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My Favorite Baked Beans

December 15, 2011

I wish I could post the aroma of this dish instead of the photo. Not the prettiest, but the yummiest.

My roommates endeavored to make a massive amount of pulled pork this week, so I felt obliged to make a massive amount of baked beans and coleslaw. I’ve made these beans before, and they are what convinced me that baked beans are a very attention worthy side dish.  Something that should be baked and not reheated from a can. It all started with Ina Garten’s recipe, and while the ingredients are essentially the same, I’ve made a few changes to the process and substituted canned beans for my recipe.  Mainly because I never seem to get my act together in time to do it with dried beans.  If I do at some point get my act together, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Also, this is the coleslaw I made. I have made it with the bleu cheese, but didn’t love it.  This time I left the bleu cheese out and got rave reviews from my taste testers. It is also noted here that it makes way more dressing than you need, so I just halved it.

Maple Baked Beans


  • 4 (15.5 oz) cans of kidney beans
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup medium amber pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese chili paste (or chili sauce works fine)
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Half a pack of thick-cut smoked bacon, chopped
  • A large pot with a lid that can go in the oven (such as a Dutch oven)


Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F.

Chop the bacon and throw it in the pot (no other lubrication necessary).  Let the fat render out for about 5 minutes, then add the onion and sauté for another 5 minutes.  Add the kidney beans (undrained).  Grind black pepper on top and add the bay leaf. Stir and simmer beans while you start the sauce.

In a small saucepan, whisk together the maple syrup, brown sugar, ketchup, chili paste, ginger, salt. Bring to a simmer and cook over medium heat for 6 minutes.

Pour the maple syrup sauce over the beans. Place the lid on top and bake for 5-6 hours. Check on the beans a few times in the cooking process.  If they look too dry, add some water.  If they look too soupy, remove the lid for the remainder of the cooking process. Discard the bay leaf. Serve hot.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 16, 2011 11:00 am

    This sounds amazing. I definitely want to try this!

    I have the same problem with dry beans. I bought some but I never allow enough time to soak them!

    • December 18, 2011 2:21 pm

      Maybe that will be my new years resolution…plan bean meals enough in advance that I can used dried beans.

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