Baked Beans From Scratch

Posted · 21 Comments

It’s summer!  In the States that means potluck and grilling season!  No bbq would be the same without baked beans!  Delicious beans slow cooked with bacon all day long until they are thick and sweet.  I used to think baked beans came from a can until I realized how amazing the homemade version can taste.  When I’m making anything for a potluck or bbq, simple is always the name of the game.  Although this recipe takes all day to bake or slow cook, it only takes a few minutes to throw all the ingredients into a cast iron dutch oven or slow cooker.  The results will amaze you and the aroma that fills your home while you are cooking is out of this world!  Really… holding on for dinner while these babies are baking is quite difficult!

Baked Beans from Scratch
  • 1 bag great northern beans.
  • 8 pieces thick farm fresh bacon (save the rendered fat)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 2 tbls ground mustard
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup rapadura sugar (or dark brown sugar)
  • 1/4 – cup molasses
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • water to cover


  1. Soak bean the night before
  2. The next day, fry the bacon until barely browned on both sides and the fat has begun to render.
  3. Cut the bacon into 2″ pieces.
  4. In a large cast iron dutch oven or pot add all the ingredients including the port fat from the bacon.  Add water to about 1″ above the beans.
  5. Place a lid on your dutch oven or pot and bake at 325f for 8 hours.  Make sure to check the beans every couple of hours and stir.
  6. For the last hour, uncover the lid.  This will allow the beans to thicken up!

If you are heading off to work, this can be done in a crock pot set on low for 8 hours.  However, reduce the amount of water to just cover the beans.

That’s it!  Buen Provecho!!

This post is a part of Real Food Wednesday’s hosted by Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

21 Responses to "Baked Beans From Scratch"
  1. Michelle (She Looketh Well) says:

    I am going to try this! I have not been happy with the recipes I have tried. It might be that we don't eat bacon, and I don't care who you are, bacon just makes everything taste good! 😉 Thanks

  2. Sanjana says:

    Beautifully simple recipe, Diana :) I'd love to try this (without the bacon for me of course) I can only imagine how great homemade are compared to the ones from a can. Great job!

  3. Belinda @zomppa says:

    Sweet! Nothing beats homemade.

  4. jose manuel says:

    Este plato se ve consistente. Con un buen trozo de pan de muerte. Saludos

  5. Tien says:

    These look great! -Tien :)

  6. Miranda Rommel says:

    Oh man, totally trying this.

    Just made ketchup yesterday, but didn't do the lacto fermented version – do you have a good recipe, or do you use the NT recipe?


  7. IslandHome says:

    Nothing beats homemade beans – true comfort food. I'd love to try your recipe but I'm just curious – how much does your bag of northern beans weigh? Here they range anywhere from 250g up to 1 kilo so just wondering so get the proportions right for the recipe. Thanks, Julia

  8. girlichef says:

    Those are some of THE best looking baked beans I've seen…I would love a big scoop with an ear of roasted corn on the side…mmmmm! And lacto-fermented ketchup- now that is something I'm going to look into!

  9. Teresa B. says:

    I've been looking for a homemade baked bean recipe, and this looks wonderful. I also like baked beans with shredded pork in them.

  10. Velva says:

    You are right! What is Summer without grilling and enjoying baked beans. I am even more impressed, a from scratch baked bean recipe sounds and looks amazing. Thanks for sharing this recipe with your foodie friends.

  11. Steve says:

    I've always wanted a baked bean recipe to try. This one looks great though I'm surprised the temperature is so high. I would have thought lower and slower around 200.

  12. Diana Bauman says:

    Thanks everyone for the comments!

    Miranda – I've only made the NT version which I was not really thrilled with. However, I've seen different renditions on the Gnowfglins Tuesday Twister. I was going to scour the archives and try one of them 😀

    Julia – A bag of the beans that I used weighs 16oz or 1 pound. Thanks for the suggestion, I'm going to add it to the recipe ;D

    Steve – Thanks for your comment! Yes, you can very well go lower and slower. I've gone down to about 220 however, it's taken all day. Around 12 hours. A long time but well worth it! So thank you, I will for sure add this to the recipe as well 😀

    Thanks again everyone for stopping by 😀

  13. Paula - bell'alimento says:

    Delicious Diana! And absolutely perfect for picnic season : )

  14. Jamie Dougherty says:

    Fantastic recipe! I recommend Rapadura to all my clients to replace the refined white junk. Plus, I'm a bean freak so this recipe is right up my ally. Thanks!

  15. Adrienne says:

    I look forward to trying this recipe! Does anyone know if I can freeze the leftovers? I have no idea of beans freeze well.

    I came across your blog about a week or two ago, and I just love it! Thanks for the great content!

  16. Miranda Rommel says:

    Making these today! Using a ham hock instead of bacon – we'll see how that goes! Plus adding some fresh serranos from the garden. Wish me luck that my crockpot still works despite the large dent in the side :)

  17. Jennifer Cote says:

    Yumm! Starting from scratch makes so much sense! Smaller carbon footprint too, not transporting already-cooked, water-logged, canned beans from warehouse to store to kitchen…
    We've run out of ketchup on occasion at The New Deli, and I discovered that tomato paste and sugar, with a bit of salt and water (until right consistency), worked pretty well. Cool thing about that is, if you're making beans, you're already adding sugar anyways; you could probably just add a bit of tomato paste instead of ketchup. (It's easier to find small cans of organic tomato paste, too, and they're more economical- so condensed…)
    Just a thought!

  18. Maria says:

    I’m so sad right now… This recipe looks amazing! I prepared to make this for today (memorial day BBQ)…I cooked them in my Dutch oven at 350 and followed ingredients to the tee!! I cooked them over night, and set alarm to get up and stir.
    The smell in here is amazing! BUT….. I have burned beans.

  19. Dena Norton says:

    The flavor of these beans is incredible! However, don’t repeat my mistake of doubling the recipe and trying to cook them in a standard size crock pot! They’ll take for-ev-er, and will still be al dente when you finally give in and just eat them already.

    Will definitely be a repeater, but I’ll follow the cooking instructions more closely next time! Thanks for another great recipe, Diana! :)

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