Easy Baked Beans
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Don't love soupy baked beans that make everything else on your plate soggy? This recipe is for you! Loaded with flavor and quick to assemble (with an advance prep option), I make these baked beans often as an easy side dish, and everyone is always genuinely happy to eat them! 


  • 4 slices bacon, optional (halved or quartered; omit for vegetarian/vegan dish)
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans pinto, navy, or other white beans, reserve ¼ cup of bean liquid and then rinse and drain
  • ¼ cup (68g) ketchup
  • ¼ cup minced onion (I typically use yellow; may use red)
  • 2 tablespoons (44g) molasses
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) yellow mustard (this is my preference but I have subbed Dijon)
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) apple cider vinegar
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (this adds flavor without noticeable heat)


  1. If using, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until partially done. (This is the time to mostly cook it but not worry about crisping it.) Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350℉ and grease or spray an 8-inch square or similar size baking dish. Set aside. (Tip: If you have a 9-inch ovenproof skillet, you could cook the bacon and bake the beans in the same pan. Note that a 10-inch would result in a thinner layer and the cooking time would require an adjustment.
  3. In a mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients except the beans and optional bacon. (Prep ahead tip: The sauce may be mixed a day in advance, covered, and refrigerated. Stir in the bean liquid when resuming prep.) Add the beans and the ¼ cup bean liquid and toss until coated. (If you forgot to reserve the bean liquid, you could use chicken broth or water in a pinch.)
  4. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Top with the bacon, if using, and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. At this point, the beans should be lightly saucy and ready to enjoy. However, if you’d like to further thicken or caramelize the top, you may remove the foil and either broil briefly or continue to bake another 5 to 10 minutes. Just take care not to over-bake and dry out the beans.


How do I know if the beans are done? The liquid mixture should be saucy but not soupy. If you’d like the sauce to be thicker, bake a few minutes more.

Conversely, you can avoid overcooking the beans by looking to see how saucy they are. If the sauce is drying up, remove the dish from the oven immediately. Once the sauce dries up, the beans will then begin to dry out too.

The recipe is easy to double. In that case, cook in a 9×13 pan and adjust cooking time up as needed.

If you skip the bacon, you could add ¼ to ½ teaspoon smoked paprika for a hint of smoky flavor.

If using the bacon and would like more bacony flavor throughout, you may stir 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease into the sauce.

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