I think my daughter would try to live off of baked beans (and maybe macaroni and cheese) if I would let her. Both she and my husband love baked beans and can eat them by the plate or bowl full. Seriously, they will consume a 28 oz. can between just the two of them at a single meal. Their exuberance for baked beans motivated me to start making baked beans from scratch on a regular basis.
Yes, making baked beans from scratch does take much longer than opening a can of beans, but it is an easy, mostly passive, process. Most of the time you are just waiting on the beans. The payoff is delicious baked beans made to your individual taste with ingredients you know.
It does beg the question my daughter asked, “Why have we not made them before when it they this easy to make and they taste so much better than [her] favorite canned ones?”
Well, I had made baked beans before…just not for several years. The first time I remember making baked beans from scratch was for my high school graduation party. My aunt and I totally made it up as we went and ended up with a large roaster full of baked beans that had everyone asking us for the recipe. Unfortunately, we did not keep track of anything we did, so we couldn’t share or recreate the recipe. It has taken me
decades years to come close, but I think I finally have figured out a recipe that is a close proximity to my high school graduation party beans.
I like bacon cooked on top to render the fat into the baked beans. I also prefer baked beans that are much thicker than most of the commercially canned beans. My baked beans are sweet without much heat. However, you can easily add and remove ingredients to modify the beans to your taste. Green peppers and hot pepper are often add-ins that add more savory flavors.
This recipe doubles, triples, etc. easily. A single batch recipe only costs me about $2.10 and makes about 6 cups or up to 12 servings.