Three-Bean Baked Beans

Baked beans are just the thing for a blustery day. My father pulled this recipe out of Bon Appétit magazine years ago and we’ve been enjoying its tangy, rich flavor ever since. A great side dish to pork or steak.

Three-Bean Baked Beans Recipe

  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6.


  • 5 bacon slices
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup dark molasses
  • 1/3 cup (or more) water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 15- to 16-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 15- to 16-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)


1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook bacon in heavy large ovenproof pot over medium heat until crisp. Using tongs, transfer to paper towels to drain. Crumble bacon and reserve.

2 Add onion to drippings in pot and sauté until almost tender, about 5 minutes.

3 Add dry mustard and thyme and stir 1 minute. Mix in ketchup, vinegar, molasses, 1/3 cup water, bay leaf and all beans. Season with salt and pepper.

4 Cover pot and bake bean mixture 45 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more water if mixture seems dry. Mix bacon into beans. Bake 15 minutes longer. Discard bay leaf. Mix in hot pepper sauce and serve.

Recipe from Bon Appetit magazine.


  1. Camila Lipsi

    Oh, this is a wonderful recipe. Most of the recipes I see ask for 4 hours in the oven! The other day I found a crockpot recipe… sounds much better. But now yours truly goes to the oven, but 1 hour only. Thanks a lot!

  2. Rebecca

    I’ve eaten baked beans made like these and they really are delicious, extra tangy with all that vinegar in them; sometimes they are called “barbecued baked beans”. They are lots better than the traditional recipe to make in the summer because they bake so much more quickly and don’t turn your whole kitchen into an oven.

  3. Amy

    Hi Elise
    >Best Food Blog – Overall – Simply Recipes

    …on well

    Oh and the beans look yummy too. I’m making your pulled pork for dinner this evening and I can’t wait!

  4. Nicole

    Woohoo! Congratulations on the Best Food Blog win!!! This recipe looks great…I LOVE baked beans and I have a similar recipe from my grandmother that I use!

  5. Alanna

    Many many congratulations, Elise, on the “best food blog” award, much much deserved, not only for all the work you and your family do on your blog to make cooking at home seem do-able, fun and worthwhile but also for your unending generosity supporting, encouraging and advocating on behalf of the food blog community. A big pat on the back to you!

    And just how big is the BEAM on your Dad’s face today?! I hope you find a way for all of us to share in the supper celebration!!

  6. Gary in Massena

    Congrats on the win!

    Great beans recipe too. Going to try them with one mod – using the Chipotle version of Tabasco sauce.

  7. lydia

    Congrats on the best food blog award — to you and to your wonderful family for sharing their knowledge, insight, and enjoyment of good cooking.

    By the way, for those who don’t eat pork, try a squirt of barbecue sauce in bean dishes, to give the flavor of the smoke without the bacon fat.

  8. jonathan

    Looks delish.

    “Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart. The more you eat ‘em, the more you…”

    Never mind. I am SO juvenile. :p

  9. Christy

    These look great. Do you have any advice for those vegetarians among us who intend not to include bacon (or meat) in the recipe? Any substitutions/adjustments? Thanks!

  10. lobstersquad

    All the baked beans recipes I´ve seen start with dried beans, and I´ve had bad experiences with those, always hard. Will be trying this soon. Congrats on the nomination, well deserved.

  11. Danielle

    So I’m kind of new to cooking and I made this recipe with rubbed thyme. Is that different from dried thyme? It was good but VERY thymey. I didn’t notice I bought rubbed thyme until after i dumped the 1.5 teaspoons in. The smell was overwhelming though and I had to look into it.

  12. Dawn

    I just came across this recipe, and I am going to have to try it. An idea for Christie and other vegetarians – how about substituting the water with 1/3 cup vegetable stock, and adding a few drops of liquid smoke? That should add some extra flavor and a little BBQ smokiness if you can’t use bacon.

  13. Sue

    Wonderful recipe, pantry friendly, beautiful presentation-even more yummy the next day! Especially liked the fact that I can control the preservatives-vs-brand name canned baked beans. Gluten free is special bonus :) I made simple adjustment, vinegar much too strong for our table. Will make again, over and over, husband loved them, would be very confident serving this dish to company. Thx much!

  14. Valerie

    Far too much dried thyme for us. I added a can of northern beans, a large can of Bush’s baked beans, more ketchup, another onion, a pound of fried summer sausage and about a cup of bbq sauce and the thyme was STILL overpowering. Not sure how the rest of you ate the original product. I will try again with 1/2 tsp thyme which my research shows is about the standard amount using 4 cans of beans, which I will also do next time.

  15. Ewa

    Hi Elise,

    Thank you for posting this recipe. I just wondered, is there any way to fix it, considering I added to much vinegar? I made 1/3 of the recipe, but I added 1/1 of vinegar. I tried adding fresh milk and sweet apple sauce to fix this mistake.That does not work. Does anybody has an idea?

  16. lauren

    Thanks for the great recipe. I used a combo of garbanzo beans and black beans since that’s what I had in the pantry. This was my first time making baked beans and everyone loved them.

  17. Rhonda

    Yummy! I used leftover lentils,black beans, turkey bacon, and a good pinch of ground pasilla chili powder. Turned out great!
    Hubby loved ‘em!!!!

  18. 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!

  19. 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!

  20. 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?

Post a comment

Your comment may need to be approved before it will appear on the site. Thanks for waiting. First time commenting? Please review the Comment Policy.

Some HTML is OK. URLs are automatically converted to links. Line breaks are automatically converted to paragraphs. The following HTML tags are allowed: a, abbr, acronym, b, blockquote, cite, code, del, em, i, q, strike, strong