Appalachia Appalachian Food

Baked Beans

Best Baked Beans

Guess what? I made baked beans for the very first time a few weeks ago! I’m not sure why I’ve never made baked beans before-I like them I’ve just never made them. Granny never made baked beans that I can remember either-maybe that’s why I never think to make them.

A few Sundays ago, The Deer Hunter announced that he wanted baked beans for supper. I scanned my cookbooks and googled around on the web and finally came up with a baked bean recipe to try.

The recipe I decided to use is in my Modern Woodman 60th Anniversary Cookbook and was submitted by Patricia M. Ricker from Greeneville, TN. I changed the recipe slightly-to fit what I had on hand.

Baked Beans

  • 1/2 pack of bacon (the recipe calls for 1 lb. of Tennessee Pride Sausage)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cans of navy beans drained
  • 2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 small sweet pepper diced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Grandmothers baked beans

Cook bacon; remove from pan. Cook onion and pepper in bacon grease until lightly browned.

Mix beans, sugar, and soup together. Add cooked vegetables, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Pour into a baking dish. Bake at 225 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

In case you’d rather use the pound of sausage-the original recipe said to add onions and peppers to sausage and cook until lightly brown. Then add to the bean-sugar-soup mixture.

You’ll notice I didn’t crumble the bacon on top of my beans nor add the bacon into the mixture. I don’t like pieces of bacon in my baked beans-so we ate the bacon. Using the grease to cook the onion and pepper in added a nice smoky flavor to the beans.

Tippers baked beans

I had no idea if the baked beans would be any good or not-but they were a hit! We all liked them and I especially enjoyed how easy they were to make.

If you’re a pro at baked beans-I hope you’ll share your recipe and tips with me.



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  • Reply
    April 22, 2017 at 8:15 am

    I love baked beans…I use a can of pork n beans..Drain the ketsup.,…Add apple butter..Chopped onion.. Little dry mustard stir together add some pre cooked limp bacon on top and bake till bacon is crisp… this is my go to for potlucks..Works well for a small can on microwave or over the campfire

  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    May 4, 2015 at 9:26 pm

    Am no expert at making baked beans (except Bush’s from a can), but our Dad sure was, and they were really good. From what I recall, though I could be slightly wrong cause only saw him cook it a time or two (and if I’m wrong, one of my siblings reading this will correct me – lol), seemed he used slab bacon instead of packaged, sliced thick and then cut into about 1″ wide pieces that he’d cook low and slow in an iron skillet on the stove, literally for hours until it was crispy and browned. Then he’d lift the bacon to a plate, drain most of the grease from the pan, and then plop drained soaked navy beans into the pan that he’d cook with a bit of water until tender (can’t remember if he added vegies like diced onions or peppers or not). Then he’d put the beans in a casserole, stir in maybe half the rendered bacon, add a bottle of prepared BBQ sauce and bake in the oven until it was bubbly and had a gorgeous rim of crust on top. Then he’d top with the remaining bacon and serve, and we’d all dive trying to get a lot of the bacon first, even him. HA HA
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    May 4, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    I’m not a pro at cookin ’em, but I might be nationally ranked at eatin ’em. I find the easiest and best baked beans aren’t even baked. Just open a couple of cans of Van Camp’s pork and beans into a saucepan. Add a medium chopped onion and a big handful of chopped bell pepper. Stir in about a quarter of a cup of catsup and cook ’til the onions and pepper are good and soft and the sauce is dark and thick. I guess you could taste it to see if it was too tangy and add sugar to taste but I never have had to add.
    I have nothing against bacon or bacon grease, I just think my recipe don’t need it.
    I buy bacon ends and pieces and rinder it out in the oven at about 250° for a long time. I strain the grease into jars, let them cool and store them in the freezer. It has a bright golden appearance when it is hot but turns pure white when it cools. I move a jar at a time to the refrigerator as I need to. I find this gives me more control of how much fat I am eating and if I see my intake is going down, I can increase the dose.
    I save the leaner parts of the bacon that is left for bacon bits and throw the fatter parts away.
    Two pounds of the ends and pieces yields almost a pint of grease and about half a cup of bacon bits which ain’t bad for $3.89. The bacon grease is the perfect seasoning for just about anything. I haven’t tried it in a chocolate cake yet but I can’t see why not.

  • Reply
    May 4, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    I like baked beans too, but I usually have them as a side
    dish with fresh Native Rainbows, when I cook-out on Ledbetter.
    Baked beans usually give me the
    heartburn, that’s why I don’t have them often. And I ain’t never had ’em from scratch, just the canned type.
    Thanks for the Playlist, it’s so

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    May 4, 2015 at 11:16 am

    No measurements–just taste. I fry some chopped onions & green peppers till they are soft. Use a good sized skillet. Add a couple cans (or more) pork & beans. Squirt in a lot of catsup, some mustard, garlic, brown sugar or molasses & some liquid smoke. Mix it all up & keep tasting till it suits you. Cook slowly till as thick as you like. If you want to bake it, it’s good to put some bacon slices on top.
    Add some browned ground beef & chili powder & cumin to taste for “cowboy beans” Everybody likes them & with some cornbread, they’re a meal.
    If we have barbecue, my family likes some barbecue mixed into the beans.
    I canned some pork & beans not long ago & look forward to seeing how they taste. They were made with navy beans.

  • Reply
    May 4, 2015 at 10:34 am

    This is a very differnt recipe for baked beans. It is rather simple and looks delicious. I would have added the bacon. I think it will be a good one for that cookbook you talked about developing. I’m looking forward to it.

  • Reply
    May 4, 2015 at 9:07 am

    We never ate baked beans either. Maybe it was a southern or northern dish and skipped this area. I don’t recall anyone in this area cooking them. I like them, however, with cole slaw. Maybe I need to cook some for our next reunion, and your recipe will come in handy. Bet some of the out of state kin wonders where the baked beans are at the reunions. What an oversight on our part, as I never met a bean I didn’t like.

  • Reply
    Gina S
    May 4, 2015 at 8:59 am

    After making baked beans for many years, I no longer use a recipe. To either canned, drained pinto beans or home cooked ones I add ketchup; chopped green pepper and onion; sometimes a bit of bacon grease or sometimes butter; and brown sugar to suit. I bake them in a toaster oven only until the flavors mellow. We like the onion and peppers still somewhat firm. Grandboys love them especially when served with tater salad and dogs or burgers.

  • Reply
    Vanessa Elhenicky
    May 4, 2015 at 8:56 am

    What fun, I made baked beans yesterday for Sun. dinner. I haven’t had a baked bean I didn’t like yet & always make them a bit different.
    I soak a 2 lb.bag of navy beans overnight (or half, but I’ve got plans for the other half), cover at a simmer in about 2 qt. of stock, adding water as needed until tender, usually about an hour & 1/2.
    I’m expecting & am on a sour kick, so I tried tangier beans; mixing a can of tomato paste w/ half a cup of cider vinegar, a giant glug of molasses, a goodly dash of mustard powder, & brown sugar to taste, I think I used 3 T of brown sugar for about a pound of the beans. I mix w/ half a chopped onion & 5 pieces (all the skillet will hold) chopped bacon. I covered & baked at 325 for an hour & a half, I usually do have to add some water to the baking. Mine look decidedly thicker than yours this time, but they turned out pretty good.

  • Reply
    barbara Gantt
    May 4, 2015 at 8:44 am

    We have baked beans a lot. But ours are New England baked beans. They are made with dry great northern beans. You par boil them, then add a spoon of dry mustard, 1/3 cup of maple syrup. Real or fakes works. A large onion cut in half. Add a piece of salt pork. Cover with water. Stick in the oven for a long slow bake at 325 or even lower. Keep an eye on them to add some water as needed. I start them Sunday morning around 8 and they are done by the time church is over and we are home. So bake around 4 or 5 hours. Yummy with any kind of ham, pork hot dogs. Barbara

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 4, 2015 at 8:37 am

    Tipper, I like baked beans but don’t make them very often. They are a good way to use left over dried beans like Navy beans or Great Northern beans.
    I once had a very good recipe that had three different varieties of beans in it and a can of potted ham. I’ll see if I can find it for you.

  • Reply
    Lisa Snuggs
    May 4, 2015 at 8:22 am

    I like baked beans so much that my sisters call them “Lisa beans.” Another way to get that smoky flavor is with a touch of hickory BBQ sauce instead of ketchup or add some Chipolte Adobe for smoky and hot. Yum.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    May 4, 2015 at 8:10 am

    I do not have a recipe but brown sugar and bacon are my best friends when making baked beans. One small onion chopped and I also add molasses and a little dry mustard. It is all by taste.
    I like them sweet and baconie if that is a word.

  • Reply
    Leon Pantenburg
    May 4, 2015 at 8:06 am

    I hadn’t thought about making baked beans until I read this. I always though they were made with pinto beans! Now, I am inspired to try this recipe.
    Coincidentally, I re-posted another bean recipe Sunday, and it’s another winner:
    Good call, Tipper

  • Reply
    Sheila Bergeron
    May 4, 2015 at 7:50 am

    This is the way I make mine and occasionally I use pinto beans – they are good as well.oxox to you all.

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