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Homemade baked beans in tomato sauce recipe

Homemade baked beans in tomato sauce recipe

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  • Dish type
  • Side dish
  • Vegetable side dishes

Baked beans are a bit of an English staple, they've always been a firm favourite amongst my family. They're maybe not as sweet as the tinned variety, but that doesn't mean they're not rich and flavourful. The beans need to be pre-soaked overnight.

Derbyshire, England, UK

4 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 250g dried fava beans, pre-soaked for at least 8 hours
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons tomato puree
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 (400g) tin chopped tomatoes
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:3hr ›Extra time:8hr soaking › Ready in:11hr20min

  1. Put the drained and rinsed beans in a saucepan with a lid, cover with cold water and bring to the boil.
  2. Allow the beans to boil for about 10 minutes, turn the heat down low, put on the lid and simmer gently for 45 to 50 minutes. Drain the beans and tip into a casserole dish.
  3. Preheat the oven to 150 C / Gas 2.
  4. Put the saucepan back on a medium heat, pour in the oil and allow to warm. Add the onions and celery, and fry for 2 to 3 minutes before adding the garlic and continuing to cook until the onions have softened.
  5. Stir in the tomato puree and smoked paprika and allow to cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in the tinned tomatoes, stock and Worcestershire sauce. Bring the sauce to the boil, turn the heat down low, put on the lid and simmer gently for 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. Pour the sauce over the beans and stir thoroughly. Cover the casserole dish and bake in the oven for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Prior to serving check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.


These are awesome on toast, with mash, with a jacket potato, with pork chops, as part of a full English or even with just bread and butter.

See it on my blog

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)

Reviews in English (1)

I turned this into a simple, but really tasty, pork and beans recipe by adding in a couple of teaspoons of cumin and dried coriander with the tomato puree and paprika, and then throwing in some browned off, 1 inch chunks of pork belly prior to placing the dish in the oven.-08 May 2018

Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce

Elise founded Simply Recipes in 2003 and led the site until 2019. She has an MA in Food Research from Stanford University.

White beans are so versatile. We usually have several cans ready to go and at least a pound or two of dried beans in the pantry.

This is a simple baked bean dish, with the beans first cooked in simmering water and then baked in a tomato sauce, flavored with bacon and sage, sweetened with honey, and spiced up with some chile flakes.

You could also use pancetta in place of the bacon, or rosemary instead of sage. If you swap out molasses for the honey you'll have something a lot closer to Boston baked beans.

I learned a useful bit of cooking information recently from reading Shirley Corriher's CookWise, and that is that both sugar and calcium will keep beans from softening. Which is why if you are cooking with hard water, you may find your beans taking a lot longer than you might expect to cook to tenderness.

Molasses and brown sugar contain calcium which is why you can cook a pot of baked beans with molasses all day and the beans still retain their shape.

Sugar naturally occurs in tomatoes and in onions, so once the beans go in the sauce in the following recipe, they will take a long time to soften if they aren't already cooked.

Baked Beans Recipe


  • 1/2 lb pinto or white beans, soaked overnight in water
  • 1 can “no salt added” tomato sauce (15oz)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free soy sauce (45g)
  • 1 3/4 cup water or vegetable broth (420g)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (30g)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (10g)
  • 1 tbsp molasses (blackstrap or regular) (15g)
  • 1/8 tsp pure stevia extract, or 4 tbsp brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder


Crockpot baked beans recipe: Drain and rinse the beans. Lightly grease a crockpot (mine is 4 quarts), then add all ingredients. Cover with the lid, and cook on high 7 hours or until beans are soft. Turning off the crockpot, but keeping the lid closed, let sit 1 hour. Serve immediately, or transfer to a container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. If reheating, add a little water (up to 1/2 cup for the entire recipe) and stir, then heat. Yields about 3 1/2 cups.

Homemade Baked Beans Recipe – Made From Dried or Canned Beans

When you head to a picnic you will almost always find a big crockpot or dish full of baked beans.

Thick and hearty homemade baked beans ready to be eaten!

It is an American staple at each summertime holiday gathering and in Europe you will even find baked beans served at breakfast.

This baked bean recipe is a thick and hearty dish that can served as a side dish. However, you could even served this as the main course if you prefer.

I have even seen baked beans served on top of nachos, potato chips, and even as a condiment to hot dogs and hamburgers.

The flavor of this recipe makes it extremely versatile. The smoky bacon is complemented perfectly by the sweet onion flavor.

And the combination of molasses, ketchup and tomato puree give it that thick consistency filled with just a hint of sweet tomato base.

You can use fresh or canned beans. Here the beans are being strained before cooking.

Add in a little Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce and you have a medley of goodness in your mouth with each bite.

You probably have many of the ingredients in your pantry right now to make this homemade baked beans recipe. However, if you don&rsquot have molasses , you could substitute 1/3 cup brown sugar in its place.

The instructions also include how to make this recipe from both dry and canned beans. You can cook your dry beans by soaking them overnight, in the Instant Pot , or as directed below.

During the winter I prefer to make this recipe using the stove top method. However, if I don&rsquot want to heat up my kitchen in the middle of the summer, I throw them in the slow cooker. This also makes it easy to transport the dish to potluck or picnic.

And if you are in a real hurry, you can make them from canned navy beans or red kidney beans. I prefer to make them using red kidney beans as it provide a deep red color that gives the appearance that it has been baking all day!

Homemade Baked Beans Recipe

Bacon adds the perfect flavor to this homemade dish!


1 medium sweet onion, diced

12 ounces dried red kidney beans or navy beans or 28 ounces canned beans

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup chicken/vegetable stock

1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce

½ tsp fresh ground black pepper


Get ready for picnic season.

If using dry beans:
1. In a large stockpot, cover dried beans with water that is 3 inches above the top of the beans and bring to boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and cover and let rest for 1 hour. Then cook for 1 hour simmering on medium heat and drain.

Canned beans
1. Drain and rinse the beans well.

2. Heat a large stockpot over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook for 2 minutes.

3. Add onion and sauté for 2 minutes.

4. Add garlic and sauté 1 additional minute.

5. Add remaining ingredients. Stir and bring to simmer, stirring frequently.

6. Reduce heat to medium low and cover.

7. Remove lid and thicken the sauce to desired consistency.

8. Add additional salt/pepper to taste.

OVEN INSTRUCTIONS: Place prepared beans in an oven safe container. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 1 hour.
SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS: Reduce stock to 1/4 cup, transfer to slow cooker and cook for 6 hours on low.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is it safe to can dried beans in a traditional water bath? If so how long do you do process them?

A. The answer, quite simply is no. Quoting from the Ohio State University Extension's Fact Sheet :

"Pressure canning is the only safe method for home canning vegetables. Clostridium botulinum is the bacterium that causes botulism food poisoning in low-acid foods, such as vegetables. The bacterial spores are destroyed only when the vegetables are processed in a pressure canner at 240 degrees Fahrenheit (F) for the correct amount of time.

Clostridium botulinum is the bacterium commonly found in vegetables and meats. It is harmless until it finds itself in a moist, low-acid, oxygen-free environment or a partial vacuum. Under these conditions, the bacterium can grow and produce toxins dangerous to people and animals.

Do not process (low acid) vegetables using the boiling water bath because the botulinum bacteria can survive that method. Can fruits and vegetables be canned without heating if aspirin is used? No. Aspirin should not be used in canning. It cannot be relied on to prevent spoilage or to give satisfactory products. Adequate heat treatment is the only safe procedure.

Is it safe to can dried beans in a boiling water bath if vinegar is used? No. Recommended processing methods must be used to assure safety. Recommended processing times cannot be shortened if vinegar is used in canning fresh vegetables. (This does not refer to pickled vegetables.)

Salt and sugar are not preservatives for vegetables: they are added to stabilize and improve flavor, but will not prevent spoilage.

Salicylic acid is also NOT a preservative. The University of Illinois reports:

5 Add the tomatoes

Add the carrot and celery to the pot, stir to coat with oil, then turn down the heat and fry very gently, stirring regularly, for about 20-25 minutes, until soft and limp, but not brown.

Tip in the tomatoes and ketchup (mash the tomatoes if they’re whole), stir everything together, then turn up the heat and bring to a simmer.

Dried For A Better Taste

We almost always prefer them in their dried white form instead of the fresh green ones. They are much tastier but they also require a bit of extra preparation (soaking before cooking) they totally worth it though.

These creamy-textured beans with their buttery flavor are also packed with nutrients providing us with so many health benefits.

They are rich in high-quality protein as well as soluble fiber which helps regulate blood sugar levels and lowers cholesterol. They also contain insoluble fiber, which helps to prevent constipation and digestive disorders.

Classic Southern Style Baked Beans

I have been cooking my baked beans pretty much this same way since the 70s. And all those years I have been doing them in this old Pyrex dish.

You can certainly start with dry beans and cook up these baked beans from scratch if you prefer, and you can substitute any good brand of pork and beans (I recommend Van Camp's), but personally, I have always started with, and highly recommend, Bush's Original Baked Beans, if you prefer to go the name brand route on beans. You just cannot go wrong with Bush's - that ole dog Duke is right! Yes, they kinda have a little head start with the seasonings, and yes, they are pretty good all on their own heated in a saucepan, but, I like to jazz them up a bit more for baked beans. You won't regret using them!

We're all pinching pennies these days so I understand if you want to save money. Either way, these are easy, speedy and delicious and always a winner at any potluck or party.

I use a basic chili sauce in my beans which adds great flavor.

Heinz Chili Sauce is a tomato based product, containing tomato puree, onion, garlic and other seasonings.

I once substituted some Thai chili sauce, I had in the fridge that needed to be used up. I still used a bit of hot sauce and the Cajun seasoning and it worked out great, giving the beans a great, super spicy kick, though I gotta say. the next day, woooooweeeeeee were these some spicy, hot beans! Even a bit much for this gal, but hey, if you like spicy heat, try that, otherwise use something like good ole Heinz chili sauce, or substitute regular barbecue sauce, or even plain ketchup.

Hey while you're here, check out my other baked beans. While these classic brown sugar baked beans are my favorite standby and always welcomed, I've ventured outside of the box with a few other versions of baked beans. The Spicy Meat Trio Barbecued Baked Beans are delicious for the meat lovers in your life, because these are bumped up beefy barbecue baked beans y'all - good and meaty. I've also put up a Calico Baked Bean recipe made with a medley of bean varieties and a Hawaiian Baked Bean made with pineapple, after several of y'all told me how good they were, and I'd have to agree.

Now, back to the subject of bacon. Unlike many Southerners, I do not generally put strips of raw bacon across the top of my baked beans. It certainly isn't because I don't like bacon, and of course, my baked beans are cooked with plenty of bacon, because I believe that Southern baked beans simply must have bacon, no way around that one really, and preferably some bacon in every bite. I LOVE Wright's bacon - but look what I recently found! I love this one too. But hey, I've not met a bacon that I didn't like so far in this life, so use your own favorite.

Anyhoo. while I do think putting bacon on top is nice for presentation at a picnic or potluck, I prefer to render the bacon in a skillet, saute the veggies in the drippings, and mixing half of it right into the beans, and putting the rest on top, giving a great smokey bacon flavor not only on top, but throughout the beans, without the excess fat from raw bacon dripping coating the top of the beans.

I'm also a fan of bacon done well and crispy, and when raw strips are baked on top, they either do not have enough time to cook through completely and crisp up, or else the beans get overcooked and dried out for the bacon to crisp up. I've noticed at every party I've ever seen baked beans topped with bacon, the bacon is always undercooked and just gets shoved to the side and rarely eaten. Frankly, bacon is a bit too costly these days for that! You can run the dish under the broiler at the end, but then you risk drying out and burning the top of the beans that way too.

All that to say, I prefer my bacon flavor mixed in the beans, with a little bit sprinkled on top, but for the purposes of being a blogger of Southern food, I have included the option in my recipes. If you prefer putting bacon on top, you go right on ahead and do that. There is no wrong way in your kitchen and don't let me, or any other Southerner tell you otherwise.

Here's how to make my favorite brown sugar, baked bean recipe, Southern style.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If you're topping your beans with the strips of bacon, I prefer to parcook them a bit to render the fat and start the cooking process. Cook half of the bacon (enough to cover the top of your casserole dish) in a large skillet over medium heat until bacon is softened and bacon fat is rendered, but don't allow them to get completely crisp. Set those strips aside on a plate and reserve any drippings. If you're topping with chopped bacon, just cook it all together in the skillet, setting aside half to reserve for topping.

Add the onion and bell pepper to the remaining bacon, cook and stir over medium heat until mixture is softened.

Stir in the beans. Again, use whatever variety of pork and beans you like, but from day one I have always used Bush's original baked beans to start with - and actually that was the only Bush's beans back then, unlike the wide variety they have today. Use what you like though - like I always say, it's your kitchen. Baked with the additional seasonings, I have to tell you, these are the best baked beans!

Add all of the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.

Pour into an ungreased 9 x 13 oblong baking dish, top with the strips or chopped, parcooked bacon.

Bake uncovered, at 350 degrees F until bubbly, or about 35 to 45 minutes.

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Recipe: Classic Southern Style Baked Beans

  • 10 slices bacon , divided
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onion , chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped jalapeno or green bell pepper
  • 3 large (1 pound 12 ounce) cans of pork and beans (I prefer Bush's original baked beans)
  • 1/2 cup of chili sauce
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt , or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper , or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce , or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If topping beans with strips of bacon, parcook half of the slices whole, just long enough to render the fat and begin the cooking process, but do not cook crisp. Otherwise, chop all of the bacon and cook remove half and reserve for topping.

Add the onion and bell pepper to the remaining bacon and drippings in skillet, cook and stir over medium heat until softened. Stir in all of the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Pour into an ungreased 9 x 13 oblong baking dish, top with the reserved parcooked bacon and bake uncovered, at 350 degrees F about 35 to 45 minutes, or until bubbly.

Cook's Notes: I use Heinz Chili Sauce which is a tomato based product, containing tomato puree, onion, garlic and other seasonings. Plain ketchup or barbecue sauce may also be substituted. I also prefer to use Bush's beans, but substitute an equal amount of your favorite canned beans, or simply plain pork and beans, if desired. I recommend Van Camp's Pork and Beans. Add in a pound of cooked ground beef, or leftover bbq pork to make this a main dish. For a different flavor, add in a small can of drained, crushed pineapple.

Coca-Cola Baked Beans: Prepare a reduction of Coke, root beer or Dr Pepper by combining 1 cup with 1 tablespoon of brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer over medium to medium high till reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir into beans before baking.

On the Traeger: Prepare as above, using a metal or sturdy aluminum pan. Preheat to smoke with lid open for 5 minutes. Close lid and increase temperature to 375 degrees F. When smoker comes to temperature, add beans, uncovered and cook for 30 minutes, until bubbly. Increase heat to 400/425 degrees F and continue cooking another 15 to 20 minutes, or until browned on top and bacon is thoroughly cooked. Carefully remove with oven mitts and set onto a trivet.

Stovetop Pork and Beans: Substitute equal amount of canned navy beans, drained but not rinsed. Prepare bacon, onion and bell pepper as above, adding beans and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce to low simmer, cover and let cook on the stovetop for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not bake.

From Scratch: Prefer to make these from scratch using dry beans? Substitute two 1-pound bag of dry Navy (Pea) beans, or Great Northern beans. Place into a large pot and cover beans with water plus another 2 inches and let soak overnight. Drain and rinse, return to pot and cover with fresh water plus about 3 inches. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 1 to 1-1/2 hours or just until beans are tender and mixture thick. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out beans and proceed with recipe, increasing chili sauce to a full cup and adding in a tablespoon of molasses stir in 1-1/2 cups of water or chicken broth. Adjust seasonings as needed before baking.

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How to Make Baked Beans

  • Start with dried beans and then soak them over night. I put them in a large plastic container with the lid on and put in the fridge. Then in the morning, just drain and add to the crock pot.
  • Bacon is a must in baked beans. You can brown it the day before to save time, and then just add it when you start cooking.
  • Slow cooker baked beans is really just a dump and let sit recipe. So add all the ingredients, turn on the crock pot, and let it cook for about 8 hours. You really just need the beans to get soft and tender.
  • Jalapenos never hurt anyone! Adding just a little heat to the background gives these beans so much extra flavor. Don’t be afraid, it cooks all day and these are definitely NOT spicy.

The main question when making homemade baked beans, is which beans are used to make baked beans. You can really use quite a few. I used Northern beans for this version. But you can use navy beans, kidney beans, pinto beans and a lot of recipes call for pork and beans. I like to use Northern or navy personally, and then just soak them over night. The next morning you start the crock pot and you are ready to go.

The first time I brought these beans to a party, everyone raved about them. I was shocked I went home with an empty crock pot. And the biggest question I got was how do you make baked beans from scratch. It really is simple. Starting with dried beans is an extra step, but it is really not any extra work. While the beans are cooking you can do all the things you need to around the house, and still have time to whip up the Best Turkey Burgers to go with the beans for dinner.

So break away from the can, and try out this homemade baked beans recipe this summer. Trust me, everyone is going to love these along side their Bacon Avocado Beer Brats ! Plus the leftovers are delicious for the next couple days. So if you make them on Friday, you can enjoy them all weekend long with all of your other grilling dinner ideas.

Whip up this Homemade Banana Pudding for dessert and you have one tasty dinner! Everything just screams summer, time with friends, and enjoying the weather.

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