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Baked Beans Recipe

These homemade Baked Beans are easy to make from scratch with dry navy beans and have the BEST flavor and consistency. They can be oven baked or prepared in the Slow Cooker! 

Be sure to serve this with my glazed ham and some cheesy scalloped potatoes

Baked Beans in a white bowl with a spoon and bread on the side.

Baked Beans

Making Baked Beans from scratch (and not from a can), is a wonderful cooking skill and really gives you that authentic Baked Beans flavor and texture. It also allows you to have full control of the flavors and sodium content.

This particular recipe is a combination of my grandmother’s sacred recipe, combined with a few tricks up my own sleeve. 😉

Baked Beans are something that require a little bit of judgement at the end in order to obtain your desired level of doneness and consistency. Beans also tend to cook at a different pace depending on geographic location, age of the beans, slow cooking temperature variations, etc. But I’ll walk you right through it! 

What Kind of Beans for Baked Beans

  • Navy Beans are the variety of white bean that are commonly used to make Baked Beans.

Soaking Navy Beans

Since these beans are cooked low and slow for about 8 hours, I do like to soak them to ensure that additional cooking time isn’t required. This also makes them easier to digest.

  • Overnight Method: Rinse the beans with cool water and transfer them to a large bowl. Cover with 2-inches of cold water and let them soak for 8-12 hours. Then drain and rinse. 
  • Quick-Soak Method: Rinse the beans with cool water and transfer them to a medium saucepan. Cover with 1-inch of water and bring to a boil. Remove it from heat and let the beans soak for 1 hour. Then drain and rinse.

How to Make Them

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions. Oven-Baked instructions are included in the notes section of the recipe card.

Add chicken broth, water, ketchup, sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and seasonings to a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir until well combined. Remove from heat.

Cut 6 strips of bacon in half and place half of them on the bottom of a slow cooker. Add half of the beans followed by diced onions, followed by the remaining beans.

Layering bacon and pinto beans in the crock pot to make Baked Beans

Pour the prepared liquid on top. The liquid should just cover the beans. (Otherwise, add a little more water.) Add the remaining bacon. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Adding liquid and uncooked bacon to pinto beans in a crock pot.

Remove bacon from the beans and roughly chop, then add it back.

Combine cornstarch and cold water. Stir the cornstarch slurry into the bean mixture until well combined. Add up to 3/4 cup water if additional liquid is preferred. Cover and cook for 15 more minutes.

Baked beans in a crock pot with bacon. (At this point, my beans are generally done.) Continue to cook, checking every 15 minutes or so, until your desired thickness and consistency is obtained. Then serve. The beans will thicken further upon standing.

Baked beans in a crock pot

Make-Ahead Method

  • These can be prepared 1-2 days ahead of time. To reheat, transfer to a covered casserole dish and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes if possible. Then bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.
  • Note that they may dry out slightly, I like to add a little additional chicken broth when reheating to mitigate this.

Can you Freeze Baked Beans

  • Leftover baked beans can be frozen. Let them cool completely and then store them in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat, transfer the thawed beans to a covered casserole dish and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes if possible. Then bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.
  • You can also refrigerate in an airtight container for 3-5 days.

Pro Tips

  • The 8-hour cooking window is a general timeframe; your beans may be ready sooner, or may take longer. Note that higher altitudes will generally take longer. Also note that fresher beans cook faster than older beans. 
  • Salt pork can be used instead of bacon if preferred.

A crock pot filled with Baked Beans with a spoon in it.

Tools For This Recipe

(Amazon affiliate links)- Check out all of my kitchen essentials here.

  • 6 quart Crock Pot – This one is programmable and will automatically switch to warm when the cooking time is up. You can also use a 4.5 quart Dutch oven for the oven method.
  • Colander – For draining/rinsing the beans. (This is the one I have, it’s a great size.)
  • Serving Spoon

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A white bowl filled with baked beans with a spoon.

Baked Beans Recipe

5 from 3 ratings
These homemade Baked Beans are easy to make from scratch and have the BEST flavor and consistency. They can be oven baked or prepared in the Slow Cooker!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. dry navy beans, 2.25 cups
  • 4 strips thick center cut bacon, high quality
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dark molasses
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, flavor enhancer, doesn’t make it spicy
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, plus 2 tbsp. cold water

Seasonings

  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 pinch ginger

Instructions

Soak the Beans, (2 ways):

  • Method 1: Place the beans in a large bowl and cover with 2-inches of cold water. Soak for 8-12 hours, then drain and rinse.
  • Method 2: Place beans in a large pot and cover with 1-inch of water. Bring it to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Let it soak for 1 hour, then drain and rinse.

Assemble and Cook

  • Add the chicken broth, water, ketchup, sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and seasonings to a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir until well combined. Remove from heat.
  • Cut the bacon in half and arrange 4 halves on the bottom of the slow cooker. Top with half of the drained beans, then sprinkle the onions on top. Add remaining beans, and then pour the prepared liquid on top. The liquid should just cover the beans. (Otherwise, add a little more water.) Top with 4 remaining bacon halves.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours.
  • Remove the bacon from the top of the beans and roughly chop them, then add them back. (If desired, you can stir the beans and retrieve the bacon from the bottom as well.)

Thicken

  • Place 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a small container with a lid. Add 2 tablespoons cold water. Cover and shake to thoroughly combine.
  • Stir in the cornstarch slurry. Add up to ¾ water if more liquid is preferred. Set heat to high. Cover and let it heat through for 15 minutes, then check on them again. (Mine are usually ready at this point.) Continue to let the beans cook until your desired consistency is obtained.
  • Serve! The beans will thicken even more upon standing.

Notes

Bacon Alternative: ½ lb. salt pork can be used instead of bacon.

Oven Method: Follow instructions as outlined, but bake in a covered 4.5-quart Dutch oven at 200 degrees for 8 hours. Increase heat to 300 and follow steps outlined in “thicken” section above.

Note: The 8-hour cooking window is a general timeframe; your beans may be ready sooner, or may take longer. Note that higher altitudes will generally take longer. Also note that fresher beans cook faster than older beans.

Storage
  • Refrigerate in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
  • Leftover baked beans can be frozen. Let them cool completely and then store them in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat, transfer the thawed beans to a covered casserole dish and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes if possible. Then bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.
  • You can also refrigerate in an airtight container for 3-5 days.

  • Nutritional information is per serving. There are 8 servings in this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 258kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 13mg, Sodium: 460mg, Potassium: 455mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 22g, Vitamin A: 61IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 77mg, Iron: 2mg
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15 comments on “Baked Beans Recipe”

  1. I’ve made these many times now.  My six year old grandson said, “I can’t live without these beans!”

  2. I made this for a Father’s Day potluck and the bean pot was emptied.  Perfect blend of flavors! 

  3. Thank you for all your remarkable recipes! I have made many, they are all wonderful!  For the baked beans you mentioned they could be oven baked, however there is no instructions.  Thank you!

    • Hi Sara! I am so happy to hear that you are enjoying the recipes! And my bad, somehow that note didn’t make it into the post! It’s there now, in the notes section. Thank you for catching that!!

      Oven Method: Follow instructions as outlined, but bake in a covered 4.5-quart Dutch oven at 200 degrees for 8 hours. Increase heat to 300 and follow steps outlined in “thicken” section above.

  4. Thank you I new it would be my fault! Can I still use these beans from the can or no?
    And thank you so much for responding soooo fast!

    • Unfortunately this recipe is completely designed around using dry beans, the sauce is made from scratch, etc. So I don’t think the can is going to work with this particular recipe, so sorry about that!

  5. Hey Stephanie 
    You don’t have to post this I will leave a comment after I make it, I’m just curious I bought a 16 oz can of navy beans for this meal wich I am starting today wich is 1lb how is this going to feed 8 people? I feel like something is wrong? Please respond soon thank you, also I am new to your site but my wife and I have LOVED everything, we have made from you so thank you!

  6. I’m cooking them now.first time for beans for me.in the crock they are not totally covered to the top with sauce is that ok?

  7. Outstanding recipe!!! The perfect balance of bacon, molasses, garlic, and onion! I made these last night for my family and they were all so impressed with the flavor. This will replace my previous baked beans recipe. I will use this all summer for a great side for my family BBQ’s!! This is what home-cooking should be!!!! Thank you so much!

    • That’s so great to hear Beverly! It took me awhile to get this one right, but it got two thumbs up from my husband so that’s saying a lot! Thanks so much for the great comments and for taking the time to leave a review!❤️

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