Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Smoky and sweet baked beans


There are way too many recipes out there that I want to try. Andrew made me an app a while ago to store my magazine recipes (being married to a software developer definitely has its perks), and I've got more than 450 recipes in there. Not to mention all the recipes in my collection of ~60 cookbooks and all the ones in the cookbooks I have on my wishlist...Andrew like to complain that when I make something he really likes, it's pretty much guaranteed that I won't ever make it again - but in my defense, why repeat recipes when there's always something new to try? Anyway, I was looking through my collection of magazine recipes the other day and decided to try this recipe for baked beans, which I saved back in 2011. I tweaked it a bit, adding a chipotle chile for extra smokiness and heat, and adjusting the sugar to suit my taste. The beans were the perfect mix of smoky, sweet, and spicy, and the three different bean types add variety in shape and texture. Good thing I obsessively keep track of interesting magazine recipes, or I never would have tried this one!

Smoky and sweet baked beans
Adapted from Cooking Light, July 2011
Serves 6-8

4 slices of bacon, chopped
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
6 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 cup canned crushed tomatoes (no salt added)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 tbs honey
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped
1 (15 oz.) can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz.) can butter beans or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed

Preheat oven to 325 deg F.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped bacon and cook until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Drain all but 1 1/2 tbs fat from skillet. Add the onion, green bell pepper, and garlic to the skillet and saute until softened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove skillet from heat.

In a large bowl, combine crushed tomatoes with the next 8 ingredients (through chipotle chile) and stir until well mixed. Add onion mixture, bacon, and beans and stir to combine. Transfer mixture to a baking dish and cover with a lid or foil. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake for an additional 30 minutes. Add more salt to taste if needed and serve.


  1. These look so yummy - I love, love baked beans! I like the bean mix you used, too. My husband says the same thing about not getting to eat something again that he likes!

  2. Can your husband please release this app?! Sounds like a totally unmet need if you ask me - you guys could retire early :) I'm glad you didn't miss the chance to make these yummy looking beans!

  3. wow, how awesome to have a homemade app :) i, too, have sooo many recipes that look good to me... these sound delish!

  4. I have an endless list of recipes I want to try, too. so cool that you have your own custom app! The beans look great, btw.

  5. Hey Ranjani,
    I am going to make this for a vegetarian guest at Canadian thanksgiving, so i'm trying to figure out how to replace the bacon. I've never had facon, or used "nutritional yeast powder". I thought about adding a touch of liquid smoke and some chipotle peppers. Maybe pre-roasting the onions and peppers ? any thoughts ?

    1. I think you can just leave out the bacon - the smoked paprika and chipotles make it plenty smoky

  6. PS i miss your blog but i'm glad you're busy with your wonderful job/house :)

    1. I wish I had time for it but there's just too much going on right now. maybe i'll get back to it at some point, we'll see...

    2. well it doesn't have to be perfect. I'm sure you're still cooking up a storm, so even if you just post a picture and 5 words of description, it can still be fun/inspiring for us to read... she suggested totally unselfishly....


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