Sweet, tangy and just a little bit spicy, these baked beans are made completely from scratch and cook away for hours in the crockpot.—Their awesome flavor will knock your cookout guests socks off!
Yep. The ULTIMATE. Just layin’ that out there for ‘ya. Also: Made with nary a can of beans or a bottle of BBQ sauce in sight. I KNOW, insane right??
But it just had to be done. It’s summer, guys! And everyone needs a killer baked beans recipe up their sleeve. Preferably one that doesn’t involve simply opening a can of beans and throwing it in a saucepan.
Wait, how is that even a recipe?
Answer: It’s just not. We need the GOOD stuff to tuck into our crockpots and bring along to those barbecues this summer.
You know, just to make those hamburgers jealous and make Y-O-U the Queen of The Side Dish Section.
Helloooo, that earns you major respect right there. MAJOR!
Okay, I’m gonna be honest with you guys: BBQ baked beans made completely from scratch are NOT a walk in the park to make. Not because they’re super-hard (they’re actually really really easy!) but because they take time. After all, we are making the ULTIMATE baked beans here so lots of slow-cooking and waiting time is just necessary to develop all those fabulous flavors.
Worth it, friends. WORTH IT. Baked beans from a can just doesn’t even measure up to a mess of THESE beans.
Did I really just say “mess of beans” on my blog?
The dried beans themselves have to soak overnight in water and salt. This might seem like an unnecessary step, but please do not skip it! Soaking the beans for a nice long time makes for super-soft texture once you cook them!
The next morning, don’t forget to drain and rinse ’em! Be sure to reserve 4 cups of the soaking water because we’re going to use that for cooking later on.
Now it’s time to get started on all those sweet ‘n’ tangy plus a little bit of zippy flavors. This involves a few cloves of garlic, diced onion, and diced bacon getting pan-sauteed. Then coconut sugar and molasses get dumped in for sweetness. Balsamic vinegar, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce for a nice tang. And the finishing touch is a hefty amount of chili powder for some ZING.
Hoooooold me away from all this insanity.
We’re gonna bring all this to a low boil along with our reserved water and rinsed beans, then it’s into the slow-cooker for 4-5 hours which is where most of the magic is gonna happen.
Seriously. A few hours later you’re gonna lift that lid and be greeted by a GLORIOUS, magical sight. The smell alone might very well make you swoon. 😉
These baked beans are the REAL deal, friends. Forget about bringing the salad to that 4th of July cookout this year. Baked beans are what everyone REALLY wants. No, really!
And trust me on this: that giant crockpot full of saucy baked bean goodness is seriously gonna make you most the popular kid on the block. Suffice to say, there shall be ZERO leftovers.
Just keepin’ it real here, people. 😉
- 1 lb dry navy beans (or pinto beans)
- 6 cups water
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 uncooked lb bacon, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/4 cup dark molasses
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place dry beans in a large pot. Pour water over top and stir in salt. Cover the pot and allow the beans to soak overnight.
- The next day, drain beans reserving 4 cups water. Rinse beans and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmery. Add diced bacon, garlic, and onion to pan and stir frequently until bacon begins to crisp, about 8-10 minutes.
- Reduce heat to medium and whisk tomato paste, molasses, sugar, vinegar, sauce, and chili powder into mixture. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly and then stir in rinsed beans and 4 cups reserved water.
- Cover beans and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and transfer to a 4-qt slow-cooker. Cook beans on high 4-5 hours until beans are soft and sauce begins to thicken. Keep beans in slow-cooker on "warm" until ready to serve. (beans will thicken up even more the longer they sit)