Dry navy beans are used to make these homemade baked beans, which have the BEST flavor and consistency. They can be prepared in the oven or a slow cooker!
Creating baked beans from scratch (rather than using a can) is a wonderful cooking skill that truly captures the flavor and texture of baked beans. Additionally, it gives you complete control over the flavors and sodium levels.
This specific recipe is a hybrid of my grandmother's revered recipe and a few personal shortcuts.
For baked beans to reach the desired consistency and degree of doneness, a little bit of judgment is needed at the very end. As a result of factors like geographic location, bean age, temperature variations during slow cooking, etc., beans also frequently cook at a different rate. But I'll walk you through it step-by-step!
What Kind of Beans for Baked Beans
- The type of white bean that is frequently used to make baked beans is called a navy bean.
Soaking Navy Beans
I like to soak the beans to make sure that no additional cooking time is needed because these beans are cooked for about 8 hours at a low temperature. Consequently, they are also simpler to digest.
- Wash the beans in cool water, then put them in a big bowl to soak overnight. Let them soak for 8 to 12 hours in 2 inches of cold water. Drain and rinse next.
- Using the quick-soaking technique, rinse the beans in cool water before putting them in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover with one inch of water. After one hour, turn off the heat and let the beans soak. Finally, drain and rinse.
How to Make Them
For an ingredient list and detailed instructions, see the recipe card that appears below this post. In the recipe card's notes, section are instructions for oven baking.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the chicken broth, water, ketchup, sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and seasonings. Eliminate heat.
Half of the six bacon strips, cut in half, should be placed on the bottom of a slow cooker. Add the diced onions and half of the beans before adding the remaining beans.
On top, pour the prepared liquid. The liquid ought to barely touch the beans. (If not, add a little extra water.) Add the rest of the bacon. For eight hours, cook on low with a cover.
Chop the bacon roughly before reintroducing it to the beans.
Combine cold water and cornstarch. Once everything is well combined, stir the cornstarch slurry into the bean mixture. If more liquid is preferred, add up to ¾ cup water. For an additional 15 minutes, cook covered.
(My beans are usually done at this point.) As you cook, check the food roughly every 15 minutes until it reaches the desired consistency and thickness. next serve. Upon standing, the beans will become even thicker.
These can be made one to two days in advance. If at all possible, let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before transferring to a covered casserole dish to reheat. After that, bake for 25–30 minutes at 350°.
Be aware that they might become slightly dry during reheating; to counteract this, I like to add a little extra chicken broth.
Can you Freeze Baked Beans?
- Baked beans that are extra can be frozen. They can be kept for up to three months in an airtight container after they have completely cooled.
- If you can, let the thawed beans sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before transferring them to a covered casserole dish to reheat. After that, bake for 25–30 minutes at 350°.
- For 3-5 days, you can also refrigerate in an airtight container.
Baked Beans Recipe
- 1 6-Quart Slow Cooker
- 1 4.5 Quart Dutch Oven
- 1 lb. dry navy beans, 2.25 cups
- 4 strips thick center cut bacon, high quality
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 up water
- ⅓ cup ketchup
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons dark molasses
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce, flavor enhancer, doesn’t make it spicy
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch, plus 2 tbsp. cold water
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 pinch ginger
Soak the Beans, (2 ways):
- Method 1: Place the beans in a large bowl and cover with 2-inches of cold water. Soak for 8-12 hours, then drain and rinse.
- Method 2: Place beans in a large pot and cover with 1-inch of water. Bring it to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Let it soak for 1 hour, then drain and rinse.
Assemble and Cook
- Add the chicken broth, water, ketchup, sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and seasonings to a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir until well combined. Remove from heat.
- Cut the bacon in half and arrange 4 halves on the bottom of the slow cooker. Top with half of the drained beans, then sprinkle the onions on top. Add remaining beans, and then pour the prepared liquid on top. The liquid should just cover the beans. (Otherwise, add a little more water.) Top with 4 remaining bacon halves.
- Cook on low for 8 hours.
- Remove the bacon from the top of the beans and roughly chop them, then add them back. (If desired, you can stir the beans and retrieve the bacon from the bottom as well.)
- Place 2 tablespoons cornstarch in a small container with a lid. Add 2 tablespoons cold water. Cover and shake to thoroughly combine.
- Stir in the cornstarch slurry. Add up to ¾ water if more liquid is preferred. Set heat to high. Cover and let it heat through for 15 minutes, then check on them again. (Mine are usually ready at this point.) Continue to let the beans cook until your desired consistency is obtained.
- Serve! The beans will thicken even more upon standing.
- Refrigerate in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
- Leftover baked beans can be frozen. Let them cool completely and then store them in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
- To reheat, transfer the thawed beans to a covered casserole dish and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes if possible. Then bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.
- You can also refrigerate in an airtight container for 3-5 days.
- Nutritional information is per serving. There are 8 servings in this recipe.