Baked Beans With Bacon

Total Time:
1 hr 30 min
10 min
1 hr 20 min

6 servings

  • 3 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 5 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 15 -ounce can whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 15 -ounce cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15 -ounce can navy beans, undrained
  • 2 hamburger buns or 3 slices white sandwich bread, torn into pieces

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cook the pancetta and about two-thirds of the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon and pancetta to a bowl using a slotted spoon. Reserve the drippings in the skillet.

Add the onion to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden, about 8 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic and chili powder and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and their juice, the molasses, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, mustard powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Increase the heat to medium high, bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the pinto beans, then add the navy beans and their liquid and return to a simmer. Stir in the pancetta-bacon mixture. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish.

Pulse the buns with the remaining uncooked bacon in a food processor until finely ground. Sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the bean mixture. Cover and bake 45 minutes, then uncover and bake until the crumbs are golden brown, about 20 more minutes.

Photograph by Tina Rupp

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    A great homemade baked beans dish! Certainly had some kick to it which I think came from the homemade chili powder mix I used (had put together following some chili powder recipes awhile back when I was out of chili powder for another recipe). Loved the heartiness to it - mine wasn't a runny baked beans. The bacon/bread topping did brown up, but it didn't totally crunch up so next time I plan to use less of it so it really will just be a crispy topping. All around a great dish I'd make again and be willing to serve to others. Way better than anything pre-made or from a can.
    This is the best baked bean recipe EVER! The flavor combination of the ginger, mustard, molasses, pancetta and bacon really works. The topping adds a wonderfully rich savory finish. This will be my go-to side dish all summer!
    Unlike the other reviewers, we loved this recipe. I drained the navy beans by mistake so it was a bit dryer than it should have been. Even good cold. Will make this again. Tastes like Boston Baked Beans with a lot less work!!
    Gross! I spent a lot of time and money on this recipe and no one in my family liked it - and we are not picky eaters. Something was off, I don't know what it was, but it does not taste good. I put honey in it to try to make it edible after the fact but that did not help. This is a bad recipe, don't waste your time or your resources making it.
    I wasn't impressed. I had thought that since these beans had pancetta & bacon that there would be some sort of kick to the flavor. There wasn't. The spices didn't compliment the flavor of the beans either. I was disappointed as was my BH. If you plan on making these nonetheless, leave out the ginger, add more molasses.
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