Three-Bean Baked Beans

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When it comes to baked beans, you can go the full monty starting with dry beans and cook them completely from scratch (like Boston Baked Beans), which takes all day. Or you can start with already cooked canned beans which reduces the cooking time to a little over an hour.

This recipe is for the latter, a “quick” version of baked beans using three different types of beans—kidney beans, black beans, and cannellini beans. My father pulled this recipe from an old issue of Bon Appétit magazine years ago. It has a tangy, rich flavor from the vinegar, molasses, and bacon and is a cinch to put together. A great side for pork or steak.

Three-Bean Baked Beans Recipe

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  • Prep time: 7 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 pound sliced bacon
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp dry mustard
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh thyme (or 1 1/2 teaspoons dry thyme)
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup dark molasses
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until browned and crisp. Remove bacon and place on paper towels to soak up excess fat. Crumble up the bacon and set aside.

2 Remove all but a tablespoon of the bacon drippings from the pot. Add the chopped onions and cook on medium high heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.

3 Sprinkle the onions with dry mustard and thyme. Stir in the ketchup, vinegar, molasses, bay leaf, beans, Tabasco, and water. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4 Cover the pot and put into a 350°F oven. Bake for 1 hour, checking every 15 minutes to stir and add more water if needed. Stir in the bacon the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Discard bay leaf before serving.

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Recipe from Bon Appetit magazine.

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Showing 4 of 17 Comments

  • Haley

    The vinegar is really bad. I did a little research and found lots of people use apple cider vinegar or baking soda to soak their beans and then they rinse them after. I think the purpose is to stop them from being so gassy, for lack of a better word…

    I think next time I will go for a more traditional boston baked beans style…

  • Sarah

    I just made these! I must have done something wrong. The sauce is very bitter tasting and has an extremely gritty texture. I’m not sure what I did wrong? Did anyone else end up with a gritty or bitter tasting dish?

  • Karen Hemmingson

    Made this recipe for the first time today. Followed the instructions exactly and it is so bitter had to throw it away! What a waste!

  • Andrea

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I made it yesterday as a “dish to pass” at a birthday party. It received great reveiws. VERY delicious and pretty easy to make. Was my first attempt ever at homemade baked beans and I couldn’t be happier with the results. I’ll make this over and over and likely won’t change a thing!

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