with a splash of water, or in the oven covered with aluminum foil at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until heated throughout.

Close up on finished baked beans being scooped with a serving spoon.

More Side Dish Recipes:

Baked Beans

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings 8 People

I am showing you how to make the best baked beans from start to finish.  Making homemade baked beans is a lot easier than you think!

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword baked beans

Ingredients

  • 3 cups dried beans I used Navy, Pinto, and Great Northern
  • 1/2 pound bacon chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 white onion chopped
  • 2 cups ketchup can use tomato sauce
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions

  1. Start by adding your beans to a container and filling with water until the beans are covered with an inch of water. Soak the beans for 12 hours or overnight.

  2. Rinse the beans and place into a large pot. Fill with water until completely immersed and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for one hour or until beans are tender. Drain the beans and rinse. Return the beans the pot.

  3. In a medium saucepan add the bacon and cook until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon. Add in the onion and green pepper and sauté until tender.

  4. Add the bacon and the onion and green pepper to the large pot. Add in the ketchup, brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, and water. Mix and add more water if needed.
  5. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Add the beans to a 9x13 inch dish and bake covered for 2 hours. Remove the foil the last 30 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
Baked Beans
Amount Per Serving
Calories 563 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 19mg6%
Sodium 774mg32%
Potassium 1437mg41%
Carbohydrates 96g32%
Fiber 11g44%
Sugar 50g56%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin A 373IU7%
Vitamin C 19mg23%
Calcium 120mg12%
Iron 6mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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  1. great walk through of baked beans from scratch, a good reminder since it’s been so long since I’ve made them, I rely way too much on some kind of pre-made processed versions of these since legumes are a regular part of my diet, so thank you

  2. I’m so very excited to try this. I love baked beans from scratch. My great grandma used to make them.

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