Molasses Baked Beans
Baked beans. Ahh…those two words conjure up some good memories on my end–summertime barbecues, grilling up some juicy burgers, some good ol’ Oscar Mayers, maybe even some grilled corn on the cob. And what’s the perfect side with all that char-broiled goodness? Baked beans, of course.
Growing up, we had baked beans a plenty. With six kids and one income, Mom had to be creative (i.e. cheap) with dinners so she’d crack open a can of Pork and Beans, chop up some of those Oscar Mayers, throw ’em in, and call it a day. Or, in this case, dinner. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I tried some “doctored-up” baked beans. And now those days of opening a can, heating up, and chowing down are over. Thankfully.
As a matter of fact, the first time I tried baked beans that were more than “right out of the can” was at a church cookout. There was a crock pot full of beans that had all sorts of stuff added to it. I scooped some on my plate and the rest, they say, is history. I loved them so much, I asked the lady who made them, for the recipe. I actually asked her a couple times. I guess the recipe was too good to share! Never heard back from her. Of course that just made me even more determined to find a recipe that was as good or even better than that recipe-hoarder lady’s. (I’m not bitter…not at all. 😉 )
First you start where all good recipes start–with bacon. Fry up that goodness, cool on a paper towel-lined plate, and cut into bite-size pieces.
Next, you want to leave some of that bacon grease right where it’s at and sautee a diced onion in it. When the onion is done, mince in three cloves of garlic. Because, seriously, everything is better with garlic.The next few steps are messy with dumping this and that in, so I have no pictures for you. My splatter-free camera thanks you. But basically you add Golden Barrel brown sugar, Golden Barrel Blackstrap Molasses, apple cider vinegar, ketchup, and beans in here, along with the bacon you already cooked. The blackstrap molasses I added really enhances the flavor and gives the beans a beautiful dark color. And the brown sugar gives the beans just enough sweetness. It’s a glorious combination. There are kidney beans in this recipe. They just make this dish even heartier in my opinion. You may certainly omit them if you’re not a fan. (I only added one can of baked beans in the skillet ’cause I ran out of room, but then added the other beans to the stoneware pan I cooked everything in. So if you have a large skillet, use it!)
This is what it looks like straight out of the oven. You can’t tell in the picture, but this stuff was bubblin’ like crazy and I had a random crazy thought of being tortured by having this scalding pan of beans poured on me. That would really hurt. So…in other words–be careful when taking this out of the oven!
So, molasses baked beans. What memories do you associate with this backyard BBQ staple? One thing’s for sure–we want to share this recipe with everyone so all can enjoy this wonderfully hearty sidekick. You won’t see any recipe hoardin’ going on here!
- 1/2 lb sliced bacon
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1/4 cup Golden Barrel Light Brown Sugar
- 1/4 cup Golden Barrel Blackstap Molasses
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
- 4 cans (15-16 oz each) pork and beans, undrained
- 2 cans (15.5 oz each) dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cook bacon in skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon to paper towels. Reserve 2 tablespoons drippings in skillet. Cut cooked bacon into bite-sized pieces; set aside. Cook onion in drippings over medium heat 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Press garlic into skillet, cook and stir 1 minute.
- Add brown sugar, molasses, and vinegar to skillet; cook and stir until sugar is dissolved and mixture is bubbly. Add bacon, ketchup, and beans to skillet. Bring mixture to a boil; remove skillet from heat. Carefully spoon bean mixture into a baking dish.
- Bake 60 minutes or until bubbly and heated through.
trying this tonight. thank you so much.
Great! Hope you enjoy them as much as my family and I did!
Mine came out completely dry!!! It smelt wonderful cooling but there was no juices left when I took the dish out of the oven.. Very disappointing ☹️…
Not sure why they came out dry…you left in the “juice” from the pork and beans, right? Mine have never come out dry, so I’m not sure. That’s a bummer. I know after a few days, the liquid thickens up significantly but they should have a soupy consistency on top when directly out of the oven. The only other thing I can think of is if you used dry beans instead of canned kidney beans. Dry would definitely soak up liquid. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help. Hope you’ll try making them again because these are very tasty beans!
kat; I love your recipe but I don’t use the cans of beans. I go the whole route and soak beans overnight add weiners, bacon, small strip of short ribs after an hour of the beans baking (or crock pot on low) and let simmer all day. The taste
is just like from the can but my kids prefer mine.
Great recipe, I used dried beans cooked over 12 hours in lots of chicken broth, used it with this great recipe. Yummy. Turned out great
Thank you, Inga
Mine came out very dry. Followed the recipe but cut everything in half. Maybe they cooked too long for a half recipe?
How would you make this with dried navy beans. I have them soaking right now. All recipes I’ve seen say NO to black strap molasses. Thanks
My grandmother’s trick was to drizzle the molasses over the top just a few minutes before it finished in the oven, rather than mixing it in. I’ve always loved having the molasses-y flavor in my baked beans. I don’t know why people would say no — other than not liking molasses, or it causing issues while cooking in a sauce. Grandpa was a chef, but he always let Grandma do the beans, which were much like this recipe, except for drizzling the molasses on top!
to Barbara ferguson.
when I first started doing beans from scratch I used the receipe on the back of the package and it called for
blackstrap molasses. so don’t worry, they turn out great and not too sweet. I also use regular white vinegar. I put in
everything uncooked, leave out the garlic. for me it’s not for beans. I added weiners, small ribs, onions, bacon.
NO canned beans or kidney beans. p.s. don’t for get to add a little baking soda to take out the crackers. lol
how many servings would I change the recipe to for 1 lb dried beans?
I added too much molasses by mistake how do I fix this
Too much molasses? What is that? Lol. No seriously, unless you added the whole bottle – it’ll probably taste fine. Taste it before you bake them, If its really too dark/bitter – just add more brown sugar until you’re happy. The only side effect might be they take a little longer to bake down. We like ours really thick – not drippy wet, so I bake mine in a cooler oven (300°ish) for more like 2 hours. As long as you don’t burn them, baked beans are very forgiving. Remember the Pilgrims didn’t have temperature controlled ovens. They were cooking them in big pots over an open fire in the fireplace. -Blessings!
Hi if I do this and bake 300° for 2 hours will the beans be thick? I really love the taste of this recipe but beans are never thick enough for my liking. Interested in your comment. Thanks!
Agreeing 100% about thick sauce, not runny sauce. Never understood the desire for a thinner sauce.
I love baked beans and will try this tonight
Love that the default on this recipe is 16 servings! We have a large family, so I am always quadrupling recipes. I doubled this one too, not because there wasn’t enough for dinner, but because we love baked beans! My kids would be seriously disappointed if there wasn’t enough for at least 3 meals. (And so would I!). These were wonderful. Thank you! – Blessings!
I absolutely love it and will continue to make it over and over again! Hands down my most successful Pin! You are a rockstar! Thanks for making me feel like a rockstar when I make Carnitas!!!
I’m a New Englander. Molasses baked beans have been/are a staple of cool fall days, cold winter days and for Saturday nights served with hot dogs. Wasn’t until my late 20s(many yrs ago) that I had them at a true bbq. So yes, I now make them year round🤤
My sweet mom used to call them doctored up baked beans . I was trying to find a recipe to repricate hers. Yours looks most like it. Can’t wait to try! Baking in the oven now!
I found this recipe and made it with dried beans. My mom, who usually doctors everything up can’t stop talking about them and asked for the recipe. Total win!! Making them again today, told her and her eyes lit up. At 84 it’s a wonderful thing
Best baked beans I have ever made! And we have been eating baked beans for 20 plus years. Delish!
It was one of the best meals I’ve ever made. Will definitely be on my monthly meal rotation 🙂 can’t wait to try your other recipes.