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Baked Beans from Scratch

Classic Recipes for Making the Heavenly Baked Beans from Scratch

In order to make baked beans from scratch, you need to soak dried beans overnight. A bit of planning and patience for baking are all you need to prepare this tasty and healthy dish.
Tastessence Staff
Last Updated: Sep 25, 2017
Preparing baked beans is not hard at all. The only thing you need is to soak the dried beans ahead of time. Otherwise, cooking baked beans will take a longer time and very often, they do not cook properly. Based on your convenience, you can make baked beans in the oven or in a crock pot. Cooking beans in an oven takes no longer than 2½ hours, while preparing the same in a slow cooker requires about 8 hours. The following is a classic baked beans recipe from scratch.

Required Ingredients
  • Beans, 2 cups (dried)
  • Water, 8 cups
  • Large yellow onion, 1 (sliced)
  • Garlic, 1 clove (minced)
  • Bacon, 4-6 slices
  • Brown sugar, ⅓ cup
  • Molasses, ¼ cup
  • Tomato paste, 1 tbsp.
  • Dry mustard, 1 tsp.
  • Chili powder, 1 tsp.
  • Salt, 1 tsp.
  • Pepper, ½ tsp.
Directions
  • Prior to soaking, measure the bean amount. Keep in mind that its quantity increases to three times after absorbing water. For serving eight people, 2 cups dried navy beans are sufficient. Accordingly decide the amount, based on the number of people.
  • Take a large saucepan and soak beans in 8 cups of water. Ensure that the water level is at least 2 inch above the beans. The ideal soaking period is 8 hours. So, you can leave them to soak overnight if you are planning to cook it the next day.
  • After the beans are soaked well, drain the water and rinse well. Transfer beans into the saucepan and add lots of water. Cook beans and bring them to a rolling boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour, until beans become tender.
  • The next step is sauce preparation. Mix the ingredients - brown sugar, molasses, tomato paste, dry mustard, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Stir well and keep aside. Heat skillet over medium high heat and cook bacon, until crispy.
  • Remove bacon with a slotted spoon, and drain excess oil in tissue paper. Place them in a bowl and crumble. In the same skillet containing bacon drippings, cook onion and garlic for 2 minutes. Once you are ready with this, drain cooked beans, and retain 2 cups of cooking water.
  • Add beans, cooking water, bacon, and onion mixture to the sauce bowl. Stir well and transfer this into a large baking dish (or a casserole). Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 1 hour, or until the beans burst open and turn bubbly.
Basic Vegetarian Baked Beans

Ingredients
  • Navy beans, 3 cups (drained and cooked)
  • Vegetable broth, 1 cup
  • Molasses, ½ cup
  • Tomato paste,1 cup
  • Yellow onion, 1 (diced)
  • Soy sauce, 1 tbsp.
  • Mustard powder, 1 tsp.
  • Garlic powder, ½ tsp.
Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large, high rimmed baking dish, add precooked navy beans, vegetable broth, molasses, tomato paste, onion, soy sauce, mustard powder, and garlic powder. Mix all the ingredients. Cover lid and cook for 1 hour 15 minutes, and check if they are done. For thickening, bake uncovered for another 10 - 15 minutes. Garnish with flavorful herbs and serve with toast.

Baked Beans with Ground Beef

Ingredients
  • Pinto beans, 4 cups (soaked)
  • Ground beef, 2 lb.
  • Molasses, ½ cup
  • Vinegar, 2 tbsp.
  • Worcestershire sauce, 2 tbsp.
  • Ketchup, 1 cup
  • Tabasco sauce, 1 tbsp.
  • Onion, 1 cup (chopped)
  • Salt, 1 tsp.
  • Pepper, ½ tsp.
Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Drain pinto beans using a strainer. Follow the first steps of cooking beans as mentioned above. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together molasses, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and Tabasco sauce. Transfer hard cooked beans into a casserole and add sauce mixture. Stir well for even mixing. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes. In the meantime, cook onion and ground beef in a thick skillet, until browned. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drain onion and beef, and add in the partly cooked beans. Stir and bake for another half an hour.

Always use dried beans (not the canned ones) to get the best tasting dish. If you don't have time for soaking the beans overnight, then only use a bag of canned beans. In case, you have difficulty in digesting baked beans, consider soaking beans for an extended time (preferably 10 hours) and add pineapple juice in the recipe ingredients.